Thula Sindi: South Africa’s King of Fashion

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Credit: africa.com
Credit: africa.com

Clothes! Peerless, contemporary, well-tailored, clothes! Women and men love to love them; interesting because neither was born with any.

As humans evolve, so has our sense of what constitutes fashionable, inimitable apparel changed over times and seasons; sometimes from day to day.

Any fashion designer worth his salt must be easily able to not only keep up with the changing trends, but create some vogues. Thula Sindi is one such designer.

Thula Sindi is a Johannesburg-based designer and manufacturer of contemporary ladieswear that is sophisticated, elegant and timeless. The eponymous clothing label creates clothing inspired by the modern woman, finding fashion the perfect medium to mix colours, concepts and proportions to be worn by women of consequence. :thulasindi.com

Credit: dresstoimpress.blogspot.com
Credit: dresstoimpress.blogspot.com

As a student of fine Arts at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg , the teenage South African fell in eternal love with Fashion and its components and was soon off to merge his artistic abilities with seams and cuts at the London International School of Fashion.

There is nothing as attractive as a refined talent and the day after graduation, Thula was employed by giant textile company, Vlisco as head designer – a position I would think was crème de la crème and chock-full of benefits- …but we might not be writing this piece if he hadn’t decided to take his passion one step further.

He left Vlisco to work for fashion designer Gavin Rajah. This was in 2005, and by 2006, Thula was ready to show the world what he had been up to.

Thula founded his eponymous fashion brand, with a first showing at the South African Fashion Week, and in 2007, it debuted at the Couture Fashion Week in Paris with the assistance of South African Tourism and Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.

Credit: africa.com
Credit: africa.com

Described by the South African Fashion industry as a brand that “takes you into a magical fantasy and captures your imagination”, Thula has had a steady climb to fame with collection after collection where he showcases, wearable but elegantly timeless pieces that defy trends and stand out amongst a myriad of designs.

This 29-year-old from Klerksdorp has become a household name in South Africa’s fashion industry and his work has graced the runways of Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Lagos and Paris. He has been nominated as a finalist in the Marie Claire Emerging Designer contest more than once, as well being nominated as one of the top 10 emerging designers in the FIMA: Afrique est Á la mode Pan-African [African fashion festival ] fashion contest-. Thula was also named the Small Enterprise Development Agency Best Youth Entrepreneur as well as South African Tourism Designer of the Year. He also served as a judge on the premiere season of Africa’s Next Top Model hosted by Oluchi.

credit: elle.co.za
credit: elle.co.za

Celebrities including tennis champions- the William sisters- have donned a Thula sindi design with much pride as well as Terry Pheto, star of the Oscar-winning film, ‘Tsotsi’ amongst others.

Thula shared the story of his not so smooth ride to success with afrostylemag.com:

Well, for me it was quite difficult because when I started, my aesthetic was not quite favored because I enjoy and still enjoy making clothes that are very feminine and wearable.

When I design my collections, I think about how they should fit a woman and how they should look on her and so on.

Most fashion designers at the time were into big shows and glamorous clothes; and I was just not of that time- I did not fit that mould.

But slowly things have come around my way. Most designers are now doing more wearable collections and what has kept me going is that I see my clothes on the streets, I see people actually wearing my clothes.”

Credit: rawentertainment.com
Credit: rawentertainment.co9

What lies ahead for Thula Sindi the brand? Thula shares;

“The future of the Thula Sindi brand draws on women that love clothes that offer value and considered details, purity in design, modernity and simplicity.

I believe this type of woman is everywhere in the world and reaching her is my goal through innovation and sheer will. I aspire to grow “Thula Sindi” from being a purely South African brand, into an international brand catering to the “woman of consequence” in every woman.”

The majority of Thula Sindi’s staff are women, and there is a reason for that. According to Thula, “When you employ a woman you feed a household, and subsequently educate a new generation.”

We absolutely agree!

Thula Sindi is obviously here to stay, leaping over valleys and scaling mountains; he is passionate, talented and trained and set to rule the kingdom of fashion.

What are you passionate about?

© 2014, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.

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