3 Posted by - August 26, 2013 - FASHION

It’s no secret that we are obsessed with these wooden backpacks by local brand Indalo. They made their first big appearance a few weeks ago on the Goat catwalk at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) and we loved what we saw. But the backpack is not the only standout piece, which is why you need to remember the name Indalo. Here we chat to the man with the talent, Inga Gubeka:

How would you describe your designs?
Contemporary and minimalist

What materials do you work with?
I work with plywood, bamboo and cork

Tell us about your involvement with MBFWCT this year?
I initially collaborated with designer Ernest Mahomane on his collection for the gala dinner, which kicked off this year’s MBFWCT. His collection showcased his beautiful wooden elements from belts to wooden, armour-like neckpieces. We didn’t end up using my bags but the shows wooden pieces worked and are an inspiration to me personally.

Ernest Mahomane s/s 2013



Goat s/s 2013

The Goat s/s 2013 collection was more ‘street’, so we felt the addition of the backpack was the right accessory and it was a perfect match.


Fashion director Chu Suwannapha was spotted wearing your backpack at MBFWCT, stating proudly “Local is lekker”. How does it make you feel to have such amazing support and to see people wearing your creations?
It really makes me feel proud, especially to see that people appreciate good local products and unique pieces. I am really humbled; it’s an amazing feeling.


How long does it take to make one of these wooden backpacks?
I produce these in my Paarden Eiland workshop. Indalo pieces are all handmade. It used to take me hours to make one, but now I have the right tools to make the process simpler and quicker. I’d say I could create one in an hour and a half.

What’s next for Indalo? Anything we should know about?
Yes, the Gold Collection is in the making. I will still use wood but with accents of gold metal pieces. Also wooden briefcases with some gold metal detail, for the high-end market. We are also excited about the opening of The Stable Design Emporium this month, at 65 Loop Street, which will stock our product.

Locally, what’s on your radar?
Hmmm… Definitely The Stable Design Emporium. We’ll be in the same shop as some of the best product designers in Cape Town. Working with Aidan Bennetts, who is the founder of the Stable, is an honour. I love this dude’s work; I really look up to him.

Indalo is available at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Mememe on Long Street and from 1 September at the Kalk Bay Co-Op.

Coming soon: Buy Indalo beauties online from City Mob from 1 September.

Photographs: SDR Photo and Spree


  • Xolela Mtabati August 31, 2013 - 12:25 am Reply

    I digg the wood backpack Inga bring it to George Boss!

  • Ashley November 21, 2013 - 2:11 pm Reply

    I looooove the way the Indalo backpack looks. I bought one a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the quality is poor. The backpack belongs behind glass to be adored, not worn. After a few weeks some of the planks have already broken and the inside lining seems to be glue sticked on and is peeling off. I hope Indalo can soon invest in higher quality craftsmanship to make these backpacks worth the price!

  • […] and images via: Trevor Stuurman, Jenna McArthur, VISI and Vodacom […]

  • Zikhethele Dlamini February 5, 2015 - 8:52 am Reply

    how can I place an order of the backpack? I am in KZN

  • Leave a Reply to Ashley Cancel reply