We have seen a large growth in the number of Cape Town streetwear brands over the years. I love the brands as they offer a different style of clothing and for the fact that they are from Cape Town. I had a brief chat with Thabiso Mokomele, co-owner of the T-squared streetwear clothing brand. Thabiso and his brother Thapelo started T-squared in 2008 while they were still in High School. Lets get straight to my moment with him.
So while most kids in high school are busy getting up to all sorts of trouble, you guys were busy thinking about developing a clothing brand. Why?
We always felt that there is a need of a clothing brand with a message, coming from Gugulethu, because back in 2008, there were no brands that connected to people and carried out a message. Yes everyone was branching into T shirt printing and starting their own clothing brand but the market was starting to be clotted with the same thing. Ours was different, it had a purpose, a message, and obviously a good fashionable sense of style. I saw the everyday struggles that ,we, township people were and still are going through and I thought let me motivate and inspire people, especially the youth, who are image conscious and love brands. Let me design a brand that would allow them to ‘dress with pride’ hence our slogan! , something good that comes out of their hood.
There’s been a large growth in the number of local clothing brands here in Cape Town. What sets T-squared apart from the rest?
Our message/tag line “If poverty is a struggle, then hustling is a cure” printed on our T shirts and crewnecks have gained us a loyal clientele, there’s a message behind the brand and our clientele has seen us grow from strength to strength and we hope that has shown or inspired them to hustle harder. Plus, the fact that we manufacture our own garments, they are hand crafted and we run a store which opens every weekend in Gugulethu.
You are currently studying towards Bcom Honours in Human Resources Management. How do you juggle the studies and the business?
I try to manage my time, even though that’s not my strongest point – its school during the week and Business on Weekends. It all depends on the work load. I have managed to get through my degree, so I guess I’m not doing too badly.
The problems you face as a young entrepreneur?
Oh gosh! Lol, has to be finance. I would be so glad to get funding. I have funded myself throughout the years. I see the business growing and becoming national but finance is a problem. I have recently hooked myself up with a PR team to assist in pushing the brand and hopefully getting me finance.
You have recently opened up a Pop-up store, how is the store doing?
Wow! It’s been a dream come true to eventually open a store, something that’s been on the pipeline for the past 5 years. This has allowed my clientele to actually come and interact with each other and me. The popup store is doing quite well, people are very supportive, and this is something that every entrepreneur would love to see, getting support really gives me energy and I’m so grateful for the support.
Would you consider having your clothing at a large retail store?
I would prefer supplying my clothes to well-known stores and branch out to SA as a whole. Something we’re working on, God willingly, very soon.
What is a typical day in your life as a clothing brand owner like?
Travelling all day, looking for fabric, good suppliers and ofcourse school.
What are your future plans for the clothing brand?
Getting the brand to be known nation-wide and supplying our garments to well-known stores, also opening other stores possibly in the near future. Show case at MBFWCT and other prestigious Fashion Events.
Do you have any ambassadors for the clothing line?
I have loyal customers to the brand, so I choose to classify them as my brand ambassadors.
How can people get hold of you or your brand?
I’m on social media platforms, on twitter : @ThabisoMokomele @TsquaredSA
Facebook: T-squared Clothingsa. or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Always a pleasure hearing from my clients.
I enjoyed the moment with this hot yellowbone entrepreneur Thabiso. We would like to wish T-squared all the best for the future.