“We embrace curves!” Cape Town clothing brand Ruff Tung is committed to inclusivity

Sara-Jayne Makwala King talks to the women behind local retail store Ruff Tung, Therapy.

– Ruff Tung was founded by the late Jean-Paul Botha in 1999

– Since then, Botha’s friend and mentee Bridget Pickering has driven the brand from strength to strength

– She and partner Di Forster say they want all women of all sizes to feel beautiful in their clothes

“My mother’s best advice was: if you’re considering a life in fashion, always remember that it’s the woman who wears your designs, not the other way around.”

That’s the advice local fashion designer and Ruff Tung clothing brand owner Bridget Pickering is taking.

Pickering and her business partner Di Forster are the dream team behind female-run clothing store Therapy, based in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

Ruff Tung was founded by the late Jean-Paul Botha in 1999 and after his death in 2013, Pickering – his friend and former mentee – decided to pursue his vision.

Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength and has become a favorite of some of South Africa’s most recognizable faces.

But Pickering and Forster say their goal is to create clothing and clothing shopping experiences for all women.

Regardless of your shape and size, you should feel just as good as anyone else.

Bridget Pickering, Owner/Designer – Ruff Tung/Therapy

Never underestimate what I can wear a size 46 can wear.

Bridget Pickering, Owner/Designer – Ruff Tung/Therapy

I underestimated the emotional impact of how the curved design opened so many doors and windows in the lives of our ladies – insecurities were turned into celebrations, says Pickering.

Di Forster joined Pickering three years ago and says he takes great pride in providing personalized service to customers.

She recognizes that for some women, shopping for clothes is less about pleasure and more about necessity.

She wants to change that.

We have clients who have beautiful bodies but see themselves so obscured.

Di Forster, Director – Ruff Tung Therapy

“Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem about success sums up my role in the store,” says Forster. “If I can make a woman feel better about herself, then I’ve succeeded!”

Both women are passionate about supporting and giving a platform to local brands.

We have 38 brands in the store, we might even have to tear down a back wall because we want more!

Bridget Pickering, Owner/Designer – Ruff Tung/Therapy

Click above to listen to the full interview:

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