1 – Tell us about your fashion brand: Kentse Masilo? 

The Kentse Masilo brand was established in 2015, it’s a women’s brand that offers tailored and ready to wear fashion. Our signature design is focused on the traditional method of tailoring, with an emphasis on fit – texture, and fabric.

2 – Tell us a bit about your background?

I am originally from Bethanie, in North West, a rural environment with a lot of history. I have a younger sister and I was raised by my grandmother.

Kentse Masilo | SA Fashion Week 2017
Kentse Masilo | SA Fashion Week 2017

3 – What initially struck your interest in fashion?

For me, fashion has never been just about trends. Initially, fashion was a way for me to escape, I lost and found myself in the creativity.

I get inspiration from the stars and the skies, since I was a child I always wondered what was beyond, pushing boundaries and being limitless, I use fashion to do that. With my clothing and designs, I can go anywhere.

I entered a competition in Grade 8 called: The Young Designers Search, which I went on to win, that made me realize my potential, I began taking my talent a little more seriously.

 4 – If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be doing?

I would be an Astronaut – working for NASA. I have a thing for stars and galaxies. If you look at the outfits Astronauts wear, you will realize how very intricate the suits are: made to adjust to different temperatures without coming across as heavy and overbearing. I am a designer at heart.

5 – What would you say is the next step for your brand in 2018? 

Right now I am learning a lot about manufacturing and the overall business of fashion. I would like to enter more competitions; I believe I am ready to compete on an international scale. 2018 started off with a bang for me, producing on an international level: I worked as one of the designer’s parts of the team for Nandi Madida’s New York Fashion Week showcase in February.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  A model walks the runway wearing Colour By Nandi Madida during the Oxford Fashion Studio NYFW AW18 at Studio 450 on February 10, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Oxford Fashion Studio)
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 10: A model walks the runway wearing Colour By Nandi Madida during the Oxford Fashion Studio NYFW AW18 at Studio 450 on February 10, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Oxford Fashion Studio)

6 – Who would you love to work/collaborate with?

Locally I’d love to work with Lulama and Trevor Stuurman. Gogo Esther Mahlangu is also a great inspiration, she isn’t influenced by western fashion and her artistry is so authentic. On an international level: Riccardo Tisci and Karl Lagerfeld. He has so much experience I would love to learn from him.

7 – Where do you see your brand in 5 years? 

I see myself owning and running a fashion house that powers luxury interior designs, luxury, and timeless couture, and creating my own fabrics, and tailored designs.

After showcasing at SA Fashion week for the first time last year, and making it to the top 6 nationally for the Sunglass Hut New Talent Search 2017. I feel that my  Fashion education has aided in my creativity and overall craftsmanship.

Kentse Masilo | SA Fashion Week 2017
Kentse Masilo | SA Fashion Week 2017

8 – If you could change one thing about your journey, what would it be?

If I had someone like me when I was younger – I would have gotten here quicker. I had to learn everything myself.

9 – To an 18-year-old reading this, who admires and wants to be like you, what advice would you give them? 

I would tell them to really be sure that that is what they want to do because, in order to succeed, one has to be committed. All it takes is 1 yes.

10 – What is your favorite color and why? 

Honestly, it changes because I am a designer but I love red, white and black. Black is for when I don’t want to stand out, White is for when I am feeling – so good. Red just compliments my skin tone so well.

11 – Which Fashion Designer would you say inspires you the most? 

Coco Chanel – She was very hardworking. She came from nothing and build herself a legacy. She was inspired by love and never felt the need to fit in.  At a time when most people were focused on impressing men – she changed the game – introducing trousers to women before that women weren’t wearing pants. I believe if you can win over your own community’s hearts – then you can grow and go anywhere – the world will be ready to receive you.

South African Fashion Designer: Kentse Masilo
South African Fashion Designer: Kentse Masilo

12 – Where are you based and how do people reach you? 

Currently, I am based in Randburg at the SauveMaxia Fashion House Full time. We are very fashion forward, Open Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm. People can also reach me via social media: @kentsemasilo.  For custom designs.

What a young,  dynamic, creative and spirited South Africa Fashion Designer. We look forward to seeing you take over the stars and skies in the world of fashion.

Xo – Lesedi Dawn

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