After being a fast fashion wholesaler to the major chains and retailers for almost 40 years, Greg Swanepoel felt burnt out and uninspired. Plagued by market failure and the bankruptcy of his self-made business, he was back to square one.

Slowing down and starting over in a period of deep reflection and introspection, Greg drew comfort and refuge in the immortal words and teachings of Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius and Socrates. He knew he wanted to rejoin the fashion industry but with a different approach, one that was based on integrity, beauty and calm. This brand would encompass high-quality, deliberate product and collaborating with local suppliers, shunning fast fashion and being under the thumb of corporate retail. Older, wiser and sure of his vision, Greg established Socrates in 2020.

Starting from humble beginnings, with a single stall at Franschhoek Market, Socrates sold out their button up shirts with surprising swiftness. Gentlemen looking for timeless style (men not unlike Greg himself) resonated with the Socrates shirt’s 100% cotton and classic prints.

Today, Socrates has grown to include a vibrant online presence and can be found in outlets across South Africa. As the brand evolves, it will keep true to its mission of championing timeless style and sophistication.