Walter Sisulu University Designers to showcase works at Kumbul’ekhaya Arts Fest

NOVEMBER 22, 2016

Six Walter Sisulu University (WSU) fashion students and alumni will be jetting off to Johannesburg to participate in an intense 10-day internship programme ran by famous South African designer Thula Sindi from 28 November to 6 December as part of the Buyel’ekhaya Fashion Development Programme.

The six designers fended off stiff competition from over 80 other entrants in the Eastern Cape to make the final eight that will showcase their designs at the inaugural Buyel’ekhaya Fashion Show at the Orient Theatre on 16 December.

Multi-award winning designer David Tlale, who’ll curate the works at the fashion extravaganza, shared his inspirational rags-to-couture story with the more than 80 entrants at a workshop held at the Eastern Cape Audio Visual Centre on Monday 21 November.

“I’m a son of a domestic worker; my two elder sisters are both domestic workers, so I myself come from an underprivileged background. I’ve faced hardships but I’ve never let those hardships determine my altitude. If you want to be successful, I suggest you start dedicating your every second to your dream,” said Tlale.

He said up-and-coming designers needed to invest wholeheartedly in their craft to bring to being a total paradigm shift that will see the South African fashion industry rise from its substandard state and climb to new heights. 

“We need game-changers that will take the baton from the likes of Thula Sindi and David Tlale and run with it. We need designers who won’t be afraid to strive for perfection and thus elevate themselves to international stature. These aspirations need individuals who dare to dream, and dream big,” said Tlale.

The workshop saw the congregants being taken through various aspects of the fashion industry, from the skills aspect to brand management, garment construction, showcasing, casting, retail industry, customer care and book keeping.

WSU lecturer Aaron Sepeng said the workshop was critical in making students understand the close relationship between the teachings in the lecture hall, and putting those lessons into practice in the industry.

“A major focus of David’s address focused on the importance of school and internship programmes. Students need to be aware how critical theory is in laying a basic foundation about the history and techniques from which fashion draws its inspiration. When a client asks for a 40’s look, a designer must be able to immediately know and have an idea of the look and techniques involved. That’s why education is critical in fashion,” said Sepeng.

Phindile Makupula (30), who graduated from the Buffalo City Campus in 2009, was visibly shaken in excitement at the prospects that lie in wait ahead of the Dec showpiece.

The 7Bob Aggressive Clothing label owner who works as a call-centre agent said the platform laid by Khumbul’ekhaya was invaluable in promoting and giving local designers an opportunity to display their talents to the public.

“I’m so overwhelmed and honoured at the prospect of working with and learning from my role models. I wouldn’t change this opportunity for the world. I foresee growth from this experience that will definitely shape my future for the better going forward,” said Makupula.