Q&A: Designer Rina Kutama of Ri.Ch Factory adds Zambian flair to Levi’s in new collaboration

Rina and Dimo Kutama, the newly-wedded founders of Ri.Ch Factory are known for their fun, brightly colored African prints and jaw dropping designs. Based in Johannesburg, the brand draws from Zambian influences and dresses local celebrities including Nomzamo Mbatha and Terry Pheto.

Ri.Ch Factory is on their way to stardom, having announced their collaboration with Aero, a trip to Paris with Flying Fish in 2018 and their debut showing at South African Fashion Week 2017.

The brand recently collaborated with denim brand Levi’s to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic Trucker III jacket at the Levi’s Tailor Shop in Braamfontein. The Levi’s Artist Residency, which ran throughout September and October, played host to artists Seth Pimentel and Sakhile Cebekhulu.We sat down with Rina to talk about Ri.Ch Factory’s collaboration at the Levi’s Artist Residency, advertising on social media and Zambia’s chitenge cloth.

Tell us about your relationship to the fabric you use in your designs?
My parents would always bring me chitenge from Zambia when they went home, and it was the fabric that was around for me to work with. So naturally, I started using that fabric and I grew to really love it and with that I learned the history of the fabric and grew to love my heritage even more.

You have dressed celebrities like Nomzamo Mbatha and others. How did this come about?
I met Nomzamo at a shoot I was styling. We clicked and she wanted us to dress her. We dressed her for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. The outfit was a hit; it so well received and we blew up from there.

Can you tell us how you leverage your work on Instagram?
Social media is a great way to reach many different people from different worlds and worldwide. It’s also a way to interact with your consumer. As much as they watch you get to watch them too. Who they are, what they like, what they do and how they spend. You get to connect with your customer and see what they like and what sells

How did your collaboration with Levi’s come about and what was your experience like?
Levi’s approached us to come in and take over the Levi’s store and this was exciting because Dimo and I love distressing jeans and we used to customize sneakers to make extra cash in tertiary, so this allowed us to play creatively again which was so much fun. We got a chance to meet a lot of different people and it was great creating something different for every customer that walked in. Follow Ri.Ch Factory

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