- David Tlale has come a very long way since starting and becoming a semi-finalist in SA Fashion week’s Elle New Talent Show Competition in 2002
- Changing direction in during his tertiary education to fashion, after initially beginning business studies, he has flourished and shown the fashion world is his home
- He has now been running his own label for 15 years is showcased in fashion weeks around the globe as well as designing collections for major local retailers
Growing up under the thumb of a single mother and sisters, David Tlale couldn’t but help become “domesticated” as he put it in a radio interview one of Briefly.co.za's editors caught him on this week. "I was always doing housework and I learned how to do it all, I guess you could say I was domesticated," he laughed.
His mother is very important to him and was understandably unimpressed when he decided to ditch his studies in financial auditing in order to take up fashion design.
“She said to me that I had to pay for it myself,” he explained on the radio during a discussion with Sakina Kamwendo describing how telling her he wanted to switch from studying auditing was one of the hardest things he had ever had to do.
However he was assisted by many in his church and community and he soon found a way to follow his dream. “I was blessed by the kindness of the people from my church who helped me so much,” he said, speaking about how important spiritual growth and community has been in his life.
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Today he is a home grown fashion world superstar, creating ranges of clothing that stand out from the predictable clichés so prevalent in an industry where everything is about image and emulation.
As his website describes his style, he creates, “couture that embodies beauty without pretense and shuns harshness for poise, answering the call today’s men and women for design that is young, bold, and elegant.”
One thing is certain. David Tlale is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most interesting clothing labels.
Despite her initial reluctance about her son taking up fashion rather than continuing on an academic path he described as “horribly boring and just not for me,” she is fully behind him and positively glows with pride and even features in his clothing as a model.
He recently shared some some amazing pictures on Instagram of her modelling his clothing.
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