Friday, January 16, 2015

A Rozanne & Pushkin experience:

When walking into Rozanne’s store her presence is imminent even if she herself is not in the store. The aura in store completely radiates what she is about by her stocking varying styles of garments ranging from street style; to grunge; to feminine. Rozanne and Pushkin is a little vibrant boutique filled with unique finds from local designers (Wooden Lace by Ulricke Laubscher; Coji by Mandy Popper, Public Display of Affection by Ellie, Joel Janse Van Vuuren and Half Wolf by Brett Rogers), four Australian brands and one Californian brand alongside international items that she personally sources.
This is the Half Wolf menswear range by Brett Rogers
Coji accessories by Mandy Popper
Wooden Lace accessories by Ulricke Laubscher
Rozanne’s personality is happy and bubbly, and so the store is a perfect personification of her. Her staff are an extension of her brand which Rozanne takes great pride in and so the staff are always friendly and bursting with life. I was privileged to interview Bee, one of Rozanne’s assistants who work in the store. I learned that Bee is a business management student who has greatly benefitted from her time with Rozanne. I shared her feelings as I too felt as though I had managed to learn multiple lessons about the fashion industry after a few hours with Rozanne, most importantly though, I felt like I’d made a new friend.
Rozanne Immerman
Bee and Rozanne
What I like about Rozanne and Pushkin is that there is always a maximum of three of her international stock in her store, unlike fast fashion retailers. The store is targeted mainly at the consumer who would like a unique product that they cannot find anywhere else. Often when I’m looking for individualistic pieces to wear for SA Fashion Week I find myself browsing through the rails of Rozanne’s store.
Rozanne grew up being exposed to the creative world through her mum who used to be a buyer for Woolworths. Rozanne would help her mum from the age of just six years old with photo shoots; she would also attend fashion shows and styling workshops. It’s safe to say that there is a strong creative gene in their family.  Rozanne then went on to study fine arts after school, however she didn't enjoy it and instead she found herself studying fashion design at a college in Durban, where she did a four year degree.
Whilst studying there she entered several competitions. Particularly speaking, in the last year of her studies she entered numerous competitions and after a lot hard work she managed to place first for all the competitions she had entered. The last competition she won was the Durban fashion experience held at Gateway shopping mall where she won a R300 000 rent free prize to open a store in Gateway. Thus ‘Rozanne and Pushkin’ was born.
 After some time she decided to experience a new journey and to do so she moved to Johannesburg and opened her second store in the Rosebank shopping centre, where she is currently based.
 For those of you who don't know, her stores name is a combination of her own name ‘Rozanne’; and ‘Pushkin’ the name of her pet hedgehog. All Rozanne’s animals are involved in the business, her dog Emily, a rescue dog from the SPCA, is the fruit behind the brand  “#Emilysabitch;” which Rozanne came up with after going through a bad patch. The story behind this brand was to allow women to go to “war” against people who treated them badly by allowing them to put on a fashion uniform (her Emily brand) and in turn creating an army of strong women.

The above two images are from Rozannes #Emilysabitch range
Her other dog named Stanley is the inspiration behind “Stanley Cares” a new tee line coming soon to the store. A portion of the profits earned from Stanley’s brand will be going towards the Kitty and Puppy Haven where Rozanne adopted Stanley from. She has also recently introduced menswear into her store by stocking local designer’s garments; her own line alongside Joel Janse Van Vuuren and Brett Rogers. Rozanne and Pushkin now has an online store up and running. Be sure to check it out!
Something important Rozanne said to me in the interview was that "My store is like my home, my staff is like my family, my customers and even my suppliers are all like my family. I have to be with them every day. If I don't like them then what the hell am I doing? Why am I doing this? You want to be around people and things that you like and that's basically how I source my goods, based on things I like and what my consumers would like." This I found matched her slogan “Happy clothes for happy people” perfectly. Rozanne is a breath of fresh air and her journey and life lessons that she had briefly shared with me, inspire me to push hard for a bright future within the fashion industry.
I think I now realize what makes me so happy.
The clothes I buy and wear.
And the people I meet along the way.
Retail therapy?
Yes, please.

Rozanne and I outside her store. The dress and sunglasses I'm wearing are both from Rozanne and Puskin.


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