Without pomp or ceremony, Convoy opened their doors on September 1, officially the first day of Spring. For a fashion opening it may have been low-key, but that didn’t stop the curious from checking it out.
A collective of five fashion designers and a jeweller, Convoy provides a welcome injection of youth, energy and talent to the centre and it came as a pleasant surprise to me to find entirely wearable, well-made and stylish offerings for women of all ages.
Lesley Whitter, the driving force behind the venture, says the choice of name captures the group’s philosophy. “The definition of convoy is travelling together in mutual support,” she says by way of explanation.
Long determined to be her own boss, Lesley had the good sense to study business and design at the University of Johannesburg, where she graduated with a BCom Business Management degree and a Fashion Design NDip qualification.
An eye for opportunity
It was serendipity that Lesley was a regular at Bamboo Centre. She’d been looking for a retail space for her Heart & Heritage range when she noticed a shop was up for grabs at Bamboo. Her enquiry was successful and then reality dawned that it would be a huge undertaking on her own, so she approached five other designers whose work she admired… and la voilà, Convoy was born.
“I hand-picked them not because I knew them personally, but because I felt that their designs would suit the space and because our various styles would make a great mix,” says Lesley.
With the five other designers in Cape Town, Lesley is at the helm, but she says democracy rules: “Each designer has an equal stake in the business, and responsibilities and decision-making are shared”.
Bamboo Lifestyle Centre is a popular gateway to Melville, which is a perfect location for Convoy. “I feel that Melville is going through a rejuvenation,” she says, “and we look forward to adding value here and to being apart of the upliftment of Melville.”
For more information about Convoy, call Lesley on 083 548 5321
The collective is composed of Black Betty Design, Heart & Heritage, Selfi, The Hannah Collection, W35T and MerweMode.
Each one brings originality to the mix, five through their garments, while The Hannah Collection also features leather shoes and accessories, and Black Betty showcases delicate, hand-cut jewellery.