A culture of excellence that has transformed the design industry in South Africa.
Bold and innovative, The Guild Group's brands have established a sustainable creative and commercial infrastructure.
In the process, South African design has found a fresh and distinctive voice in a highly competitive arena.
The various brands in The Guild Group work symbiotically to support and feed each other, covering the African design market from accessible to collectible. Strategically, the platforms have been established to encompass almost every aspect needed to build a credible, robust design industry. Through the group’s 12 companies and projects, deliberate focus is given to a wide range of fundamentals, including product development, sourcing, promotion, social upliftment, training and skills development, retail, export and thought leadership – all to create a value chain of economic viability and design excellence.
In 2003, Trevyn and Julian McGowan established Source, a globally competitive export agency for homeware to the world’s leading retailers. Five years later, they founded Southern Guild as a platform to stimulate world-class limited edition design. Retail brands Odeon, Artisan and Mon Âme showcase locally produced homeware and African fashion.
The Guild Group consults to property developers to create innovative new marketplaces, such as the Watershed at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront and Work Shop New Town in downtown Johannesburg.
It also nurtures designers and develops the industry through initiatives such as Design Network Africa, Business of Design, Southern Guild Design Foundation and the Woodstock Design District Map.
As a focus to build closer ties between South African producers and the global design community, the group launched GUILD, Africa’s first international design fair, in Cape Town in 2014.
African design elicits an emotional response as much as it invites you to think.