In addition to Japan, the brand already has its own store in Marseille in France and supplies independents in France and the United Kingdom, proving that South African fashion has appeal in the international arena.

For local shoppers, there are Holmes Bros stores in Cape Town (Lifestyle Centre, Kloof Street), Johannesburg (Rosebank’s the Zone), and in Durban (La Lucia Mall and Water Crest Mall). Holmes Bros gear is also stocked online and in select independent stores throughout South Africa.

Holmes Bros grew out of a love for the ocean and the South African community. Founders Gary and Laurie Holmes are active Durban surfers, which is where their inspiration comes from.

The men’s wear brand avoids the mainstream and mixes a classic surf approach with ‘Africa’ tones. All of the garments are 100% locally-made in South Africa. To add to the mix, the store also makes surfboards, which has a distinctly different design philosophy.

The Freak’s Store contacted Holmes Bros, who were happy to hear that the fashion chain wanted to stock their brand. Laurie adds, "They had researched us, the history of our brand, and they knew more about us than we do. It was a real pleasure to work and hang out with such smart, refreshing, and enthusiastic people.”

Gary says, "We arrived at their flagship store in downtown Tokyo at about 14:00 and it was chaos from the word go. We sold more than half the stock in one afternoon. Every customer wanted their picture taken with us and wanted us to sign catalogues, stickers, and their t-shirts that they had just bought. Japan had not seen anything like Holmes Bros."

The Holmes Bros is working on a range with The Freak’s Store for the summer of 2018 and its Japanese agent, Kaori, is about to launch a Holmes Bros website specifically for Japan.

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