The Department of Arts and Culture and the South African Bureau of Standards Design Institute have been mentoring the first six young designers to help them build sustainable creative enterprises, while exposing them to the industry’s best practices and standards. In response to a dearth of participation from Previously Disadvantaged Individuals (PDIs) in the design sector, the DAC and SABS Design Institute developed an incubation programme that will improve the intake of the PDIs into the Emerging Creatives initiative. These six young designers are currently showcasing at this year’s Design Indaba Expo.
The Incubator Programme provides value beyond the Design Indaba Mentorship programme. The Incubator Programme has to date mentored the six selected designers in various ways, including providing information and general advice on intellectual property rights relating to patents, designs, copyright and trademarks.
The emerging creatives are:
Lungelo Mashaba is currently employed full time with plans to start a new fashion business, Mizu. He studied fashion and textile design at the Durban Institute of Technology and graduated in 2013. Subsequently, he interned at Holmes Brothers and gained experience as a pattern maker while also familiarising himself with the basic garment production process from design to dispatch.
Mashaba’s aim is to design and manufacture unique bespoke men’s garments with a focus on fine detailing. His designs will take a fresh approach to traditional tailored menswear and sportswear, through the fusion of these two different styles.
Msizi Luthuli studied fashion design at the Durban University of Technology. In 2012 he established his Durban-based brand Lutuliegh, with the aim of offering signature design pieces to customers. Lutuliegh has had the opportunity to exhibit its men’s fashion wear at shows in South Africa and Italy.
Luthuli aims to create customised shirts that focus on the perfect fit, quality and style. A special feature of his business will be that customers can upload online profiles with their measurements to ensure a perfect fit. His range covers shirts, T-shirts, trousers and accessories.
Siyanda Mbele is from Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal and graduated from the Durban University of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. Mbele is the owner of Pinda, which designs and manufactures hand-painted furniture inspired by the uniqueness of South African cultures. His designs provide an unexpectedly modern variation of African furniture and incorporate South African cultural references.
Mbele uses Ndebele, Venda and Zulu patterns in the products, which are interpreted into a novel aesthetic that also influences the shape of the products’ legs.
Mokoena Kobeli has a qualification in Art Direction from the AAA School of advertising and a BTech in multimedia from the University of Johannesburg. He is currently working as an art director at Neighbourhood Creative, a small advertising agency.
Kobeli plans to start a Johannesburg-based 2D animation studio. He has been the art director of animation work at his current job and will be using the skills and experience he has gained as the basis for his start-up, Nala.
While planning this business, he is currently using his illustration talent to create characters and associated merchandise alongside attempting to produce a TV series. The merchandise can be produced and sold relatively easily to generate revenue, test the appeal of the characters and to demonstrate business acumen. His aim is to create a truly South African 2D animated TV series for children.
Mzukisi Mbane is a Cape Town-fashion designer with a BCom degree in Accounting. He established his company, Swagger Diaries, in 2011 and although he has no formal training in fashion design, he creates at least 80% of what he wears.
Mbane’s aim is to develop a fashion brand, Imprint, that celebrates glamour while narrating a story of African ancestors through the use of unique designs, prints and fabrics. Imprint clothing and accessories are made with distinct patterns and fabrics that ensure the wearers that they will not fade into the highly competitive and expressive fashion landscape.
The first range of products that Mbane is launching under the Imprint label is accessories and shoes. He has created these using a material that is usually associated with the “Chinese” shopping bags, which tell a South African story in themselves.
Thandiswa Bonani studied at LISOF fashion school and co-founded Luenzo, a high fashion womens’ clothing manufacturer, in 2008 in Johannebsurg. Bonani’s two sisters are partners at the company and play advisory and supporting roles in the business.
Bonani’s garments offer wearers the combination of a unique aesthetic style, a fit that is designed to be very forgiving for all body types and the ability to wear the garment in several configurations. Her designs focus on being versatile, distinctive and flattering.
For more information about DAC’s programmes and partnership at this year’s Design Indaba visit www.designindaba.com