Local Brand: Chommies

WORDS Amelia Brown

Cape Town-based fashion label Chommies creates appealing handcrafted accessories for dog owners and their besties.

Nathalie Klijn moved from Germany to Cape Town in 2012, and while she’d settled well into her new city, it was only when she adopted a puppy named Ringo that Cape Town really became home. Ringo was her connector, and she began making collars for him and friends as a side project. It was Ringo who initiated a fortuitous meeting with Superdawg, the late rescue pup belonging to animal-loving entrepreneur Zac Rusagara, at a local market. Zac’s appreciation for Nathalie’s creations and enthusiasm to share them with the world was contagious and eventually, she fell for it – Zac included! – and Chommies was born.

Zac Rusagara and Nathalie Klijn.

“Every Chommies product is handmade with love and care by local artisans who come mainly from the townships,” Zac says of what he describes as an “economic upliftment fashion label”. “Talent is everywhere in South Africa and sometimes all it takes is someone to take a chance on you and to be patient while you learn the skills required.” With a wide and ever-expanding range of leashes and collar wear, which can all be customised, Chommies has launched baskets, rope bags, ostrich feather accessories and the Sunny Side Up phone necklace for its two-legged fans. This year saw a collab with atelier KlûK CGDT on a line of clutch bags.


Boulders Beach bag, R1 800.

Sunny Side Up phone necklace, R390. The leather patches are made from leather off-cuts that would normally be discarded.

What about feline fashion, we ask? “You won’t believe how often we get asked that question!” laughs Zac. “So yes, we’re working on a little something for cats, too.” Meow-vellous.

For more information and to shop online, visit chommies.com.