Life’s a tai­lor­made dream come true

Top fash­ion de­signer a cut above the rest

Daily Dispatch - - News - By NONSINDISO QWABE

THE style bug and a love for dress­mak­ing cap­tured Cofimv­ababorn fash­ion de­signer San­disiwe Nt­shuntsha at a young age, with him dar­ing to turn his pas­sion into a ca­reer three years ago.

He hasn’t looked back and to­day the 25-year-old is mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant strides in the fash­ion in­dus­try na­tion­ally.

Speak­ing to the Satur­day Dis­patch, Nt­shuntsha said as a young kid he was al­ways sur­rounded by women, which in­spired his love for fash­ion.

“I was brought up by women, and I be­lieve they have so much to do with the man I’m be­com­ing.

“I was a dif­fer­ent boy who grew up play­ing dress-up and dolls, and that’s when my love for fash­ion started.

“I re­mem­ber get­ting into so much trou­ble for cut­ting up my mother’s old clothes to make dresses for my dolls.

“I would ef­fort­lessly hand­stitch up tiny dresses.”

Nt­shuntsha said although he knew from a young age that he wanted to pur­sue fash­ion de­sign as a ca­reer, he tried to run away from it to make his fam­ily happy.

The sec­ond of four boys, he said he was ex­pected to fol­low a ca­reer that would put food on the ta­ble. He at­tempted his hand at tourism man­age­ment and busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion, both at Wal­ter Sisulu Uni­ver­sity, but he dropped out be­cause “pas­sion was burn­ing him from within”.

“At first, my fam­ily doubted my ca­reer choice be­cause they felt it wasn’t strong enough to carry me through. It was only af­ter my sec­ond failed at­tempt, that I de­cided to do what I wanted.

“I re­mem­ber telling my mother a night be­fore I had to re­turn to uni­ver­sity that I was mov­ing to Pre­to­ria to study fash­ion. She was shocked, but I fol­lowed my pas­sion, and it has kept me go­ing ever since.”

In his three years in Pre­to­ria, he has made a name for him­self, shar­ing fash­ion stages with well-known in­dus­try greats.

He has also founded his own fash­ion house, Nani De­signs, a brand he said caters mostly for “fash­ion-dar­ing in­di­vid­u­als who aren’t afraid to own their im­age”.

He show­cased his range for the first time in his birth prov­ince at the East Lon­don Fash­ion Walk at The Venue@Hem­ing­ways last month, and will be show­cas­ing again at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Fash­ion Week next Satur­day.

“Show­cas­ing in East Lon­don was one of my best ex­pe­ri­ences, sim­ply be­cause I had my fam­ily present in the crowd cheer­ing me on – some­thing I’ve al­ways wished for.”

On his plans for the fu­ture, he said: “There’s a lot in store for me, but ev­ery­thing will re­veal it­self in due time. My mes­sage to young peo­ple out there would be to fo­cus and go af­ter what­ever they de­sire in life.

“No mat­ter how long it takes, the fact that you work­ing to­wards achiev­ing your dream, is what mat­ters.” — non­sindisoq@dis­patch.co.za

Pic­ture: SOLOMZI YOYO

STEP­PING OUT: San­disiwe Nt­shuntsha, owner of Nani De­signs, show­cased his spring range at the East Lon­don Fash­ion Walk last month

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