Uiten­hage de­signer nets R20,000 prize

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Za­man­dulo Malonde mal­on­dez@ti­soblack­star.co.za

The first day of the third an­nual Man­dela Bay Fash­ion Week ended on a high note for a Uiten­hage-based de­signer who walked away with a R20,000 cash prize af­ter win­ning the Amarula Chal­lenge – a first for the af­fair.

Them­bani Se­lani was among five lo­cal de­sign­ers who were se­lected to at­tend de­sign classes at Nel­son Man­dela Univer­sity, where they learned to print their de­signs as a part of the Amarula chal­lenge.

The de­sign­ers were chal­lenged with cre­at­ing five gar­ments in­spired by the el­e­ments of the Amarula brand – the Amarula fruit, the tree (on the brand’s logo), Africa and the brand’s colours.

Se­lani show­cased a sim­ple men’s and women’s ready-towear range which in­cor­po­rated sev­eral shades in­clud­ing white, gold and mus­tard. Dis­tell coastal events man­ager Nontsikelelo Ndlovu, who was part of the judg­ing panel on be­half of Amarula, said: “[Se­lani has] got the in­struc­tion to in­cor­po­rate our brand into his de­signs spot on and I like that he made ready-to-wear and ac­ces­si­ble gar­ments that can eas­ily be uni­sex. “Even though he used male mod­els [for some] of the de­signs, when I saw them, I re­alised I could also wear them as a woman. “His abil­ity to add a uni­sex el­e­ment to his de­signs proves him very modern and that made his work stand out and be mem­o­rable.”

Se­lani show­cased his brand at the East Lon­don Fash­ion Week in Septem­ber.

The de­signer is a fan favourite whose work at­tracted loud cheers from spec­ta­tors at last year’s Man­dela Bay Fash­ion Week.

The self-taught de­signer, whose sketch­ing abil­ity came as a nat­u­ral tal­ent, took to the sewing ma­chine af­ter he com­pleted ma­tric but could not af­ford to fur­ther his stud­ies.

He taught him­self the basics

‘I like that he made ready-to-wear and ac­ces­si­ble gar­ments that can eas­ily be uni­sex’ Nontsikelelo Ndlovu JUDG­ING PANEL

of mak­ing gar­ments and never looked back.

Se­lani was vis­i­bly sur­prised and could not con­tain his ex­cite­ment as friends and sup­port­ers sur­rounded and con­grat­u­lated him.

“I know that af­ter [Man­dela Bay Fash­ion Week] in Oc­to­ber, the fash­ion in­dus­try will know who Them­bani Se­lani is,” he was quoted as say­ing in the fash­ion week mag­a­zine.

The fi­nal show of the Man­dela Bay Fash­ion Week starts at 6.30pm on Satur­day at the Tramways Build­ing.

The show will fea­ture de­sign­ers from Port El­iz­a­beth, East Lon­don, the Free State, Gaut­eng and Lim­popo.

Son­wa­bile Ndamase, who de­signed former pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela’s shirts and was Win­nie Madik­i­zla-Man­dela’s de­signer, will close off the show with his Man­dela Cen­te­nary range.

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