New kid on the block: Paledi Segapo of Palse Homme

2012-03-23 15:21

Segapo was born in Soweto and graduated with a master’s degree in business leadership after completing a thesis on growth strategies for South African fashion enterprises.

Last year, Segapo officially launched his fashion house, Palse Homme, as well as a business and image consultancy.
His was one of the new names on the SA Fashion Week ramps last year and a host of local celebrities, such as rapper Proverb and actor Putla Sehlapelo, catwalked his designs.

Although he didn’t create any waves with his debut, the fact that there was one more menswear designer to join the ranks made many sit up and notice.

Well versed in the language of fashion, Segapo is a fashion contributor for various local magazines and the fashion editor for Jozi Beat, the official publication for the City of Joburg.

“Our menswear industry is exactly where it needs to be and is gaining strength. Our country is full of diverse people with diverse cultures so it’s a pity that there are so few menswear designers to choose from,” he says.

Segapo believes profit margins are a common challenge for menswear designers. “Making a bespoke suit is
time consuming and then most of us end up buying fabrics from the same manufacturers. The result is that you often find that we have different collections with the same fabric.

“I wish the fabric industry in South Africa was bigger, but since it’s not, we end up paying a high price for whatever we find. This in turn affects the price of our designs.”

According to Segapo, it’s important for a designer to keep up with the latest trends but not copy them.

“I would look at Giorgio Armani, who made destructured suits acceptable, and Ozwald Boateng, who makes bespoke Savile Row suits, and I incorporate both these cuts in my collections because I want to cater for different tastes. Not everyone wants skinny pants in their suits.

“The more designers there are, the more we can play around with prices and give the consumers what they really want. Right now, it’s dangerous because we can pretty much hike prices, but if there are more of us, then it becomes competitive. It’ll also make the industry interesting.”

Spring Summer Collection:
Segapo explained that the collection he calls “Holy Demon” will incorporate black, white and gold for a heavenly effect, while the red will give it a decadently sinful twist.

“The one thing I’m really cheerleading for this season is fitted double-breast jackets,” he concludes.

» Watch the Palse Homme fashion show on Saturday at 10pm

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