SAAHK Spotlight On Michelle Brits

SAAHK Spotlight On Michelle Brits

Bringing African flair to Asian shores: SAAHK talks to South African accessory designer Michelle Brits

Cape Town-born Hong Kong resident, Michelle Brits, owner of  the accessories label Breathe, brings a little bit of home to Hong Kong with her colourful range of handmade Shweshwe bags and accessories. As a past buyer for decor stores in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, this designer clearly has an eye for style; and she now brings this truly local South African style to the streets of Hong Kong. The SAAHK met up with Michelle to find out more about Breathe and her passion for this uniquely South African fabric. 

Where in South Africa were you born?

I was born in Cape Town.

What brought you to Hong Kong?

I initially came to Hong Kong as a trailing (ex) wife, but I ended up staying.

How long have you lived here?
Hong Kong has been home for for eight years.
Kerchief Baby Bibs
Is Breathe a full-time venture or do you have a day job?
No, I make accessories for Breathe in my free time. I am also a Regional Sales Manager for a Swedish flooring company called Bolon.
What did you do back home before coming to Hong Kong?
Before coming to Hong Kong, I was a actually a buyer for a decor store in London called Heals. Before that I was a buyer for Weylandts in South Africa.
Leopard Bag
What is your favourite thing about Hong Kong?
There are so many things! The convenience of everything in this city is definitely a favourite.
Even though Hong Kong is a great city, we all miss things from home. What do you miss most about South Africa?

I miss blue skies and crisp mornings the most.

With Christmas around the corner, do you have any upcoming markets / pop-ups where people can view and buy your products?
I don’t have any markets planned right now as I have several work trips scheduled before the end of the year. However, I always have stock available so anyone who is interested can just send me an email or message. I would be happy to meet up and bring my stock, or send images of what I currently have in stock. I also do custom orders.


The simplicity of Michelle’s designs allows the fabric to take centre stage, truly showcasing this unique and proudly South African fabric. The Breathe shopping bags are a firm favourite amongst SAAHK team members as it’s a super easy and environmentally friendly way to add a touch of Africa to your personal style.

Interested in spicing up your style with South African Shweshwe?



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Standard Bag

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