Wednesday 27 March 2013

Blanca Janches for Luminance Private Label x

“Many people dream of doing it, but seldom achieve it. Starting your own fashion label takes far more than a stint at a fashion design school. Equally essential are an inherent sense of style, a sharp “nose” for trends and entrepreneurial expertise. Dressed in a Carolina Herrera frock (one of her favourite designers, who’ll also be sold in the Luminance store), KhanyiDhlomo, CEO of Ndalo Media and Ndalo Luxury Ventures (NLV), says the decision to start her own label was spurred by a friend who was running a luxury retail business and suggested she consider entering the sphere. “She said people would often ask about my style, especially if they saw me wearing something from her store,” recalls Dhlomo.

She describes the Luminance Private Label woman as one who’s “stylish, with good taste, but is value conscious. She’s proud to be a woman. She works hard and wants her wardrobe to work hard too. She’s not one particular woman: she’s many women, aged 25-50- plus, and aspires to live her life beautifully.” The Luminance Private Label aims to fill a gap in the South African market. Dhlomo believes there’s a shortage of high-quality, accessibly-priced fashion for working women that embraces the more generous and curvaceous African figure.

The range is both comfortable and feminine, says Dhlomo, and includes gorgeous shoes (made in Italy), classic wardrobe staples (those you struggle to find), as well as on-trend items in luxurious imported fabrics like fluid and firm silk, cotton stretch, georgette and wool, to take you from day to evening. There’s also a strong punch of prints and colour to add a bit of fun. A highlight for Dhlomo is the turtle-print fabric (available in a jacket, pants and peplum shift dress) which she had designed by West African artist Chukwumah Chijioke (see pp46-49).

The turtle print is unique to the Luminance Private Label and tells a proudly African story, with a global perspective. The turtle symbolises femininity and power in African culture. After creating the range in this country with the help of designer Vesselina Pentcheva, NLV ECommerce Editor Teresa Alho, NLV Creative Director Papama Ramogase and NLV COO Joanne Peltz, Dhlomo looked to Italy to make up the samples.

“When it comes to pattern, cut and fit, I think the Italians do it best,” she says. The long-term goal is to transfer these skills to SA and eventually have all the patterns made locally. Meanwhile, a large percentage of the range is being manufactured in SA as part of NLV’s commitment to promoting the local industry. Part and parcel of the Luminance mission statement is giving back. “The business is very much about profits with a purpose. Yes, there’s a lot of glamour, many beautiful things and it’s about the good life, but it’s also about doing whatever we can to ensure that more people – especially poor, vulnerable women, as well as students and the youth – fulfil their destinies as well,” says Dhlomo.

The name “Luminance” was inspired by her first name, Khanyisile, which means “to radiate light”. Accordingly, the label’s pay-off line, “Live Life Beautifully”, is about reaching out and lighting up lives.

Words by: Teresa Alho (as seen in Destiny Magazine April 2013 – in stores now)
Photographer: Judd van Rensburg.
Hair & make-up: Faith Seoue.
Model: Blanca Janches @Pure Management.
Stills photographers: Pierre van den Bosch & Karl Rogers

Have had a look at their website and the brands they are bringing? FUCKINGRETARD. Messy creamy jizz fest in my pants! The Luminance Pop-Up Store will be opening in Hyde Park Corner on the 16 April 2013 and you can contact them on

Blanca my darling you look like MOOONEY guuurl, proper MOOOONEY! You are EVERYTHING! They couldnt have chose a better girl to kick start off this MAJOR venture!

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