Designer gives back to South Africa
FROM showcasing on the catwalks of Italy to being a designer for the Miss World pageant, politicians and celebrities, Haroun Hansrot has rubbed shoulders with some of the best in the fashion industry.
Hansrot, 51, who has been a fashion designer for more than 10 years, has also been using his skills to empower others.
On completing school, even though Hansrot had his heart set on pursuing fashion, his parents pushed him into studying towards a psychology and French literature degree at the then University of Durban Westville.
“That only lasted for two years until I decided to enter a fashion illustration competition to win a bursary to study fashion,” said Hansrot.
He was awarded a bursary to study at the Reiner Academy of Fashion. During his time there he emerged as the top student of the year and was also awarded the title of designer of the year.
This paved the way to his success in the fashion industry.
Before he knew it, Hansrot was on a flight to Italy, to begin an internship at the prestigious Accademia Italiana Arte Moda College after being awarded another scholarship.
In Italy, Hansrot started to expand his fashion network and made contacts in the industry instantaneously.
“I attended many shows there with the likes of designers like Armani and Versace,’ said Hansrot.
After his four-year stint in Italy, he returned to take on the industry here at home.
Hansrot showcased at several major events locally and internationally. He shared the ramp with designers Gavin Rajah, Versace and Zuhair Murad at the Positive Rocks fashion show held by Sun International, and was the only Durban designer to showcase there in 2006.
He later began designing for other major events including Miss South Africa, the Durban July and even the Miss World pageant, where he judged the top swimwear and top model categories. He was also featured on Top Billing on several occasions.
“I was part of the official Miss World designer team for two years where I got to work with Julia Morley, the owner of the pageant. I participated in international fashion weeks in Goa and Mauritius sharing the ramp with designers like Manish Malhotra,” said Hansrot.
When he’s not designing for private clients, he uses his time to empower disadvantaged women by teaching them to do beadwork and handwork.
He also recently joined his close business associate and friend Nafeesa Joosab to start an organisation called Haute Events, which focuses on bringing international fashion and lifestyle showcases to South Africa.
“What we also plan to do is to promote local fashion talent and we want to take South African designers as well as creative artists abroad to promote them and help with their personal development,” said Hansrot.
Hansrot currently runs a ready-to-wear fashion line called H&S in collaboration with businesswoman Sorisha Naidoo.
Hansrot walks the ramp of a fashion show in Durban with one of his models.