Preeti Kapoor moved to Cape Town, South Africa, in 1997 from Hamburg, Germany, and 10 years later, with her business partner, Sasha Aleksic, set up Scalini, a luxury boutique in the Mother City, after they had a challenge finding European designers locally.
Scalini brings luxury European clothing and footwear brands, such as Sergio Rossi, Fratelli Rossetti, Melissa Odabash and Eres swimwear and Penny Black by Maxmara, to South Africa.
For Kapoor, it has been a fascinating journey full of learning.
“Just learning the lifestyle here and what the women like has been interesting. In Hamburg, the women are a lot more dressed up and a lot more formal, whereas here, the women are more relaxed, easy and casual,” she says.
But every business, no matter how glamorous and successful, has its share of trials. Kapoor says her biggest challenge is sustainability.
“We’ve been in the business for almost 10 years and to sustain being in business for so long is challenging. Providing our customers with what they like has also been quite a challenge, good quality, good cost and good material, sustaining that has been a challenge, and we’re happy to be able to do it and still be in business despite all the tough times lately.”
But the good parts, says the fashion entrepreneur, are the shopping trips to Germany, Milan, and others countries in Europe.
“It’s always a highlight because it’s always so inspiring to go to Europe. Seeing the fashion makes you feel so inspired, and you don’t want to give up. You always want to continue dressing women beautifully and elegantly.”
On what clothes mean to her: “You don’t always have to follow the trends, it’s all about what suits you and your body type.”
Scalini recently partnered with UNICEF for a fundraising gala in Johannesburg, where the store donated a clutch to the organization. Kapoor says she partnered with UNICEF because violence against girls is on the rise. She says no girl should ever have to go through abuse.
Her message for the victims? “Whatever happens in one’s life, we can get through it with the correct amount of help and support. Nothing is impossible.” – Written by Edith Ngcobo