Kitting Out SA’s Trendiest Tots

Kitting Out SA’s Trendiest Tots


Banini — the brainchild of Beverley Field — has moms cooing over its blend of African shweshwe fabric and cotton prints, kitting out their trendsetting tots in its signature reversible wrap dress.

“I wanted to bring something to the market that had Eurocentric styling mixed with Afrocentric colours and fabrics. We started with bed linen for kids but it was when we launched the clothing range that things really took off,” says Field.

Field is a branding expert by trade and knew nothing about clothing manufacturing when she started Banini. Today most rooms in her home have been given over to the creation of her kids fashion range.

“It was a steep learning curve. I’ve had to learn everything about clothing manufacture, and find skilled people who are as focused on quality as I am,” she says.

Banini targets upper-end consumers through niche fairs and markets, and in the past six months has seen a dramatic rise in the number of online enquiries.

“All of a sudden people are aware of the brand and this has driven a significant increase in demand. Fortunately, up until now we’ve grown organically and the business is now in a position to manage this level of growth,” says Field, who has benefited from the input of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship since the beginning of 2013.

Although it’s more expensive to manufacture in South Africa, Field is firm about Banini being a South African product. “The decline of the local textile industry and the flood of cheap Chinese imports made me sad. South Africa has beautiful and unique textile designs, and I believe that needs to be harnessed and celebrated,” she says.

Success lesson:

Capture a lucrative and growing kids fashion market with a unique range that blends Afrocentric fabric and colour with Eurocentric styling.

The Beauty in Hard Work. We Chat to Jenna Clifford