Africa In Focus

Africa In Focus: "The mainstream thinking now is that Africa is different and we could get it right if we want. The choice is fully ours, and it is now time for us to define what we want."

African Development Bank (AFDB) President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Thula Sindi Wins Maiden SA Tourism Designer Of The Year

  South Africa budding Haute couture designer, Thula Sindi, has been awarded the first ever title of SA Tourism designer of the year at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa.
"To say I'm shocked would be an understatement. I've never won anything in my life. I was sitting there chatting away and suddenly I was called to come up on stage. It's such a huge honour for me to be recognised for a change. It shows people appreciate my craft,” he says.
According to SA Tourism's chief marketing officer Roshene Singh, Sindi was chosen for his "renowned creativity, distinctive South African style and his inclination to manufacture and source fabrics locally."
Sindi showcased his Spring/Summer collection  to a full audience of media, fashion icons, buyers, stakeholders and fashion enthusiasts, who were in awe.

Sindi who said he once worked as head designer for a textile company where he learnt how to make prints and fabrics; revisited that passion for prints while passing it off in a modern and wearable style. He presented an elegant line making a contemporary African statement with bold prints. Sindi had African prints on materials such as embroidered cotton and embossed satin, and made use of sequins.
"I'm all about simplicity. I chose various prints representing various African countries, but wanted to give it a contemporary feel.They're the kind of clothes you choose to wear on Tuesday or Wednesday; they're not reserved for cultural days. I didn't want that ethnic feel attached to it, so I styled it in a digestible way."
Sindi says he strives to make his business sustainable, making trendy but affordable clothes and being able to employ people and improve their skills.
Apart from winning the prestigious title, Sindi wins a trip to one of SA Tourism's key global markets, where he will promote his work assisted by SA Tourism. His SindiThe Summer collection will be available online at as well as Burgundy Fly stores.
African Fashion International (AFI) GM Grant Blackbeard says: "One of our main functions at AFI is to produce designers who are not only creative, but also able to develop and sustain viable businesses.
"Thula Sindi has worked extremely hard in the last couple of years to establish his brand, find his niche and distinguish himself in the retail and commercial markets, while still being able to create once-off haute couture and bespoke pieces." 
Sindi’s fame continues to grow as international tennis stars, Serena nad Venus Williams during in their two days visit to south Africa were impressed with his designs while shopping.
Serena was quoted as saying: “I’ve had so much fun on this trip. I’ve been to South Africa before, but every time I come back it gets better and better. I loved the Thula Sindi dress I bought. The style is gorgeous” while Venus said: “I’ve enjoyed my first trip to South Africa and meeting and seeing the work of some great South African designers like Thula Sindi.

“With the Williams’ sisters endorsement, my brand is going where the market is,” Sindi said.

“SA Tourism has planned some exciting things for me but chief among them is I am going to showcase in New York later this year and I will also be in Europe.”

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