Let me ask you, how many African swimwear lines do you know that are designed and made in Africa by an African? (I’ll wait…)
Well before ShweshweKini, I was aware of only two others. I am really excited to have this opportunity to share this specific brand’s story because of how authentic its back story is and how it has gone out of its way to appeal to the African market.
First question I asked Mapitso, the brand’s director, when I finally got to talk to her, was the meaning of the word Shweshwe (I think the rest of the word ‘kini’ is self explanatory). Shweshwe is a fun twist of the word “seShoeShoe”. It refers to special fabric that the Basotho men and women have used for decades to create bespoke traditional dresses and outfits. A simple google search will show you that it is indeed gorgeous fabric and will explain its origin more in-depth. Mapitso has made it easier for everyone else who doesn’t have the Sotho tongue to pronounce the word.
ShweshweKini caters to the typical African woman’s body; hips, thighs, bum and all things curvy, ALL while providing comfort and that luxurious appeal.
I implore you to read widely about the Shweshwe fabric because then you will understand how prestigious (and expensive) of a material it is. In deliberately using the fabric, ShweshweKini continues to uphold culture, while endearing to a younger generation that was did not always have access to seShoeShoe fabrics.
I am in love with the cool colors, vibrant patterns and cuts and designs of all swimwear pieces. Not to mention it caters to all shapes and sizes. You can even have your swimsuit custom made to fit perfectly!
Keep your eyes and ears open for the launch of ShweshweKini’s online store!