Not far away from Fourways’ glitzy Montecasino, there’s a turn-off to the Diepsloot Mall that takes you to Alvada Creations — a fashion boutique teeming with unusual designs and printed fabric. It isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find in one of Joburg’s poorest townships, notorious for having hundreds of thousands of people, all squashed into 12km². "I’m living the dream," says Tshukudu Salva Pasha, 29, the founder of Alvada. When she meets the FM, she is a walking advertisement for her product. She’s wearing a classic all-black ensemble with a white border trim — a modern take on traditional Xhosa attire — along with a heavily beaded necklace. From her tiny boutique on the corner of Tlou and Buffalo streets in Extension 2 of Diepsloot, Pasha creates the sort of outfits that you might see on global catwalks, alongside (distinctly South African) brightly coloured shirts, beaded pants and sheer skirts. Remarkably, Phasha even showcased her wares at the Torino Fashion Week in Italy i...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now