Mikaels Gents Lounge that opened at the end of last year offers middle class men a warm and sophisticated shopping experience on bespoke suits. The high end boutique is situated at the Craft Market in Broadhurst Industrial. Alongside it there is Wiona`s – a high end ladies shoe and handbag boutique. These shops are owned by a young passionate Iona Omphile – an Image Consultant and entrepreneur. She declares her love for enterprising which is pushing her business pursuits. “All of these things started with a thought, it was slowly built up until a point where it is a full picture,” she said. Omphile said Wiona`s contributed so much to the conceptualisation of Mikaels Gents Lounge because every time the ladies came to buy they complained that they can’t buy shoes for their men, and hence she was forced to launch men’s line. “Our clients are about growth and about progress in their lives because the brands that we stock are the brands that you will find in New York or London and we have clients from those places as well that we send shoes to,” she said. She said that with a men store they wanted to make it more masculine and design the space in a way that it will give men that comfort and an easy shopping experience. According to Omphile, all the products in their stores are made only of leather.
The gents lounge has a grooming corner where men find facial products or can even come to just cut their hair and as such they will be able to see the store and have suits designed for them. Clients come by appointment to allow them time to select the fabrics for the suit. She said the suits and shirts are custom-made, but shoes can be bought right away. She said the reason why they have incorporated all aspects of grooming within the men store is because they know that the first thing that someone notices of another person is the face, and skin is that one thing that needs to be kept good in the life of someone. She said it is important for people to understand that quality matters more than a price tag. “Men love fashion, and I have been pleasantly surprised. We see men coming here to just take even five shoes. I thought it will take education for them to understand this concept but it has been effortless,” she said. Omphile said they have made sure that wherever a shoe launches in the world they have it at their store so that their clients can be up to par with the international trends. They cater for 25-years old to 60-year olds in the women store. She said that most of their products are from Brazil which is so advanced in the leather industry even though they do not have as much beef as in Botswana. They have since identified a company in Brazil to come and set up in Botswana and produce leather goods locally. For males the shoes start at P2000 while the bespoke suits start at P5000 and the shirts ranges from P600 while the female shop can offer lower prices.