Home-grown SA surfer style with a quirky African twist: This is the aesthetic that makes men’s fashion brand Holmes Brothers stand out from the crowd.

PHOTO: Philippa Harvey.

Now, The Bros, as the brand is affectionately known as in Durban, are taking Japan by storm. Uber-cool fashion retailer – The Freak’s Store, which only stocks the season’s hottest labels, picked up on Holmes Bros and the brand experienced a knock-out launch at the flagship store in downtown Tokyo, with every single Holmes Bros garment flying off the shelves within a week.
Japan may be one of the world’s toughest fashion markets but the Holmes Bros’ combination of contemporary design, laid-back surfer chill and a distinct Afrocentric flavour was an immediate hit.
This is yet another feather in the cap for the brand, which has its own store in Marseille in France and supplies independents in France and the UK, proving that SA fashion has plenty of appeal in the international arena. For local shoppers, there are Holmes Bros stores in Cape Town (Lifestyle Centre, Kloof Street), Johannesburg (Rosebank’s the Zone) and in Durban (La Lucia Mall and Water Crest Mall) and Holmes Bros gear is also stocked online and in select independent stores throughout South Africa.
Holmes Bros grew out of a love for the ocean and the South African community. Founders Gary and Laurie Holmes are active and passionate Durban surfers which is where their inspiration comes from. Their men’s wear brand deliberately avoids the mainstream and mixes a classic surf approach with vibrant tones that shout ‘Africa’ from the rooftops! All of their garments are 100% locally-made in South Africa. To add to the mix, they make surfboards that, like their apparel, have a distinctly different design philosophy.
It all started when The Freak’s Store recently contacted the Brothers, who were ecstatic to hear that the fashion chain wanted to stock their brand. Laurie explains, “They had researched us, the history of our brand and they knew more about us than we do. It was a real pleasure to work and hang out with such smart, refreshing, and enthusiastic people.” Gary says about the trip, “We arrived at their flagship store in downtown Tokyo at about 2pm and it was chaos from the word go. We sold more than half the stock in one afternoon. Every customer wanted their picture taken with us and wanted us to sign catalogues, stickers, and their t-shirts that they had just bought. Japan had not seen anything like Holmes Bros.”
After the launch, Yuta, the manager of the flagship store, told the Bros that it was the most successful launch ever. The latest news is that the Bros are working on a range with The Freak’s Store for the summer of 2018 and their Japanese agent Kaori, is about to launch a Holmes Bros website specifically for Japan. There are definitely big things to come for the brand. After all – it’s no mean feat to be big in Japan.
For more information please visit: http://holmesbrotherhood.co.za
Contact: Philippa Harvey – philippa@harveyfox.co.za
By Kreanne Jaipal

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