and warmer weather are finally here, and we are super excited about all the fun
spring/summer fashion trends that are on the way. This season is all about over-the-top
colours, textures and retro styling. As long as you keep it tailored and stay
true to your individual style.
‘summertime’ more than beautiful bold colours. This season wear one colour from
head to toe for extra style points. A tailored outfit in a solid colour has the
same slimming effect as wearing black!
all other art forms, is about creativity and pushing the boundaries. So, it’s
up to you to be discerning with the trends you choose to follow, and which you
choose to ignore.
If you’re looking for trendy, bright and bold outfits this season, look no further!
Rebone Mekgwe is a Johannesburg based fashion designer and graduate from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). She is one of South Africa’s most promising fashion designers who founded Yarebo in 2009, a fashion brand which specialises in custom-made apparel for both genders. The brand has a strong colour palette and decorative design influenced by the current trends.
Rebone, who draws inspiration from things and people around her is known to her customers for signature pantsuits and modern silhouettes designed for the confident men and women who are comfortable in their own skin and looking for something striking.
“I design unique pieces that can be worn comfortably! I make practical and flattering clothes, with a design edge to them. I want my customers to feel truly special and unique when wearing my garments,” says Rebone.
Starting any kind of
business requires tenacity, endurance and dedication. Setting up a fashion
business is all the more challenging because this is a hyper competitive
industry and a very complex one as well, even at the smallest of scales.
The fun and pleasure
of creating your own designs can start at any age. Once the fashion bug takes
hold, it can be a very exciting and exhilarating time. The adrenaline will
constantly be stirred by the creation and completion of new designs.
A fashion designer
whose fashion design talent was sown in her own home and at a very early age
was, Sivuyisiwe Bebeza. She is a self-taught fashion designer, based in Durban –
KwaZulu Natal, whose journey began at the age of 10 years old.
“My dad had bought bicycles for my siblings and I, but I couldn’t ride mine. So, I asked him to buy me a sewing machine toy instead, and he did. That’s how my love for sewing began. In Primary School, I took sewing classes and sewed dresses for dolls. I also did handcraft and flower arranging, so I was very creative from a young age. Then finally, in 2011 my cousin and I decided to take the sewing to another level and turn it into a business. We created and sold clothes for a while. However, it didn’t work out because we both had jobs and couldn’t focus fully on the business. So, it slowly fizzled away,” says Sivuyisiwe.
mastering the design process, something that some of the smartest designers do
next is to find a business partner they can trust, who brings different skills
and connections to the table. Often it is a spouse and family at large.
About two years
ago, Sivuyisiwe talked her cousin into re-establishing the business. They both
realised the need to live out their dream of owning their own clothing label.
They retraced their footsteps and re-launched their clothing label and named it
Having a clear design methodology is crucial to getting the best out of your abilities. Clearly, you won’t be able to do absolutely everything yourself. This is where you need to find other people who believe in you to join your team or provide support in some other way. Doing a self-assessment of your skills and abilities will tell you what gaps you will need to fill in order to make your business work.
recruited her family members, people she can trust into her business. “I work
with an amazing team which comprises of family members. They handle different
areas of the business and this helps to keep the business afloat,” she says.
She says their
design aesthetic is not explicit but inspired by the African culture. “We don’t
have a specific design aesthetic, we just go for whatever inspires us at the
time, be it Afrocentric or vintage, and we don’t want to limit ourselves to a
specific category. Our designs are inspired by colour and being African. We use
African print a lot because we are Africans. Growing up, I moved around and
lived in different places and have experienced different cultures and this
comes through in my designs,” she says.
She has designed for celebrities such as radio host and former Idol – Minnie Ntuli. “She is an amazing, caring and genuine person,” she says.
“All our clothes are custom-made. Our designs are unique because we build relationships with our clients and get our clients involved in the design process to give them the best. Our hopes and aspirations include growing the business and adding accessories into our designs. We have started to incorporate menswear into our designs. We have started designing shirts and we want to go into a full menswear range and to also accommodate the whole family. We want to be a household name!” she concludes.
A lot of fashion designers wait for a lifetime and marvel at the thought of showcasing their designs at the South African Fashion Week (SAFW), the greatest platforms that markets and promotes designers throughout Africa. But this young, creative graduate from Durban University of Technology has ticked this off her wish list very early in her career as a fashion designer.
Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu (22) launched a self-titled brand last year and showed her collection at the SAWF. She was selected as one of the finalists for the SAWF New Talent Search competition. “Being selected was a great experience! It was a great opportunity for me to showcase my new brand,” says Fikile.
Fikile grew up in a small village in Kwa-Zulu Natal and completed her studies at the Durban University of Technology. At the core of her values is women empowerment which translates stunningly in her limited colour palette garments which are classically and elegantly tailored. Her womenswear collection resembled that of a seasoned designer with years and years of experience.
Her designs are created to embrace and reflect the concept of femininity. “I often get inspired by observing subjects or objects that reflect an organic atmosphere or nature. I design my clothes for a young girl who is establishing her identity and growing into a woman or a woman with an established identity. She is mart, driven, ambitious. She pursues a creative lifestyle or a life with fulfilling moments by choosing to occupy her space and time with things she finds interest in,” she says.
When viewing the FZS design collection she created for the Fashion Week, it is apparent that is inspired by layers in her design detail. “Proportion and volume are certain aspects that I wanted to display construction wise. I designed the collection with idea of reflecting proportion and volume hence I used design details with significance of volume, such as frills, gathers and flare, she says.
Her recollection of when the interest in clothes started serves her as far
back as when she was in Grade 4. Lerato Pooe says she would make paper dolls
and create outfits for them every day. Years later, it had become her
passion and she started making dresses for herself and her friends.
To date, she is a fully-fledged fashion designer and owner of Ditoro – which
means Dreams in Setswana. Her dream of pursuing fashion designing as a career
finally became a reality in 2014 when she started her business.
“I design every day, practical clothing with a unique African feel. Ideas literally just come to me. I’ll see a fabric and immediately see what I should make with it. I’ll play around with sketches, make a sample and see what it looks like. I would like to think that my designs are classic. And classic is seldom affected by trends but remains a core part of a woman’s wardrobe across all trends,” says Lerato.
She is currently working on her 2019 winter collection and says that it will be themed a ‘blast from the past’. “I’ll be looking at the 60s for inspiration. Lots of styles will be borrowed from the classic menswear. Winter doesn’t have to be dull, so I will be working with bright colours,” she says.