22.03.17 by Aneeqah Samsodien
We chatted to local urban wear brand Street Lines Apparel owner to discuss what it’s like being a girl boss, taking the leap of faith and the hustle that never stops.
The indisputable pride that stems from Nuraan Samsodien shows through her love of fashion and translates into Street Lines Apparel. The brand was founded in 2014 when she just decided to cash in all her savings and go fabric shopping.
Her passion could be seen as inherited, with grandparents who made suits in their younger days and passed it down to her mother, who is also her partner and ultra talented pattern maker. The two work hand in hand, Soraya with her many years of experience in fabrics and manufacturing and both of their attention to detail and a good eye for trend forecasting, makes for a mean combination and great end result.
She started with only two full circle skirts in Shwe-Shwe and wasn’t prepared for the impact it would have on the local market. Street Lines embodies the youthful, vibrant and bold South African woman with comfortable but edgy apparel that caters for a variety of people.
“I wanted to create garments that I would wear that I could not find anywhere in Cape town. A few phone calls later and bam we were into production with the help of Soraya’s contacts. We never looked back since”.
- How did you enter the market so confidently and what is your niche? What opportunity did you see for Street Lines?
Through Instagram of course haha. At the time it was my love for street fashion and felt that the market needed a bit of funk. I had no confidence at all; nerve wrecking more like it and is still with every season’s collection. I don’t think this will ever pass as you never know how they will react to the collections. Coming from a background in corporate retail and the stresses that comes with it, I finally built up the courage to follow my dream. There was a gap in the market for funky yet modest clothing.
- What type of retailer are you and why do you choose to trade the way you do? What makes it work for you?
We are studio based and because I am currently a one man show, having select trading hours means I am able to do sourcing during the day, check up on the factories, attend meetings, do deliveries etc. This takes a lot of time and a lot of admin. This works for me and the customers as they are at work during the day and therefore give them the option to pop in at the studio after work. Markets have grown exponentially over the years and it gives us local entrepreneurs a chance to succeed and get people to support local. I also courier nationally as my client base has grown through South Africa.
When asked how being a Girl Boss empowers her, she says that every day is different, and like the saying goes “there isn’t enough hours in the day”. You feel the greatest satisfaction knowing that you are your own, but it also comes with its own stresses. But that’s what makes us stronger and hustle harder! Always remember your goal that you’re working towards. Besides that, being a girl boss is pretty cool.
- You are launching the Street Lines Fall/Winter 2017 collection this week; what was the inspiration behind the collection?
Inspiration was textures, warm colours (Tan, Olive and Navy) and layering. Winter is a time to bring out creativity in styling. You have so many feels to work with and this is why I love styling the shoots.
- Street Lines has a heart; the brand is always giving back to the community. What charity drives are you running and how can people get involved?
I was taught to always give to those who are less fortunate, even with the little that you have. We have just completed a Charity drive where clothes and non perishables were collected for youth orphanages in Cape Town. There are certain drop off points and I collect from homes if they’re close enough; all updates are posted on the Facebook and Instagram page. I am also honoured to be working together with Aqeelah Harron from Fashion Breed at her Charity Sale this Saturday, where all entry fees and a percentage of sales will be donated to those in need in Syria. The sale is taking place on Saturday, March 25, at Durham Studios in Woodstock from 11:00 – 16:00, made possible with Homemade Cpt.
- What do you think of the local fashion industry and the state that it’s in currently? What is the key to survival in this cut throat industry?
The local market for ladies fashion is quite saturated at the moment. It’s not a bad thing as the consumer has taken a liking to local in recent years. The only way to survive is to differentiate yourself within the market. Every brand has a signature that grabs the customer and Street Lines has a funky yet versatile feel that the customer recognises.
- Where can people find your stuff?
We are currently on Instagram as @streetlinesapparel and Facebook only. Our Online store will be launching very soon. Our sister page, @stylingstreetlines aims to serve as a personal testimonial by showcasing all Street Lines clients wearing our clothes. Their confidence wearing the product speaks for itself.
- What lies in the future of Street Lines Apparel?
I’m just taking it day by day; what was my five year plan of having an online store has now become my two year plan all thanks to the amazing support behind me. A store could be next 😉 who knows