With an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for fashion, Simone Beneke launched her very own collection of limited-edition styles. Contemporary and chic, the brand is – at its heart – all about comfort.
Simone is one of those people who looks effortlessly stylish. So, it comes as no surprise that it is her own aesthetic that largely informs her label BySi. Her collections are all about high-quality fabrics, relaxed fits and simple looks that can be dressed up or down.
Simone has always been drawn to creative pursuits. She spent much of her childhood dancing, and loved art at school. She ended up studying management accounting at university, but after a gap year of work and travel – she spent some time in Mauritius and Portugal – she decided to return home and start her own company. She reminisces about playing dress-up as a child and says that she has always loved fashion. So, she taught herself to sew and over the last three years, has grown her business to include a number of collections for women, as well as a range of accessories.
Simone describes herself as an introvert, but says that she loves how unique clothes can make her feel confident. She draws much of her inspiration from global trends, but it’s important to her that she designs items that she herself would want to wear. “I’ve been lucky enough to travel and see how much fashion there is out there,” she says. “The brand is all about comfort. Since Covid, I can’t imagine putting on a pair of skinny jeans,” she laughs. “I do a lot of matching sets because they’re so easy to wear.”
Most of her items are loose-fitting and she usually uses fabrics that are lightweight and low-maintenance. Above all, she wants her clothes to make people feel good. To keep things unique and fresh, she makes a limited number of each of her styles and doesn’t often repeat a collection. Some of her most popular designs so far have included a plisse set in emerald green, navy and creamy pink; as well as a leopard print set. Simone loves the creativity that her line of work affords her – designing new items, choosing fabrics, putting together photoshoots, and styling. She has also recently started doing some professional modelling, and is enjoying the opportunity the work has given her to meet – and learn from – others in the fashion industry.
Simone loves running a business on the North Coast. “It’s small enough that people support each other,” she says. “I also love that it’s so relaxed and people are friendly.” When she’s not working, she enjoys staying fit, walking her two dachshunds and spending time with her family. She currently stocks a few shops in Umhlanga and Cape Town, and her showroom in Mount Edgecombe is open by appointment. She also hosts a sip and shop event at her studio once a month for those who would like to pop in for a browse and a glass of bubbles.