The Buyel’ekhaya Fashion Development workshop took place at Miriam Makeba Centre for Performing Arts in East London on October 10 to 11 with attendees showing much excitement at opportunity to learn from established SA designers.
Sixty aspirant designers attended the two-day workshop to gain much needed hands-on experience and to stand a chance to be chosen to attend a once-in-a-lifetime internship with renowned fashion designer Palesa Mokubung of the Mantsho fashion label.
“We have picked up a lot of talent just from the sketches alone and have seen an openness to learn as well as a nice mix of male and female designers present,” Mokubung said.
She said there was a sense of pride about being from the EC yet there is also a struggle to translate that into their work.
However, she hoped the attendees would “make a mark” in the industry.
Mokubung said they would go through an intensive internship where experts in branding and finance will give them the low-down on the industry.
“They will learn to market themselves and I will take them to fabric shops so they have a feel of what is available as well as being backstage during fashion week,” Mokubung said.
Sixteen hopefuls went through a rigorous interview session to ascertain their inspiration for their portfolios.
Third-year Walter Sisulu University fashion design student Thobile Gcaleka said the interview was tough.
“I learned how to stick to my plan, and it is important to know your story as a designer.
She told us about the challenges but also not to give up and be determined because it is a difficult industry,”
Wendy Nortey, Sinalo Tshaya, Thobile Gcaleka, Akhonke Khema, Avumile Holoholo, Vuyiswa Sikhabewu, Lindokuhle Mdunjane, Cebolenkosi Shibe, Yakhuxolo Mvambo and Zalisile Stuurman were ultimately chosen for the internship.
They will train under Mokubung at her studios in Johannesburg from October 21 to November 1.
Only two will get an opportunity to showcase their designs at the Buyel’ekhaya Fashion Show at Hemingways Mall in December, alongside a host of established designers.