The Duchess of Sussex was bowled over when she collected a pair of designer jeans commissioned from one of South Africa’s up-and-coming brands – and could not wait to try them on.
Meghan could only say, ‘Oh my, oh my’ when she saw the skinny fit jeans during a visit to Johannesburg’s Victoria Yards, a popular collection of design studios, art galleries and stores housed in a former laundry.
And when a tiny pair of dungarees, made for her son Archie, were handed over, her words summed them up: “Very cute.”
Meghan soaked up the creative vibes when she visited the stores and studios just after lunchtime in an area of the city that has been transformed by the regeneration of the early 19th century buildings.
Lesedi Masemola, manager of Tshepo’s showroom, which features the company’s workshops and studios, said: “From what we’ve seen on the internet, she’s the type of person who loves skinny fit so that’s what we made.
“When she saw the jeans, the words she said were, ‘Oh my, oh my’, she was very impressed, she loved the jeans, she said she couldn’t wait to try them on and said, ‘Wow’.
And when she saw the dungarees, she said, ‘Very cute’.”
The manager added: “I think they are very, very lovely.”
Tshepo is a premium lifestyle brand that has a modern contemporary take on the use of denim and cotton.
Meghan’s designer jeans cost 2,100 South African rand (£113) but for Archie’s dungarees, Mr Masemola said “that was a special order we’ve never done before so I couldn’t give you a price”.
Meghan’s unannounced visit came as her 10-day tour of southern Africa with four-month-old son Archie and Harry, who is in Malawi, drew to a close.
A post on the denim brand’s website, thought to be from founder Tshepo Mohala, said: “About 4 weeks ago I got a call from the British embassy. The Duchess of Sussex placed an order for a pair of jeans and today she came to collect them personally…”
He added that he “surprised” Meghan with a pair of dungarees for Archie and “the rest is history”.
Pictures highlighting the visit were posted on the Sussexes’ official Instagram account with Meghan seen hugging some young girls and visiting various designers and studios.
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While in Johannesburg today, The Duchess of Sussex visited Victoria Yards, which celebrates the power of community, bringing local artisans and “makers” together to rebuild, support and learn from each other on a holistic level. It was an exceptional afternoon where The Duchess had the chance to connect with the children and founders of the phenomenal programme for kids’ development Timbuktu in The Valley. She was also struck by the local denim designer who founded eponymous brand Tshepo who shared this info about the logo for his line: “The crown on my jeans represents the three ladies who raised me. Enjoy wearing this crown.” Such a beautiful and touching sentiment! Artists, artisans, sculptors, metal workers and carpenters are all part of the fabric of Victoria Yards, but it also utilizes the power of The DICE programme which supports several other local organisations in their work with marginalised youth and women. These include: 94 Colours (run by The Duchess’ guides for the day, Hector and Sibusiso), CDP (a development programme for young unemployed and marginalised women that provides training to start creative enterprises), Enke (rebuilds the confidence and self-belief of unemployed youth through training and practical experience), 26’10 South (an architecture firm designing a local youth centre) and ReimagiNation (works with local secondary school students to create a social and creative enterprising mindset). Stay tuned for more updates from this special afternoon... #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica
The duchess’s first stop was Sneakers 4 Change, an organisation that collects and donates trainers to those less fortunate.
Next she visited Young Bucks – a small business that hand-makes books from recycled materials, and her final stop was Tshepo.
Meghan also toured a small market exhibiting some of the items you can find at Victoria Yards, and listened to a performance by Belita Andre, a spoken word artist.