DESPITE Japanese denim being prized around the world as the best quality available, the ELPPAG denim by Dumisane Kweyama is a hidden gem from South Africa.
The brand has carved a name for itself and gained popularity among aficionados and those looking for bespoke items of clothing.
With customers from as far as Japan and Germany, ELPPAG has created a cult-like following in the fashion industry for its raw and edgy approach to denim and leather design.
Kweyama fully adorned in his label spoke with Berea Mail from his studio at the BAT Centre, “I am self taught. I spent most of my childhood with my grandfather helping him. He was a leather craftsman and at the time I complained that he was making me work when I needed to go and play with friends. I was not aware that he was passing on his skill to me. Unfortunately he passed away in 2003. Nine years later the creative spirit inside me needed my attention. Almost every night I dreamed of making great work so I started practicing leather work again in 2012. I moved to Durban to live with my dad in Newlands West and due to the relaxed nature here in Durban, I became a full-time fashion artist.”
Elaborating on his brands inspiration, “Elppag reads G-Apple backwards, it comes from Godly Apple, I couldn’t go with Apple so I had to come up with something cool. I saw a gap in the market, so many people wear denim everyday, but no designer in SA designs custom made denim, that fits different shapes and sizes. We specialize in crafting unconventional denim and leather products that are timeless and classic. We take our time to craft each item so that customers can appreciate the edge of denim and leather, which is seamlessly fused. We also encourage self-sufficiency and work together with like-minded people in the efforts of growing organically.”
His work can be seen at Box Shop and the craft shop. A new range will be showcased on 7 September at the BAT Centre.
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