Styles by Phat Sii is a South African based clothing brand that was launched in 2015. Founded by Siphumelelo “Phat Sii” Kwinana, the brand links the urban culture outfit with the real African street style. Kwinana who is 24 years old resides in the vibrant and multicultural Rosebank, Johannesburg. He started the brand at the time when he was studying electrical (heavy current) engineering at the Central Johannesburg College. He is currently employed by Bombardier Transportation at rail Transport Company where he works from 9 am to 5 pm. His role in the company is to design and manufacture locomotives.
According to him, he came up with the brand to help him grow his passion towards the African fabric and design. He adds that people have strong love towards urban culture and lifestyle. The idea was then to join the two with African culture since Africans do not like to celebrate their own styles and fabric. Many are obsessed with the European culture. According to Kwinana, he spares time for his business from 6 pm until late night. This makes him to lack time to hang out at any day because of his fixed schedule.
His brand has a physical store in Maboneng Precinct Johannesburg. Its various brands like jackets, t-shirts, pants, and hoodies can be acquired through online. But he says that plans are underway to put up another store in Newtown Junction Mall. This is expected to take place in June 2018. Customers’ love towards the brand has helped the business to flourish at a high speed. This is forcing him to think of quitting his job so as to focus fully on the business. According to him, the business sales went up by 40% in May compared to April 2018. He adds that the brand is having a great impact on the customers and this has led to a high demand for hoodies and jackets since they directly speak to the customers. He has set out 10% of every item bought to go towards the uplift program of his community.
Kwinana says they have put up initiatives like Back to School drive where they collect and distribute stationery to local schools more so to schools found in township locations. He adds that the main aim is not all about generating profit but to also be an inspiration to youths. With his roots from Aliwal North in Eastern Cape, Kwinana says that he has customers all over South Africa. He says that they are having a long-term plan of making the company a global one. He adds that their main focus will be first to expand into Africa. Additionally, he is developing a marketing startup known as Phat Sii Holdings. He says that he was inspired by knitwear designer and MaXhosa by Laduma founder, Laduma Ngxokolo. He encourages those who think of putting up their private businesses to seek for mentorship at first.