Bonang, Nandi: Orapeleng Modutle is fast becoming celebs' go-to designer

08 June 2017 - 13:47 By Sibusiso Mkize

Fashion designer extraordinaire and designer to the stars, Orapeleng Modutle is carving a name for himself on the local fashion scene as the go-to designer for celebrities such as Bonang Matheba and Nandi Madida with his eponymous label, Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue.

Bonang Matheba in couture by Orapeleng Modutle.
Bonang Matheba in couture by Orapeleng Modutle.

Growing up in Kimberley, Modutle always dreamed of a career in fashion.

"My creative ability derives from my childhood - watching my mother and grandmother doing needlework and knitting as a hobby. I became fascinated by the process of making clothes," said Modutle.

Modutle makes elegantly chic dresses, chiffon pleated skirts and breathtakingly beautiful bridal wear for his clients.

''The Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue woman fits an ideal profile - heterogeneous and transversal," said the designer.

''More than just a particular style, she reflects a lifestyle. She loves to express her own romantic femininity, always with taste, sensibility and refinement, making the most of her natural attributes."

With his latest collection, Rose Garden, Modutle was inspired by the magnificent gardens in Italy. It's a departure from his previous collection which was playful and a little risqué.

''The Rose Garden collection includes key pieces for the bride, wedding attendees, bridal party and the bride herself. We had beautiful gowns that had floral applique as well as impeccable beading detail," said the designer.

In a short time Modutle has achieved great success in the industry with many memorable career highlights under his stylish belt.

"Being able to present my Spring/Summer collection at the 2016 Swahili Fashion Week was a huge step for my brand. It was part of my plan to expand my market to the rest of the African continent and then go global," he said.

''Working with Bonang Matheba on a few projects has also been a privilege," said Modutle. He dressed her for the South African Music Awards held in Sun City recently.

In a world obsessed with social media and celebrity it's important to attract a major personality and Modutle is ahead of the curve in rallying them to wear his clothes.

"The designer-muse relationship is paramount in getting your name out there," he said.

''As a creative artist, you need a public personality to be a source of inspiration.

"We live in a digital world that spins to an electronic tune so it's good to have a muse to represent your brand in a good light."

Nandi Madida in couture by Orapeleng Modutle.
Nandi Madida in couture by Orapeleng Modutle.

''The South African fashion industry is steadily growing and the rest of the world is taking note.

"South African consumers are keen to buy local and there have been a number of established international brands like Louis Vuitton and Celine that celebrate Africa," said Modutle.

Our continent's blooming creativity is evident in work from our designers, artists and social media influencers.

And who would the designer like to collaborate with in the future? "I would love to collaborate with stylist Kwena Baloyi because she has an African aesthetic that I really love. Combined with my sense of opulence we would make magic," he said.

It's clear he has a great future and his fans anticipate what's next. "We're expanding into Africa and then globally to compete with the world's best. I hope to one day have my own store in New York," he said.

• This article was originally published in The Times.