R10,000
  • Matte Nolim, a local African luxury designer outlet, offered makoti blankets for R10,000 a piece.
  • All four sold out, in two days.
  • Similar blankets are sold at PEP Stores for R230, and if you search a little further you can find one for R125. 
  • In 2019, Gucci introduced the same blanket and are selling it on their website for a little over R15,000.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Matte Nolim, a South African luxury fashion outlet offered what is popularly known as a makoti shawl or makoti blanket for R10,000 – and all four sold out within two days.

Mathew Nolim Siyethemba Duma, a woman's luxury apparel designer, is the brains behind the luxury brand.

According to Duma, the brand is inspired by African clothing items which are taken for granted, which he feels should be appreciated more for their quality and rich heritage.

"I've been borrowing a lot from African culture, from what I grew up with and what was looked down upon within my culture, and trying to repackage that as African Luxury," Duma said.  

The brown checkered blanket trimmed with fringe ends, much like the makoti shawl, comes in a medium size (110 cm x 130 cm) and is made of mohair.

Blanket Matte Nolim sold out
Blanket Matte Nolim sold out

The luxury blanket costs R10,000 but you will pay an additional R1,500 for taxes and possibly more for shipping costs, depending on where your order needs to be delivered.

Twitter was abuzz over the price when Duma advertised the product last week, but he says the reason why it's expensive is to "change the mindset that black people have towards the things they were brought up with."

"Everyone looks down upon the things we found in out grannies' homes and you don't look at the quality of them.

"No one really tells you how great a quality they have, and that blanket is one of those things. Luxury is meant to last generations and lifetimes, that blanket is one of those things," Duma said.  

The prima shawl blanket known as tshalana in Sepedi or itshali in isiZulu is popularly worn around the shoulder by a makoti during lobola negotiations to complete her modest traditional attire.

A similar looking 170 cm X170 cm blanket – much bigger than the luxury version – costs R300 at PEP Stores.

PEP Stores's Prima Shawl blanket
PEP Store's Prima Shawl blanket

On Makotis Africa, a local online African clothing and fabric store, a variety of similar blankets cost R125 each.

Makotis Africa's Aranda Piccolo Shawl
Makotis Africa's Aranda Piccolo Shawl

Duma concedes that the blanket is similar to the ones found at other local stores, but he insists that while they may look the same, they do not the same feel.  

“Both are mohair but the PEP one is a much softer weight, it's not a heavy weight," Duma said. "This [R10,000 blanket] is not exactly what my granny used to use. This is of slightly higher quality. This you won’t normally find at PEP."

To those who think the Matte Nolim's blanket is the same as PEP's, Duma said his is made of "a thicker more luxurious mohair."

Gucci

A similar product made its first appearance on the Gucci website in 2019 and has now made a comeback.

According to the Gucci website, the reversible design blanket has the GG pattern printed on the one side.

The Gucci version is 145cm x 170cm in size and sells for the equivalent of R15,000.

Gucci's GG and check throw blanket
Gucci's GG and check throw blanket

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