Designer Rina Chunga, the founder of Rich Factory, started her business as a student trying to make extra money while studying fashion at the London International School of Fashion (LISOF) in 2009, using Zambian prints to make clothing.
“I’m originally from Zambia, so producing contemporary African designs was a natural fit for me."
After graduating from design school, and having always loved and worn African-print fabric, Chungshe saw an opportunity in the market for authentic African-print designs, she snatched the opportunity with both hands and began developing her business Rich Factory.
I love how Africans are proud of their heritage and embracing their roots. That became a pushing point for me, and I have the clothes to back it up— Rina Chunga, fashion designer Rich Factory
Custom-made pieces are crafted in-house by Chunga, while the ready-to-wear items are made at a factory in Johannesburg.
She says that authenticity is what makes her designs unique. Chunga handles the prints with respect and plays with modern structure and shapes that aren’t usually seen in African-print designs.
Social media has been a big marketing tool for Rich Factory. The designs have been worn on red carpets around the world by the likes of Nomzamo Mbatha who Chunga says has given her brand a lot of traction.
Dressing her for the Cannes red-carpet was awesome. Seeing ‘my baby’ at an international event was definitely one of the highlights of the business.— Rina Chunga, fashion designer Rich Factory
What sets Rich Factory apart is first of all the fabrics that I use: the chitenge fabric. These are the fabrics that we’ve grown up wearing. I know more about them than most people, so I treat them in a certain way that other people might not. Luckily in South Africa, most people do also get their fabrics from one supplier, and I’m lucky enough to still have my family send me down fabrics from Zambia so that already gives me a unique print.— Rina Chunga, fashion designer Rich Factory
Rich Factory’s prices range from R600 to R 3 500, depending on how intricate the design is. Check out the store at Corner 4th Avenue & 11th Street, Parkhurst
This article first appeared on 702 : Rina Chunga takes the lead in the African-print industry