Thula Sindi's latest collection celebrates his supporters
Thula Sindi is back in town for Fashion Week to pay tribute to where his journey began
Designer and fashion mogul extraordinary Thula Sindi is one of the most celebrated designers in the country.
After a two-year hiatus from African Fashion International Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg, Sindi returns to the runway.
"AFI is celebrating 10 years and so did I last year, so it seemed right for me to return to the runway that launched my career," he said.
Known for his simple shapes and clean lines, Sindi has managed to build a solid fashion business in a volatile industry.
"The key to that success is always staying in touch with your customer. My business has grown organically and I've always tried to listen to my customers and propose irresistible, high-quality fashion to them. Of course, I've had missteps along the way, like partnering with unscrupulous businesspeople. Each step of building a business is a lesson," he said.
With a joyful 10 years in the business of fashion, Sindi is paying homage to his customers with his upcoming collection.
"The new collection is a love letter to all my supporters who have helped me build the Thula Sindi brand in this last decade. It is a heartfelt thank you," he said.
Speaking of his upcoming collection, which the designer described as exuding sophistication and simplicity, Sindi is bringing a bit of Botswana into the mix by booking five striking models from Gaborone to walk in his show.
"I was in Botswana recently to judge a fashion competition and I was absolutely struck by the elegance and grace of these five models in particular. I felt that I needed to have them in my show.
"Southern Africa needs to start interacting a lot more so that we can exchange creativity and skills with one another," said the designer.
In an industry that merges the creative and the commercial, Sindi is hopeful about the young designers in South Africa.
Southern Africa needs to start interacting a lot more so that we can exchange creativity and skills with one another
"Economically, the industry is in flux. Many young designers are holding on for dear life. But creatively this is a boom time - there are lots of eager consumers hungry for proudly South African merchandise," he said.
Sindi says he will also focus on his online store this year.
• Thula Sindi will show his new collection at the AFI Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg tonight at 9.30pm at the Mall of Africa. Follow him on Instagram: @thulasindi
• This article was originally published in The Times.