Designer Kat van Duinen is redefining luxury - one handbag at a time

03 August 2017 - 13:44 By Sibusiso Mkize
Kat van Duinen's ostrich handbags are all the rage with celebrities.
Kat van Duinen's ostrich handbags are all the rage with celebrities.
Image: Supplied

In her new store at the luxurious Silo Hotel, Kat van Duinen is redefining luxury in South Africa - one stitch at a time.

Born in Poland, Van Duinen relocated to Cape Town with the idea of bringing her notion of elegance and extravagance to the city.

This is evident in her thoroughly detailed ostrich leather handbags.

"We're a strong local brand that enjoys a high level of traction with tourists, and we're looking to extend our presence in Cape Town, Johannesburg and the rest of South Africa.

"Our brand's story is unique: exquisite, luxury, genuine exotic-leather women's accessories proudly handcrafted in South Africa.

"Every piece evokes the creative spirit of Africa and offers sleek, sophisticated accessorising perfectly suited to the discerning, elegant sartorialist," she says.

So, there's little wonder that celebrities like Solange Knowles and Diane Keaton have been spotted with a Kat van Duinen bag.

"It's great exposure having personalities aligned with an item we've created, especially in the world of social media," says the designer.

With her distinctive take on fashion and luxury, Van Duinen is optimistic about her sleek new store at the Silo Hotel.

"When we heard about the Silo Hotel space, it was a no-brainer. It's the perfect location for our clientele. The Silo Hotel is the epitome of luxury," she says.

Africa is widely considered the next financial frontier and the luxury goods sector in the continent is one of the markets to watch.

"As much as we've still got a long way to go, we're also being recognised as key players in the world of luxury goods," says Van Duinen.

''We have talented individuals here, with great original style."

Mass production dominates the industry, offering cheap labour, which makes it challenging for local brands to compete.

"It's sad when people have to lose jobs because cheap goods are imported from China. Our government needs to take action with regards to this phenomenon," she says.