Founded in 2005 by fashion icon, designer and stylist Shaldon Kopman, Naked Ape has designed and crafted luxury bespoke garments for discerning individuals.
Kopman grew up in Johannesburg where he ‘gypsied’ around with his single mom before going into the fashion industry as a model and soon became a highly respected producer, creative director and stylist.
He lived in New York in the early 90s where he developed a keen interest in the language of hip-hop, ‘what it meant, what it was about, the history’ and launched his clothing label, Naked Ape, in 2010 with the dream of demonstrating what could be done in the South African luxury space.
His signature style embraces a buy less wear more philosophy of multi-functional, well-considered pieces of good quality and in beautiful fabrics that can take the wearer a long way and into a variety of situations simply by being exceptionally well designed.
In the latter part of 2014 dawned the extension of the Naked Ape brand – a flagship store in the trendy and fashionable shopping district of Rosebank, The Firs.
The long-standing philosophy of the brand is the offering of a more tailored fit that suits and flatters the physique of our clients. Naked Ape is aimed at the discerning, sophisticated, diverse international audience, seeking a unique style with an air of opulence.
Naked Ape has extended its line-up to include ready-to-wear garments and accessories, bridging the gap between the individualised tailored items, with off-the-rack attire, resulting in immediate gratification. Kopman believes passionately in the importance of a cohesive fashion industry structure where designers and skilled garment artisans work closely together. He states, “designers cannot exist without highly skilled artisans. We need to work hand in hand – we each add something to the other”.
Sheldon Kopman’s Naked Ape design is featured in the Zeitz MOCAA exhibition, 21 YEARS: Making Histories with South African Fashion Week (2018 – 2019).