SVG plots fashion scene takeover


WITH clothing brands such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Adidas taking over the international market, two brothers Nkosinathi and Ntandoyenkosi Phiri who are 24 and 19 years old respectively, popularly known as ‘The Ray Studios Brothers’ have introduced a fast-growing fashion brand named SVG which stands for SAVAGE.

Just like international artistes such as Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Davido, Emtee wear labels such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton during live performances, SVG label has been proving to be quite dominant among local artistes as they wear and endorse it during their live performances.

Local music stars Takura, Holy Ten and DJ MadeHerbelieve have in recent shows performed clad in SGV gear especially the armoured vest.

 Nkosilathi Phiri said the fashion label is for the powerful and dreamers.

“We have created a brand of dreamers, people who take pride in being different and are in a relentless pursuit to attain greatness.

“SAVAGE is not just a clothing line but a culture of powerful people. We are trying to create a culture of dominant people because when someone is wearing something from SVG, one should be able to tell that this person is bold enough to pursue their ambition.

“Being able to show power in this case does not imply having money, it simply means showing your inner greatness on the outside. We try to represent who you are on the inside, for example our bullet-proof vest does not necessarily mean when someone literally shoots at you, you will be protected rather it means one is showing how confident they are as confidence on its own is bullet proof,” he said.

Phiri added that one of the biggest drawbacks in the Zimbabwean fashion industry is its dependency on imports.

“The problem with the Zimbabwean fashion industry is that a lot of people are dependent on imports. You notice that the majority of what is happening in the local fashion grounds is coming from outside and people would rather buy a fake Gucci T-shirt than an original local brand which is a major setback in terms of promoting  the local.

“There have been movements such as Support Local which are trying to create some sort of local sufficiency and so far it is very promising and people are taking it very well as the year 2022 SVG had very good record sales ever since we started,”  he said.

SVG started in 2017 as skits on YouTube channel for the two brothers Nkosilathi and Ntandoyenkosi Phiri where they would call their followers ‘the savage’. The brothers were then motivated to begin their own clothing line through marketing other brands and in 2019 one of Zimbabwe’s fastest growing fashion brands was birthed.

“When we started we encountered a lot of people whom we gave clothing items for free as they would promise to market our brand for us and we were running on negative. This is still happening even now where we get more than five people a day in our shop asking to wear our clothes for free because they want to market but as we have grown we stopped tolerating such.

“The mentality that getting exposure is everything has been pushing a lot of artists and businesses back and it’s good to avoid getting stuck in such situations unless it is really beneficial on both ends as I believe in value exchange as a business principle,” said Nkosilathi.

The official brand ambassadors for SVG are Takura, Holy Ten, Robert Mugabe Junior and DJ MadeHerbelieve, the brand endorsers are DJ Towers, KVG, Itai Daisy and Siphosethu Mtembo.

As one of its 2023 resolutions, the brand is looking forward to working with Nasty C a South African rapper, Rema a Nigerian singer and rapper and some Zimbabwean singers they say will be unveiled as brand ambassadors.

“The future for SVG is dominance and the first stop for us is Africa because there is no African GUCCI hence SVG is going to penetrate that market,” said Nkosilathi.

The Phiri brothers said this year, they are aiming to make the clothing line accessible and plan to open two new shops at Belgravia and Arundel Village. At the same time, SVG will be releasing a new collection with variety as they are looking into accessories such as head bands, wind breakers and jewellery.

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