By Nomali Cele
“Real luxury takes time.” – Vika Shipalana
Vika Shipilana self-identifies as a luxury connoisseur. The branding expert has been at the forefront of luxury experiences for nearly four years. Having spent her time in corporate and working as a brand consultant, Vika Shipilana pivoted in 2015 to the luxury space and hasn’t looked back. She joined Pernod Ricard South Africa as the channel director of prestige. The idea of the job was to introduce high-net-worth individuals to the company’s luxury offering. After her tenure at Pernod Ricard South Africa, she started her own luxury consultancy.
Currently, she creates luxury experiences for both individuals and brands through her company VBS Luxury Group. Nobody understands the power of a niche as Vika Shipalana does.
When asked about the growth of Africans’ interest in luxury in an interview, Vika Shipalana attributed this growth to being increasingly globalised and having access to a bigger world through digital. “Exposure is very critical for any human being’s ability to grow and learn. When you know better, you do better. Most Africans haven’t always had the access or the means to travel in the past and, therefore, it wasn’t always easy to know things happening in other parts of the world,” she said
Since going independent and launching VBS Luxury Group, Vika Shipalana has sunk her teeth into diversifying and creating running threads between different disciplines in the luxury space: Fashion meets events meets experiences.
Speaking to Gugulethu Mfuphi on Kaya Bizz, Vika Shipalana mentioned that the experiences she offers through her business are things “money can’t buy.” They put the luxury-loving high-net-worth individuals in the right rooms with the right people – the experiences come through only contacts that have been cultivated from years of networking.
But she isn’t only interested in helping Africans consume international luxury. She’s taking African luxury brands and goods to the rest of the world – starting with fashion superstars such as Thebe Magugu and Maxhosa. Originality, craftsmanship and attention to detail are what will give African luxury brands a fighting chance in the global luxury market.
“Luxury isn’t just about money and price points. It’s a way of being, it’s a way of living. If you’re an appreciator of quality, of authenticity, of what it takes to craft something special then you are a luxury consumer,” Shipalana said on Kaya Bizz
With this description, people who are conscious and considerate about the quality and work that goes into what they consume are luxury-adjacent. These are the people who’d move mountains to get exactly what they want in the exact stitching they want.
Listen to Vika Shipalana in conversation with Gugulethu Mfuphi on Kaya Bizz
Featured image by Marvin Daniel Sinclair