Live jazz, excited banter, mannequins on the pavement and the clink of Champaign glasses saw the new Vim and Verve Collection make its debut on Friday night.
This stylish vintage and fashion boutique on Lilian Ngoyi Road welcomed dapper guests to an eclectic mix of fashion and décor. From exotic fabrics peeking out of colourful rows of garments to chairs wearing hats decorating the walls, this is a refreshing mix of old and new – a somewhat sentimental and charming realisation of the vision of the woman behind it all.
“Tonight is special”, says proud owner Tsipa Mokganya who is elegantly dressed in an exquisite vintage inspired evening gown fit for the occasion.
This young entrepreneur and aspiring designer is indeed celebrating a dream come true. “I’ve bought every piece of furniture and conceptualised everything in the store. It’s me. It’s what I envisioned it to be”, she says.
Tsipa has come a long way since selling trinkets and vintage pieces to make extra money as a student. “(Thinking about my journey from) starting out in my flat in Johannesburg while at film school to actually owning my own store and doing what I love gives me goose bumps”, she admits.
Her brand, Vim & Verve Collection, was born out of her love for the old and nostalgic, a symptom of having “an old soul”, she says. Continuing to source and alter vintage garments for resale, the young fashion guru progressed from the confines of her apartment to selling at pop up stores and markets.
“There’s just something about the good ol’ days”, she says, alluding to a time she believed people had more freedom to express themselves through fashion and lifestyle.
“Vim’ meaning enthusiasm and “verve” meaning vigour epitomises the brand’s identity- spirited fashion.
But, while the thought of vintage clothing usually brings to mind an image of granny jerseys and suspenders, Tsipa prides herself and her brand on offering stylish, wearable vintage that makes a statement. “Nostalgia takes you back to the purer days to escape from today’s clutter and junk”, she believes.
Her spirited enthusiasm and a great eye for the uniquely stylish have evolved to create a store that provides like-minded women with a special place to find something old and/or new to add to their personal style.
She is committed to venturing far and wide for quality vintage, sourcing items from charity stores, markets, and private sellers. She seeks out and hand picks unique garments that can add that something timeless to a customer’s personal style.
From now onwards, passers-by peeking inside this store with its fascinating mix of old and new, its attention to detail, and warm atmosphere, will find a quirky treasure chest with something for everyone.
Along with Tspia’s own quality vintage items, Vim & Verve also hosts four in-house designers- Gravitie Clothing, Duke “Clothe your Soul”, Frida Couture and Amanda May.
Supporting local talent is important to her as she strives to revolutionise Durban attitudes towards fashion. Durbanites, she says, need to break away from their laidback, “shorts and slops” approach.
She chose designers who resonated with her own style and added something that complemented the store’s vintage feel. With aspirations of adding more local designers to her store and expanding her reach and message, she plans to be at the forefront of Durban fashion from now onwards.
“My plan is to expand as a brand and bring Durban to the same level as Cape Town and Johannesburg. There, people are more experimental with clothing and see it as a form of communication,’ she notes.
Tsipa feels that it is important for her store to inspire people to liberate themselves through clothing as an expression of personal identity.
As the night of the store’s opening simmers down, she addresses her guests with a tender speech and a thank you to all whom have helped her realise her dream – to her mother for her inspiring determination and her supportive brother.
Now, at last, it’s official. If you’re a hopeless vintage enthusiast or find your personal style is missing a little pizazz, pop down to Vim and Verve Collection for something that’s new-ish for the soul.