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FARAITODAY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DAVID TLALE From His New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 Presentation! [VIDEO]



Filed under : Africa, Fashion

Hey y’all

As promised, our exclusive interview with one of our favorite African designers, the very fabulous David Tlale from his recent New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 presentation at the South African consulate in New York City.

His philosophy on the business of fashion:

It is not only about me but it is about my customer and the people that are bringing the business to the brand. I should consider the people that are buying. You understand the clients. You understand the markets. I showcase in Africa, in New York, in Paris, the thought process changes. The signature changes and it matures and gets better with time. I look back in 2007 when I first showcased in Paris and to my collection today, totally different. I thought Paris was all about couture, the feathers and the drama. And you come to New York and it is not about the drama. It is all about how can I work that piece with my jeans, how can I wear it to the office, how can I wear it to a party. So all those things play a major role.

I’ve come to understand that women today, they want to look glamorous and beautiful and also exclusive. They don’t want a mass produced product. They still want something really special.

On how branding influences his creative process & making money:

Before you make money, you have to have a brand that is sustainable, that is established. Whether you are a designer or just make clothes, you cannot separate the two, the name brand is the designer.

As you build the brand, it takes each day to learn. There is no manual in fashion. You make a mistake, you fall, you stand up, you rise. You create another piece. You wake up each day and keep creating. Until you perfect it because it takes time to create a brand and for people to trust you.

On what he would say to his younger self:

I bless the day I made the decision to leave that auditing class because all of this would not have happened. I would have been miserable calculating people’s money.

I love what I do.

On what he thinks about the street fashions of South Africa versus New York City:

I do not separate the markets. I create David Tlale where-ever I go. This collection is going to go back to South Africa. So what I have given to New Yorkers, I will give to South Africans. It is all about doing what David Tlale believes in. Doing what David Tlale woman and man requires of a particular season and giving it to them.

When it comes to street fashion, Johannesburg and New York are different worlds. There are few elements that are similar. Styles and tastes overlap.

On how he knew he was ready for New York City:

I did not know I was ready for New York. I just made a decision that I am ready because there is never a time you are ready.

I took a leap of faith and said “Ok, fine we are ready, let’s go!” and here we are in New York. I’ve embraced it.

CLICK HERE to see David’s New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 “Glam-Intersections” presentation.

Listen below to hear about his journey in fashion, conquering the New York Fashion scene and his philosophy on the David Tlale brand & business.

Check it:

Loving the growth in David Tlale…

farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.


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