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From Paris to Beyoncé: Five things to know about renowned designer Quiteria

A look at the career and personal life of the beloved fashion icon

20 April 2022 - 09:22
Designer Quiteria Kekana has died.
Designer Quiteria Kekana has died.
Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

Designer for the stars Quiteria Kekana has sadly passed away.

News of the death of the beloved local talent hit social media on Tuesday. In a statement released by the designer’s family, Kekana is said to have succumbed to his battle against cancer.

The family shared Kekana leaves behind his siblings and parents.

Having worked in the fashion industry for more than 12 years, the celebrated creative amassed quite a following during a formidable career.

Here are five things to know about his greatest achievements and personal life.

1. DESIGNING FOR BEYONCÉ

The famous silky green get-up that has become synonymous with the pop diva’s head-turning looks was created by Kekana. 

“This dress was designed with the purpose to showcase our capabilities and is reflective of all the positive changes taking place,” he said in an interview at the time.

Speaking to Top Billing, Kekana said the 45 piece outfit was created in three days .

Beyoncé in a Quiteria & George design.
Beyoncé in a Quiteria & George design.
Image: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100

2. DYNAMITE DUO

Kekana was not alone in creating the sizzling look for Beyoncé. Much like the iconic Dolce & Gabbana duo, Kekana worked with George Malelu. Their brand, George & Quiteria, was famed for sumptuous and bold silhouettes.

Kekana said their brand stood out because they loved taking risks.

From a small starter studio in Soweto to exhibiting in Paris and designing for Beyoncé, Quiteria & George are the rising stars of SA fashion.

3. KING OF THE DANCE FLOOR

While he was famed for his design talents, Kekana was also in love with dancing. He enjoyed taking formal ballroom dance classes and was on his fashion account busting moves.

4. FROM PARIS TO NEW YORK

Kekana was no amateur when it came to design and his work has been showcased around the world. Under Quiteria & George, their Rise of the Phoenix collection featuring yellow opulent gowns turned heads in Paris. In 2020 he took his solo show to Paris which was closed by local actress Nandi Mbatha. Later that year, he was tapped by New York Fashion Week to showcase under their Ones to Watch campaign with a collection themed around celebrating African women.

5. LOVE AND CANCER

While chronic illnesses are a dour business, Kekana fell in love during this time. Not shy to share his journey as he underwent chemotherapy for multiple myeloma, Kekana let fans and friends in on his romance with model and TV presenter Behim “Mr Juice” Xolo.

“I am tired of dating fans and groupies. Behim was very genuine because he came to me at a time when I was physically weak. I am going to chemotherapy every week. I moved back to my mom’s house in Soweto so I could fully recover, and he has been nothing but supportive during this time,” Kekana told Sunday World.

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