TLALE GOES DIGITAL
AVING started his career almost a decade ago, David Tlale is more than just a household name he has become an international brand as he is the first local to showcase at New York Fashion Week.
The designer has celebrities falling over themselves wanting to be dressed in his threads.
But now ordinary clientele can feel adorned in his garb, as he takes his ready-to-wear range to online store Spree.
Part of our brand plan for this year is to go digital. People want to consume and wear David Tlale garments, but unfortunately we aren t available everywhere. So, the digital move is to bring David Tlale to the people with affordable ready-towear items. When the opportunity to collaborate with Spree on an exclusive line for their clientele, as well as ours [arose], I just couldn t let it pass, he says. He promises that there will be a little something for every woman out there. It would be silly of me to single out just a few pieces as I truly believe this is a collection every Spree woman would devour. There is literally something for everyone and these pieces are just amazing. My inspiration for this range comes from watching people on the bustling streets of the city. City people are a wonder to watch. The culture, the buildings can provide so much inspiration. So for Spree, we looked within and are celebrating our heritage. We created a special print, which we believe strongly speaks of who we are,” he says.
He collaborated with retail store Legit a few years ago, but only as a once off. This new venture is more permanent.
He was also the headline designer at the MercedesBenz Fashion Week Joburg which kicked off at the Sandton Convention centre on Thursday and ends today. Tlale started his fashion career in 2003, after winning the competition.
As a kid growing up in the township of Vosloorus, East of Joburg, I was
surrounded by a community of stylish people my immediate and extended family as well as our neighbours.
People always looked their very best, especially on Sundays. I always looked forward to each Sunday to just admire their impeccable styles.
Then I unwittingly registered to study Internal Auditing at Vaal University of Technology (VUT). Each day I went past the fashion class I would secretly want to swop places with them. Then one day I decided that was it. I made the move to the fashion department and haven t looked back since then,” says Tlale.
Tlale says his latest collection was also inspired by African artistry that embodies all that is aesthetically mystical, spiritual, emotive and of course startled responses
I am moved by the human body in African cultural customs. Body painting, masks and other African artistic forms of expression that visually transform the human form to another realism. I want to create an appearance so beautiful and sophisticated that it cannot be separated from function and the meaning of luxury. I want to reach a broader audience and captivate a new market and simultaneously appeal to a global market,” he says.
Often compared to international singer Miguel in the looks department, Tlale says he is much more fabulous.
Miguel should feel so flattered. He resembles a charming African with good genes. LOL!”
Tlale, who refuses to divulge his actual age, says he is inspired by the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier, the bold silhouettes at Alexander McQueen and the edgy and modern approach Balmain has brought to fashion.
As for future international fashion shows, he says we need to watch this space.
+ " * , * & " " " " " *