Reggi Xaba (45), founder and managing director of ZETU Shoes, talks to us about what goes into running a successful footwear business.
I’ve always been fascinated by the history and culture of South African art. As a child growing up in Umlazi township, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), I was surrounded by people who showcased love for their culture by incorporating it in their clothing. Handcrafted shoes with embellishments, cultural colours and designs intrigued me. This inspired me to pursue a career in design.
In 1993, I graduated with a diploma in clothing design from Technikon Natal (now Durban University of Technology). The following year, I started working as a trainee footwear designer at Bata in order to learn how to design shoes. I also learnt how to manage the whole production cycle. After this, I wanted to know more about the retail side.
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