NELSON Mandela Bay fashion designer Thabo Makhetha showcased her talent on a national scale at the Design Indaba in Cape Town this past weekend.
Makhetha, who was one of 40 up- and-coming designers selected to participate in the Emerging Creatives section of this year's Design Indaba, showed off her latest Kobo-ea-Bohali (Basotho blanket coats) range. This range started after she won recognition when she wore her original garment to the Durban July in 2011.
Makhetha, who is known for her elegant ethnic formal and evening wear for women, said she'd had an amazing response from the public and buyers.
"It was important to see how people reacted to my products on a national and international scale. I got a lot of buyers from France and Germany."
Makhetha thanked the Emerging Creatives for giving her the opportunity: "If it were not for them I would not have been able to participate. They paid for food and accommodation. It really did help, especially if you have a small business and you spend most of your money on materials for the garments."
The young designer said the highlight for her was being recognised by Eugenie Drakes, a Rosebank jewellery and beaded design shop owner whom she met two years ago while doing a show in Johannesburg.
"She came to me and complimented me on my garments. She said I had really grown since the last time she had seen me. It is a good feeling to know that I am not standing still."
Design Indaba Conference 2013 took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. A live simulcast was hosted at various venues around southern Africa – including Port Elizabeth for the first time.
The Conference invited the world's top creative minds to address professionals from the creative, corporate and educational sectors alike. It gave Port Elizabeth designers an opportunity to promote their garments nationally.
DI recognises graphic design, advertising, film, music, fashion design, industrial design, architecture, craft, visual art, new media, publishing, broadcasting and performing arts.