On Thursday last week, Celeste Arendse of Selfi announced on her Facebook page that a dress from her latest collection had sold out just a day after going live on Spree.co.za. I don’t know how often this kind of thing happens with regards to independent South African designers- or how many units Spree actually means when they say “sold out”- but when I saw Celeste’s update, it really piqued my interest.
Selfi’s floating energy waves shirtdress, from their ‘Self Awake’ line, retails at R 1, 180. If this is no indication of consumer interest and demand for local fashion, I don’t know what is but what interests me most about this is whether online is actually the lifeline South African designers, with their limited market presence, need.
Selfi stocks South African Market (SAM) on Bree Street, Cape Town, and the owners once told me the label is one of the better performing brands on their store floor. I asked Celeste if she thought online was doing better for her brand or if she thinks the bricks-and-mortar store model is what local designers should be focusing on.
Speaking of her own experience, Celeste told Skattie: “Spree is one of the biggest online retailers in South Africa at the moment. They place the biggest orders. I think in-store still offers great foot traffic depending on where the store is situated but online is slowly growing more in our country. I believe it has a lot to do with how it’s marketed.”
So, now that the dress sold out, what happens? “When items are sold out, Spree places another order. They evaluate the rest of the sales before giving you a delivery date.”
Well, here’s to hoping Spree, who we think are doing a great job of giving market exposure to South African designers, keep doing what they do and keep placing those orders.