Inge Wulff is a 28 years old Joburger by choice, originally from East London in the Eastern Cape. She is a UCT undergrad in film, media and organizational psychology. Who later acquired her Honours degree at Lisof in Fashion, retail and marketing strategy. Like any other Joburger, most of us sort of just know each other from around, you know, the streets. Either through mutual friends, acquaintances or from hanging within the same social circle. I know Inge from the Joburg fashion social circles. I first met her when she still I worked for the design duo Malcolm KLuK CGDT. Back then when they still had a flagship store in Parkhurst. Inge was Malcolm KLuK CGDT employee for 4 years as their brand and events manager. That is where she cut her teeth within the local fashion industry. “I learned a lot from them [ed: Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriël Du Toit.] Malcolm and Christiaan are still incredibly humble, passionate designers with a finesse and sense of humour that is unlike any other,” says Wulff.
After four years of sheer devotion and contribution to the South African fashion industry she then opted-out for some corporate experience in the construction industry. It here where she says that learned a lot “Perhaps it’s what gave me the confidence to test out entrepreneurship.”
Inge currently works in the Marketing department at Nova Pioneer. Whilst developing and running her own business as a founder and director of two fashion brands .ing and Know Scrubs.
.ing is a name that came about from Inge’s cousin, Sally, mocking her about her own birth name, Inge, she would say “OMG you can ing anything – RUN .ing, SWIM .ing”. “I used to hate it, but I guess it was a natural name for a brand and who’s really laughing now,” Wulff says.
.Ing is a loungewear fashion brand described as totally unnecessary but completely essential. It is manufactured locally, it is gender neutral and size neutral. Wulff says that because she I didn’t know where to start, she wanted to create something that was size and gender neutral. Something that included all people and perhaps subtly changed the norms of dress codes. I have been asked many times ‘where would one wear a kimono’ and my response is always ‘where wouldn’t you wear it?’
Her second fashion brand offering is called Know Scrubs. I suppose a name inspired by “No Scrubs” a song recorded by American group TLC for their third studio album FanMail (1999). Know Scrubs is brand that specializes in offering custom-made scrubs for medical professionals. These are not your conventional scrubs. Know Scrubs are made with vibrant prints made to order and delivered to doctors around the country (and as of recently abroad too). On her Facebook Page Wulff describes Know Scrubs as scrubs “for those medical professionals who don’t want no ordinary scrubs”. Wulff has inspired her medical doctor friends and flatmate. “Doctors work incredibly long hours especially during their intern years – and they should be able to celebrate themselves – they have the most important job in the world – saving lives – so Know Scrubs is an ode to the life-savers,” said Wulff. Know Scrubs sparked a debate on their Facebook page where some were totally for it and somewhere absolutely against the new clothing line.
Inge has been sewing since she was 7 years old. “I have been obsessed with fabrics since I can remember. More so than design, I fell in love with fabrics so perhaps that’s why I considered myself a fabric storyteller rather than a designer. I think all I ever really want to do is bring joy to the world, and encourage people to play, thrive and bask in this thing called life. Dress up/clothing is a way that adults can still play and I am of the feeling that one should live one’s life like every day is a dress-up party”
I have always wanted to make my mark in the fashion industry, but for a long time, I lacked inspiration in what seemed like a highly saturated market. I want to celebrate people and bring them joy and I eventually found a way to do that. Research taught me to start with one thing – like Bobbi Brown did with lipsticks or Levis with Jeans – I started with medical scrubs (Know Scrubs) and now I do kimonos (.ing) too.