Life’s a tailormade dream come true
Top fashion designer a cut above the rest
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.” — firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPPING OUT: Sandisiwe Ntshuntsha, owner of Nani Designs, showcased his spring range at the East London Fashion Walk last month