Lo­cal fash­ion­ista up for SA award

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

by 10 of De­sign Ind­aba’s cho­sen cul­tural com­men­ta­tors, with Makhetha’s Kobo col­lec­tion jacket nom­i­nated by ELLE mag­a­zine’s South Africa Editor-in-chief Em­i­lie Gam­bade.

Ac­cord­ing to Gam­bade, the jacket had the “right kind of alchemy”to war­rant be­ing re­garded as an ob­ject of ex­quis­ite beauty.

“It is uniquely African; com­bines her­itage, craft and beau­ti­ful pro­por­tions; it is time­less, colour­ful and says a lot about who we are and where we are from, but at the same time it is ex­cep­tion­ally mod­ern and very con­tem­po­rary,” she said.

The MBOISA ex­hi­bi­tions, in­clud­ing Makhetha’s coat, will trav­e­laround South Africa start­ing at Rose­bank Mall in Jo­han­nes­burg, Gate­way Mall in Dur­ban, and end­ing at the V&A Wa­ter­front in Cape Town where the win­ner would be an­nounced at the De­sign Ind­aba Fes­ti­val on 19 Fe­bru­ary.

Makhetha told the Week­ender this week from her Port El­iz­a­beth-base that it was the first time she had been nom­i­nated for the MBOISA award, adding that it was a step­ping stone to­wards es­tab­lish­ing her brand in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“Our as­pi­ra­tion is to cre­ate a legacy in the same way such brands as Burberry, Bal­main and Chanel have done,” she said.

“Win­ning the MBOISA award would be a huge en­dorse­ment for our la­bel es­pe­cially be­cause we have our sights set on break­ing into the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, and peo­ple need to know who we are and what we have achieved.”

She said the vot­ing process would run from 4 Jan­uary to 19 Fe­bru­ary 2016, adding that Ba­sotho could al­so­sup­port her by vot­ing on the link: www.de­signind­aba.com/events/ mboisa-2016.

Makhetha is best known for her Kobo col­lec­tion; a range of capes and jack­ets made from tra­di­tional Ba­sotho blan­kets.

The Star­burst jacket is a clas­sic piece from the Kobo Ea Bo­hali (Blan­kets of Pres­tige) range of gar­ments in­spired by Ba­sotho cul­ture. She said the coat was a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the tra­di­tional out­fit.

“The in­spi­ra­tion for my Kobo Col­lec­tion is my Ba­sotho her­itage and our cul­ture of wear­ing the Ba­sotho blan­ket as an in­te­gral part of our so­cial and pri­vate life,” said Makhetha.

“I have al­ways felt that most of the time, when we move into the big cities, we tend to leave our cul­ture and prac­tices be­hind. This was a way I could con­tinue em­brac­ing my cul­ture into the ev­ery­day life of the city.”

She added: “The Star­burst coat is the se­cond de­sign I came up with. I wanted to play with the con­trast line one finds that runs through the blan­ket it­self. The Star­bust Coat is a full-length trench coat, con­sist­ing of pan­els that come to­gether at the back, re­sult­ing in the per­ceived star­burst.”

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with this pa­per, Makhetha de­scribed her­self as an ex­tro­vert who be­lieves in pos­i­tiv­ity and sur­round­ing her­self with am­bi­tious peo­ple who like to have fun.

She said Thabo Makhetha Fash­ion De­sign Stu­dio was sta­b­lished in 2009 and gar­nered nu­mer­ous awards and ac­co­lades over the years. In 2014, Makhetha made her run­way de­but at the Van­cou­ver Fash­ion Week in Canada, where she was praised for the qual­ity and cre­ativ­ity of her work. She was listed as one of the Top 40 un­der 40 Busi­ness Lead­ers of 2014 by the Nelson Man­dela Bay Busi­ness Cham­ber.

The Arts and Cul­ture Trust of South Africa hon­oured her with the 2014 Im­pact Award for De­sign, while last year, she show­cased at the South Africa Fash­ion Week for the first time.

In Au­gust last year she show­cased at Pure Lon­don in the United King­dom and again at the L’artigiano in Mi­lano in Mi­lan, Italy­last De­cem­ber.

Model ole Mo­ra­pedi show­cases the Star­bust Coat.

Fash­ion de­signer Thabo Makhetha.

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