The Social Market Style | Interview with Founder Maitele Wawe


Following the Social Market’s first birthday last weekend, I spoke to Maitele Wawe the founder of the ever so popular Pretoria based market. Our street style correspondent @papamoshe attended the event’s first birthday to capture the bold street style

The Social Market has garnered a great following since you started. Has its popularity surprised you or is this what you planned all along?

My team and I started out advertising the event only on social media. I cannot say that this is how we planned it. It just got so much attention, I guess because we built the foundation on fashion and the other elements, art and music.

It has been surprising but I had a vision for it and I think my vision is materialising well.

You and your team refer to yourselves as Fashion Rebels, how did that name come about?

In the beginning we used to call ourselves Team Wear Anything that was me and my partner back in 2012.

We were dressing up in whatever we could find and in what we thought would seem stylish or could eventually be iconic in terms of style.

Fashion Rebels is a movement. The movement is about tapping into unisex or gender neutral clothing and breaking boundaries. Like guys going back to wearing high waist jeans and platform shoes and your hair is on another level. Fashion rebels is about rebelling against the trends.

Most of the people who come to the Social Market have a bold sense of style, would you say that is something that is synonymous with the youth in Pretoria?

I can bet you that it’s something that you only find at The Social Market. Right now there’s a lack of events that are about connectivity and sharing of ideas and being in a space of creatives; young people who are doing their own thing.

Tell us about your experiences, triumphs and difficulties when you hosted your first few Social Markets

The biggest difficulty with creating something new is that at first people don’t understand what you are doing and while they don’t understand they would have rather laugh at you or critique you to a point where they want you to feel that what you are doing is wrong.

Pretoria is not like Joburg where most things are accepted and there’s a better footprint with industries like the creative arts.

What excites you about being a young entrepreneur and creative in South Africa right now?

It’s the power to influence other young creatives that feel like they are underprivileged or need capital to start a business or the ones that feel that their parents are stepping in their way to doing whatever they want to do. I was recently on 100% Youth on SABC1 and yesterday on Top Billin and I have so many young people telling me how I inspire them and that is exciting.

Photography: Moss @papamoshe

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