The Hand That Feeds the Machine.

The element that inspires me most about fashion – is its ability to transform. Apart from the very nature to nurture, protect & shelter the body, its the silhouette that acts as an instrument for the human spirit to move & dance in a material world. It is this which motivates me to find a true form in the very fabric of fashion.

Through clothes we express our relationships in our everyday living & their stories. They are a second skin. They can also act as armor, a protective shield. Clothes are an extended expression of the journey of self awareness because they change our perception of reality of self interpretation. The right individual choice of clothes make a positive difference to how we feel about ourselves. Dressing appropriately for all occasions makes your personal style work for your lifestyle. Building a timeless wardrobe is like a broach I like to wear, to uncovering the individual’s inner style.  It is love in its most emphatic aspect. I believe fashion exists above all to be enjoyed. Real elegance resides in the mind, from which true style really comes from – now that’s showtime magic!

It has taken me 15 years in the industry to interpret the mysteries of my vocation. Having had numerous mentors that have stood like pillars around me, guiding me to have the courage to try. But what moves me most are the hands that toiled at the true cost of this multi dimensional fashion industry. Ingrained in the threads of life are the hard working visionaries. That subtly continue to create under the most dis-empowering circumstances. The willingness I have experienced of these people, to go the distance together, is what makes for brilliance, for radical creativity & for formidable social artistry. This for me is creation in it’s finest form. With a great awareness of the future of fashion on this living planet, by the limited resources, it is with more inspiration & aspiration that we are defying all odds & succeed to bringing forth an intended vision. To preserve the very threads & life force of which the necessary materials, that we need to create these little master pieces, derive from. I think it wise to design around our resources instead of sourcing for my designs, makes creating both simple & difficult. It brings  a sense of urgency to reduce, reuse & recycle. To buy less to choose well & to support local! A win win situation for all.

Cape Town is booming with diversity & talent that has an important purpose in life . . . a unique gift or special talent to share. When we blend these unique talents with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of the innate human spirit.

I have learnt to receive my ideas with respect & curiosity.

Although my blood may not be of this country, my roots are embedded deep in this earth – the very foundation of my vocation here. I think the essence of the female body is one to be emphasized & celebrated. Throughout the ages time has shaped our perceptions of expression & interpretation in as unique a way for every individual, as the style & grace that women reflect through what they choose to wear each day. With a sense of true identity I am able to help and serve my fellow human beings with love.

My name is Khioma and this is hand made for you!


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Instagram: @khioma_clothing






By Cebisa Mafukuzela, Jan 16

The greatest inspiration for myself as a creative has been the magic and diversity that exists within the continent of Africa. The African continent is the home to so many different cultures, religions and races. With all this diversity, it is a goldmine of ideas and inspiration and creates an opportunity for design, collaboration and sharing of ideas and inspiration from culture to culture.

This is my inspiration. This is what drives me to explore the different aspects of being African.

The Masai warriors of Kenya, the prints and fabric they drape around themselves.

The Himba women of Namibia and the red clay they use on their skin and hair.

The Herero women, also of Namibia, and their elaborate and bright dresses.

The bright fabrics of Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Benin and many other corners of Africa.

Our beautiful and lively street markets where one can find anything from fresh produce to electronics. We are a magical people. We are what should inspire the world.

We live on a continent that gives us endless ideas and innovation that, through design can be catalyst to the creation of an identity that truly speaks to being African.

Makoti Denim Skirt

The Masai inspired skirt

Subscribe on the blog or follow us on social media to find out more about Cebisa’s capsule range launching @ “Boutique SS16”


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Instagram: @kwanolali



By Gadija Khan, Dec 15

Algamdulilaah, I have an amazing role model, my mom, Rashieda Abrahams.

As a young lady, she worked for one of the country’s biggest design houses, later starting her own CMT company. This is where I learnt about the textile industry from an early age. Besides watching my mom create masterpieces and manage her staff, I observed her relate to her clients with love and care.

Over the years she evolved into making bespoke wedding dresses. Her attention to detail was mesmerising.   Always giving her clients more than they expected…she wouldn’t rest until she thought it was perfect.

The experience and lessons I’ve learnt from her over the years has helped me in managing my own brand. The biggest lesson being to take pride in what you do.

Although retired, she is always available to guide and advise. She is my biggest critic, my best supporter and my hero.


Gadija and her mother, Rashieda Abrahams

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Instagram: @gadijakhan



INSPIRATION: Glitz and Glam

By Fasiega Gamieldien, Nov 15

I was raised as an only child, but despite me being the only child I was not spoilt. I only got a toy on my birthday and every Christmas. Being alone meant I had to find ways to amuse myself. I would use dish cloths, leaves, flowers and pillow cases to design clothing for my dolls. I never enjoyed sewing once at school though, because with subjects like needlework one had to follow lines.

By the time I reached high school I chose subjects suitable for a physiotherapist career. I then dislocated my knee in grade 10, had an operation, and after 6 months of living with a cast on my leg, I had to attend physiotherapy. I hated going to physiotherapy, it was torture, and all the therapists looked dull and colourless. It was then I realised I needed to pursue a career with colour as I sought more vibrance.

My cousin, Magboeba Nordien, encouraged me to do fashion design. Those years studying were the best years of my life. I was surprised by how creative I really am.

I love creating something from nothing. I ran a business in manufacturing and retail for many years.

After marriage, we bought our second home of which the interior and exterior walls consisted of brown facebrick. I then decided I would decorate my walls with something creative.
One day, when a mirror broke in my bathroom, I decided to recycle the broken pieces. I went to a craft shop and got all materials and tools for mosaic. And that was the start of my new passion.

I finished my mirror collection 2 years ago, and was about to market my mirrors when dislocated my knee once again and had to have 5 operations. I have been from a wheelchair to crutches since last year and still on crutches presently.

Subscribe on the blog or follow us on social media to find out more about  Glitz and Glam’s Mirror Mosaic Collection by Fasiega Gamieldien @ “Boutique SS16”



wpid-wp-1447649429742.pngBy Aneeqah Stellenboom, Nov 15

A pivotal role player for my inspiration was by far my Grandmother. My Grandmother, Yasmin, or as she always say, Jasmine, has always played a major part in the reason for me choosing the industry that I have chosen to make my own. Being a women of elegance, compassion, creativity and class only added to her being an absolute favourite amongst her family and peers.

She was the most “lady like” woman I knew with exceptional beauty. With her fair skin, aqua eyes and high cheek bones, she portrayed the true elegance of a stylish woman from the 50’s era. She had a timeless flare about her and the kind of style that would bring to mind names such as Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel and Katherine Hepburn.
She had a way with knitting needles. Always busy making little outfits for expecting mothers in our family and had a real knack with the sewing machine. Figuring out patterns and garments came naturally to her and her ability to make everything look so easy  to do always kept me fascinated and intrigued.

Thinking as far back as I can remember to my first Barbie doll, she was the one adding new “collections” of amazing garments to my Barbie’s closet. I really thought there was nothing my granny couldn’t do, from styling flower arrangements, fabric painting table cloths to making whatever garment I’ve seen in a magazine that we wanted copied, or even just up-cycling a furniture item to make it look more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. She would smile so easily as she created these things.
I wanted to be just like that. With a lifestyle that embodied elegance, timeless class and effortless beauty. I wanted to be a woman with “lady like” attributes in every sense of the word, as I saw in my grandmother, whilst growing up.

Subscribe on the blog or follow us on social media to find out more about the Phi Casa Ready to Wear Collection by Aneeqah Stellenboom @ “Boutique SS16”

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By Ayshah Allie, Nov 15

A true inspiration, a woman who was the epitome of a royal entrepreneur, a woman who is indeed the monarch of our family. This woman would be my grandmother (Mama), fondly known as Aunty Patsy and formally known as Mrs Gadija Allie-Ebrahim.

Growing up on the lush vineyards in Constantia, her father was a successful grape farmer who exported table grapes and provided my grandmother and her siblings with a privileged lifestyle. After the Group Areas Act, Mama decided to take her inheritance and buy property in Crawford  along with my grandfather who ran the grocer – they had turned the one corner of a cottage house into a grocer. Mama was dead set on providing her six children with the best life possible. She made samoosas and pies to sell. Mama took this very seriously and by the time I was born (1980) my grandfather had just passed away. Mama rose before dawn everyday, she always made sure the household was equipped with the best, well-trained and kindly treated staff. The house was filled with all the grand kids, those who were little, those who were at school. We grew up to the sound of our granny rolling pies, cutting onions and the decadent smell of freshly baked pies. Clients oozed out of the front door, phones and door bells rang constantly. My granny landed many corporate clients who adored her and as a true entrepreneur, she always maintained good relationships with everyone, creating so many inroads in hindsight. Seeing this as I grew up was indeed networking at its best. In the holy month of Ramadaan, people came and queued for freshly fried samoosas – this still happens to this day. As a kid, seeing so many different people popping in and out of my grandmother’s house, was inspirational. The most amazing part of all of this was that my grandmother could not drive, however, she had the ability to make sure that she had all her ingredients from Elite supermarket, her favourite store – who knew that Mrs Ebrahim will only accept flour with a specific due date. Apart from all of this, my grandmother ensured that all her children were well established with tertiary education from the likes of UCT and Hewitt College under their belt. My grandmother extended that inspiration to her workforce to put their kids through school and tertiary education as well. Mama made sure we had a homecooked meal, with vegetables and dessert every single night and would even make two dishes if one never ate a certain dish, she weeded her own garden and picked her own fruit. I watched her as she made sure her orders went out in the perfect state and packed in boxes, which were given to her by the surrounding grocers. Her tarts were fancy and looked and tasted like little clouds of heaven. She worked from dusk til dawn, my grandmother not only showed me how to take risks and be courageous in business, she made us believe that anything was possible. She always said to me, don’t be afraid money will always be there to me made, character is the element that is most valuable. Being a true entrepreneur and a reflective human being, she also told us to make sure that we made time for our spouses and children as when they are gone it would be too late, since she lost my grandfather. My grandmother is indeed a legend in my books and her story inspires me and taught me so much about adding value to life.

My fashion & lifestyle brand is called Human Image, because of my high regard towards mankind, without each other, we have nothing.

Thank you homemade cpt for creating a platform for entrepreneurs, here’s to an ever-growing future filled with prosperity, goodness and amazing people!

Gadija Allie-Ebrahim with Aysha Allie

Gadija Allie-Ebrahim (a.k.a. Aunty Patsy) with Ayshah Allie

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Instagram: @ayshabm

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By Shafeeqa Effendi Isaacs, Nov 15

My dad, Abubakar Effendi, encouraged and nurtured my creative spirit. I remember the endless supply of paper, crayons, paint and even more importantly, the praise and pride of my father. I think his praise and encouragement as a child was the most significant part of my creative foundation.

My favourite memory was when my siblings and I – all under 10 years of age, visited the technical college he taught at. As we stood in front of the class, he asked the students to draw a simple picture of a house and a man. After looking at their drawings, my dad burst into laughter and said proudly “My children can draw better than you!”. We later drew our versions on the board where he pointed out how our proportions were perfect, taught to us by him while drawing one day. This of course, made us feel very talented!

Growing up, my parents allowed me to draw freely all over the place: on the passage walls as a toddler, on the kitchen table, on the driveway floor and on the walls in the backyard up until the age of eleven or twelve. Creativity was never confined to a particular space or time, it just happened all the time. When I was older, my dad took me to a diverse selection of art classes. It ranged from after-school classes at Frank Joubert, to Saturday mornings at CAP (Community Arts Project) in Woodstock and others in between. It was enlightening to experience the diversity and perspectives of art at such a young age. As an adult, I can appreciate all the energy, commitment and sacrifices that it took.

My dad started his career as a carpenter, has a qualification in teaching and studied Psychology. Although he doesn’t draw or paint much, he has a creative mind and is skilled with his hands. He can make and do anything, from all things building related such as working plans and technical drawings, tiling, woodwork etc. to cooking. Before the digital age, he loved black and white photography, particularly candid street photography and portraits. He also does the most beautiful calligraphy.

Subscribe on the blog or follow us on social media to find out more about Shafeeqa’s work @ “Boutique SS16”

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Instagram: @crushland_art

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By Tarryn Abrahams, Nov 15

We have the luxury of being surrounded by so many artists in Cape Town, and so I think it was more drawing inspiration from various sources that drove me. There are so many bright, talented and ambitious people around me so I couldn’t credit just one. Once I made the decision to shed the corporate shackles, I followed my dream of design. I researched and found an amazing course in leather craft and decided then and there that this was the route to pursue.

I learnt the craft under the tutelage of renowned Leather Master, Frik Van Jaarsveld, at the South African Leather Academy. Frik’s vast knowledge about leather was overwhelming at first. He drove us hard but in a gentle manner (if that makes sense) and we worked long hours. Eventually when the course was completed I still wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing. Later though, once I began working on my own and started practising my art, all I could hear was Frik’s voice in my head, guiding me where I thought I would fail. Today, I work with much more confidence because of the discipline and practice I had the privilege of experiencing under the wing of Frik Van Jaarsveld.


Frik Van Jaarsveld (centre) in his workshop with new trainees

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