At a time when the world is re-setting and actively searching for brands that resonate with the core values of getting back to basics, SOKO District seeks to make the like-minded brands they partner with the heroes in this new story… the re-telling of retail. The first chapter in the first of many SOKO District stories is set in Rosebank Mall.
The word ‘soko’ is Swahili for ‘market’, and a market is traditionally driven by the collective art of buying and selling goods in an open space.
SOKO District has created a platform that enables purpose-driven brands to create meaningful connections with their customers through a flexible digital leasing platform, without the significant financial commitments in the traditional retail environment.
There is an alchemy to this new approach to retail which comes from partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs. This new approach is what lies at the heart of the brand storytelling SOKO District has at its core.
It’s a deep-rooted desire to encourage customers to experience products first-hand rather than online in a relatable space fostering a sense of community and support for brands. But it is also about offering new brands which have a lot of potential a space to grow and breathe which they would not be able to do in a traditional retail setup.
So essentially, SOKO District wants to enable retailers because if they succeed in this space, then SOKO District does well too. SOKO District provides the blank canvas for other brands to shine on!
One of the brands shining brightly in the district is Rialheim. Founded in 2012 by Rial Visagie with a small group of ceramic artists, Rialheim ceramic studio specializes in shapes and glazing techniques that are inspired by Africa’s diverse cultures and beauty.
“Rialheim is the expression of our culture and emotions through craftsmanship and design using African soil, fire and water. Our ceramic studio is based in Robertson, South Africa We proudly design and manufacture all of our products on our farm in Robertson.”
“Our goal is to produce authentic items that are functional and fun whilst we explore the use of African clay.”
Other brands you can shop at SOKO district include:
- Nu Nues’ environmentally friendly classic baby and toddler wear.
- Annapatat Kids a proudly South African baby and toddler clothing label.
- The Oliver Vagary collection which comprises uniquely handcrafted leather products in a classic style with a touch of elegance and sophistication.
- Flight is a premium coffe shop offering the best coffee made by champion baristas, pastries crafted by master bakers, chocolate by chocolatiers and those who follow their dreams.
- Family business, Bummel Shoes has been making genuine leather shoes and leather goods since 1990, which means no synthetic materials touch your feet.
- MOS Wear is more than just a clothing brand, it’s a concept, a coming together of creative minds seeking a different future.
- Kayla Stam is a clothing label that has taken high-end fashion and made it accessible to everyday modern women with a line of ready-to-wear, office, and occasion wear.
- KoiKoi Clothing was founded by two brothers when they discovered the unique and vibrant African Kikoy fabric, which they have used to create a range of ‘anywhere leisure wear’,
- Danielle Frylinck and her team create pieces that make easy additions to any woman’s current wardrobe.
- Era by DJ Zinhle is a timeless fashion-accessory brand founded in 2012 by South African House Music DJ, author, and super mom, DJ Zinhle.
- Just Rrrraw Chocolate’s deliciously dark chocolate is made in Johannesburg with three basic ingredients: cacao butter, paste, and agave syrup. The resulting craft chocolate is organic and vegan.
- Darling Sweet produces the most delectable old-fashioned handcrafted toffees using the centuries-old art of toffee making.
- The Lollipop League offers a whimsical small batch range of lollipops and candies that come in more than 30 flavours from quality ingredients sourced from all over the world, including the founders own garden.
- Ledikana specialises in the manufacturing of contemporary African garments, hats, and other fashion accessories.
- Graze is where you will find no gluten and no refined sugar range of plant-based butters that will make you drool.
- Mpahla Sneaker & Apparel is a proudly South African unisex, stylish sneaker and apparel brand founded in 2017.