Thula Sindi encourages VUT student       
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Thula Sindi encourages VUT student       

Ms Deliwe Selelais, a Vaal University of Technology (VUT) student studying Fashion Design

Puleng Maphisa

Fashion is not just about functional dressing; it’s about a passion for design, what individuals like and what makes them look and feel good.

Ms Deliwe Selelais, a Vaal University of Technology (VUT) student studying Fashion Design, discovered her passion for fashion at an early age when she was playing around with her granny’s “doek”! Her first love was taken to a higher level when she interned for well-known South African designer, Thula Sindi.

Mr Sindi, who owns a studio for production and fashion store in Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg, has showcased his designs internationally. Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Paris, Boston and Washington are among the many cities around the globe where he has shown his designs. His clients include Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Terry Pheto, Azania Mosaka, Penny Lebyane, Venus and Serena Williams, to name just a few.

He has won numerous awards and has featured in the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 young South Africans making their mark in their respective fields and industries while Forbes ranked him in their “30 under 30: Africa’s best young entrepreneurs” list in 2013.

Ms Selelais thus gathered a wealth of information and much experience through her internship and was fortunate enough to participate in the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2017, held at the Mall of Africa in August.

She said that her journey with Mr Sindi was exciting and educational as she learned more about how the industry works and how to develop her ideas.

It was not all glamorous, however. Her passion was tested when she was sent to clean the storeroom for three days. “I had a headache throughout the cleaning as I told myself this was not what I came here for; but I then later understood the exposure gained through that when they started sending us to buy fabrics. Johannesburg has so many different types of fabrics, unlike the Vaal, and I enjoyed working with the production team,” she said.

Mr Sindi has inspired her to work on her own production. She is currently working on establishing her own corporate identity which is now registered. She says she needs just a bit more exposure in the fashion industry before she can market herself.

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