Beyoncé is loving this local brand

The luxury African brand is going places, and even Queen Bey is a fan! Rhodé Marshall looks at the latest collection.


There’s no way you can’t fall in love with Kisua’s clothes, which are made with care using bold prints. The designs are gentle yet powerful; the fabric is luxurious and not a stitch is out of place.

Kisua is one of the continent’s more unique brands. Sam Mensah Jr, a former economist and the founder of Kisua, says the brand draws on the sights, sounds and tastes of Africa, and blends traditional techniques and materials with a contemporary design aesthetic.

“My background is in finance and I’d been looking at this sector for a while and was trying to figure out why people love our fashion, yet there is no industry for it. One of the things I observed was that designers can’t produce at scale because they’re not well funded, they don’t have working capital and often just don’t have the operational capacity within their businesses.”

Mensah established Kisua in South Africa in 2013, and it has grown so much that the brand has an international ­e-commerce platform that creates opportunities for African designers while collaborating with global partners.

“For this collection, we collaborated with the Italian label Yoox – the largest online retailer in the world. We have been collaborating with them for three years and we’ve called this collection Fusione,” says Mensah, as African and Italian elements have been combined.

“It’s a contemporary collection; we have energetic African prints with classic Italian silhouettes and tailoring. The dresses range from maxi to midi, and there are skirts as well as trousers with flared bottoms.”

The garments are produced in South Africa with fabric sourced from Ghana and Ivory Coast.

“We want to provide women with great contemporary African fashion. We are the only fashion brand in Africa with this kind of operational capability, which is something that we are proud of. African designs have always been amazing,” Mensah says.

The new Kisua store, which opened in Menlyn Park in Pretoria a week ago, is three times the size of the Kisua store in Hyde Park, Joburg.

“Our clients in Pretoria have been asking us for a while now to move into their hood. We are also looking at opening stores in other cities.

“We intend to be a fashion brand that is global, but maintains its African soul. We are proud of our cultural heritage, which is very rich, but there has been a struggle to successfully turn it into a viable fashion brand with global abilities.”

. Shop Kisua online at