Cape Town Creative Academy design student Marli Grobbelaar started sleepwear and intimates brand Koeksuster as a project for a business studies class in 2016. A year later she turned it into an online store with the occasional pop-up shop stocking bralettes, t-shirts and lingerie and a blog for girls and womxn.
“Koeksuster is a feminist intimates and sleepwear brand, promoting social change,” states its site.
The brand recently launched its first look book titled Thrills & Frills — an intimate shoot featuring models in Koeksuster and soft pink sheer and frill fits — and introduces Koeksuster as a fun and sensual brand, aimed at self-empowerment and characterised by whimsical moments.
”We want to promote a message that tells girls you can be of any size, colour or sexual orientation and still wear beautiful lingerie purely for yourself,” according to Marli.
On the name Koeksuster, Marli says, “Koeksuster is a play on the word ‘koeksister’ [a confectionary treat]. The word ‘koek’ is Afrikaans slang for a woman who is extremely conservative. ‘Suster’ is the Afrikaans word for sister; and so Koeksuster is a combination of all of the above to form my alter ego.”
Meanwhile, the Koeksuster blog is aimed at being a safe space for womxn and continuing the brand’s ethos on womxn empowerment. “We believe in the power of sisterhood and girls supporting girls,” according to the site, which features articles and interviews with womxn from different walks of life. Follow Koeksuster.