I had the pleasure of sitting down with Aretha Bauwens, actress turned business woman for a one on one interview about her brand, and her gorgeous shoes and bags that have caught the attention of Glamour Magazine South Africa.
“My mother used to hide the scissors from me as a child, because she would buy me a dress, and I’d cut it up and turn it into a skirt and top,” Aretha said as she explained how she discovered her love for fashion and design.
After leaving Limpopo where she was raised, Aretha studied drama in Durban, before making Joburg her home for for 6 years. It was here that her acting career took off, where she was on several national television shows including ‘Muvhango’, as well as dabbling in radio and production behind the scenes.
Along with her husband, Aretha moved to Cape Town, where her journey into the world of fashion began in 2014 with a hair business ‘BrazilHair’.
It was while on a trip to China, last September that it all changed when her husband encouraged her to branch out, and their business expanded into the design and production of shoes and bags. Two years in, and the AB brand has grown to over twenty pairs of designer shoes and fifteen beautiful bags.
Who is the ‘AB’ Woman?
“The AB (Aretha Bauwens) woman is sophisticated and loves fashion. She wants people to stop and stare when she enters the room, a woman who commands respect and attention. – This is the woman I am, from the shoe to the bag to the lipstick. I only wear my own shoes, I only carry my own bags. I have to represent my brand if I am telling people “This is the best quality you can buy.” -Aretha Bauwens
What I Love about this brand..
First and foremost she is a 100% local, female small business owner! Aretha embodies everything about this brand and it is reflected in her products: sophistacated, glamourous, and fashionable.
These designer shoes each have names, which her (lawyer) husband came up with, like ‘The Mile High’, ‘Catwalk’ ‘Seduction’ ‘Embrace’ .
There is a Comfortable sponge inside the shoe – your feet will thank you!
The bags all have structure and shape that can stand when put down, which is ideal. The bags are so fabulous that Glamour magazine South Africa has the signature AB bag to be featured in an upcoming issue.
How much will you pay?
Shoes retail from R1290 – R1990, bag prices are still to be confirmed. http://www.arethabauwens.com/
Photos by Sevie Phiri (@irunsmokey on Instagram)
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