Launched in 2000 by Colleen Eitzen, Neil Roake and Amanda Laird Cherry as a stand alone store in Durban, The Space has always had a simple concept: partner with and showcase like-minded designers by renting out clothing rails in the store. This allows designers to make a business out of their passion. The concept was successful from the start. Ten stores later, The Space continues to open up more shop space for local designers.
Colleen Eitzen is a firm believer in the fashion revolution and the awareness that it brings about. Whilst in conversation with her father years ago (when The Space only had 3 stores), he mentioned to Colleen that The Space, and it’s collective, was able to support extended staff and their dependants. Whether the employment was in the retail stores themselves, or in the designers CMT’s or directly employed by one of the designers that stock The Space, the smaller contributions by the many parties involved, make for a bigger picture. This made it all very real to Colleen as she released how important her business was - not only to her, but the many people touched by The Space and her own label. Keeping production local and making sure that the work is sustainably and ethically created – the ripple effect of the South African fashion industry filters through into communities and encourages growth in local skills.
Today Colleen has her own CMT and design studio where she employs 20 people.