Skye’s the limit for award-winning young Durban designer

2010-07-13 00:00

HAVING just returned from London Graduate Fashion Week, winner of 2009’s Young Designer Award — Durbanite, Skye Pengelly (22) — said she hoped to see a fellow KwaZulu-Natal designer scoop this year’s prize.

Young designers from around the country are preparing to showcase their masterpieces this week for the coveted prize. The winner will be announced at the Vodacom Durban July, set for July 31.

Pengelly’s fashion career was given a major boost when she was named the country’s top young designer at the July last year.

“The Young Designers Award has really set my career off,” she said. “It gave me the boost and confidence I needed to really kick-start my career.”

Pengelly, a Durban University of Technology graduate, said KwaZulu-Natal is a hive of creativity.

“There is so much talent in the province, especially coming out of DUT. We really do have top designers,” she said.

She added, although KZN lacked Johannesburg and Cape Town’s high-end retailers, the Durban July was the epitome of South African style.

“I’m just sorry I can’t enter again this year,” Pengelly laughed.

After winning last year’s prize, she was invited to show her work at the J&B Met in Cape Town, and went on to clinch the Best Casual Range title in the final of a DUT show.

Impressed with her savvy, Mr Price offered Pengelly a junior buyer position at the company — a job she now skilfully juggles with the pressures of studying for her trend forecasting honours degree.

Asked what she simply could not live without, Pengelly replied, “my MC Thompson sewing machine!” without missing a beat.

“MC Thompson were wonderful in sponsoring my machine and they are really getting behind young designers,” she said.

She also designs for her own label “Pengelly” and offers a fashion styling service to private clients.

Despite her many responsibilities, Pengelly said one project had her full attention: her pending wedding.

She is set to walk down the aisle next month in a Pengelly original.

“I designed my dress, and Dale McCarthy — who has made the top 20 in the Young Designer Awards for KZN — is making it. He is so talented,” she said.

“But I am making all my bridesmaids dresses,” she said.

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