Meet Aphelele Chonco: the SA designer making waves in fashion industry

Meet Aphelele Chonco: the SA designer making waves in fashion industry

- Aphelele Chonco is a young local fashion designer who is taking the industry by storm

- She was mentored at the Durban Fashion Fair and then showcased her own designs at the same event in 2018

- Chonco first attained a National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles then followed it up with a BTech degree and emphasises the benefits of a formal education in the fashion industry

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Aphelele Chonco is a young lady making a name for herself in the local fashion industry.

After completing her studies, she founded her own brand, UP_PHELELE.

The passion for fashion design was clear from an early age.

Chonco recalls, “I have always wanted to be a fashion designer. When it was playtime with the dolls I was making clothes for them, then I started giving all my old clothes make-overs and keeping all my family’s old clothes for the same reason.”

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One of her notable achievements occurred when she featured in the top 10 list of designers in the Made in Africa competition in 2018, which was televised on BET Africa.

She then also participated in the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) Mentorship Programme.

The Ethekwini Municipality organises the project and Chonco’s designs featured at the event in 2018 as well.

Chonco shared that the benefits of the programme exposes one to learn a lot about the industry and also may also introduce potential clients.

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The Durban University of Technology interviewed their former graduate and she emphasised the importance of a good education to build a solid foundation in the industry.

Chonco said, “Getting a formal education really empowers you for navigating the fashion industry and fashion entrepreneurship.” understands that Chonco completed a National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles in 2015.

She then followed this up with a BTech degree in Fashion Design from the University of Johannesburg.

The young fashion guru now aims to build UP_PHELELE into a global brand.

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