What do you get when you combine the silky skills of one of SA’s top fashion entrepreneurs with the online prowess of one of SA’s largest independent end-to-end e-commerce teams?
The answer is www.andthreads.co.za – a collaboration between Paul Simon (YDE founder) and Fontera Digital’s Skunk Works team.

&Threads is an online fashion boutique that aims to provide the SA market with direct access to the growing talent of young fashion designers and a retail solution for the designers themselves, who get an easier route to market that side steps the traditional “buyer – seller” dynamic and the extensive costs of going it alone.

“It’s YDE inspired but not connected. We have empowered the designer to think about what they want as an up and coming designer,” Paul Simon adds. “They have all the freedom. They choose what they want to put on the site, decide on the price and we take it from there – in this way they are able to make and sell product at full retail price, instead of becoming dependent on an already challenging wholesale model.”

“It’s a Win-Win really – we are facilitating and enabling brands and designers with online retailing skills that are becoming an essential part of fashion retailing. The consumer gets an uncluttered, carefully curated, easy to use and ultra convenient shopping experience,” says Simon Leps, CEO of Fontera.

The store is built by the experienced team at Fontera’s Cape Town HQ using Magento, the world’s most successful e-commerce platform. Only launched in February, this year, &Threads is seeing double-digit growth in terms of traffic and sales, as well as garnering more and more interest from SA fashion designers.

“We are blown away by the interest from the fashion industry – providing an innovative and cost effective alternate route to market certainly seems like something they have been looking for, instead of being forced to comply with the status quo. Our expectation is to take the lead position as a truly proud supporter of the local fashion industry,” says Paul Simon.

&Threads is backed the founders and hopes to be profitable by the end of this year.