Prestige for PMB fashion designers

2016-06-01 06:00
PHOTO: nicole john The young designers from the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion selected for the Young Designer Awards (back, from left) Claudia Novuka, Athenkosi Mfungula, Leona Magdalene Pillay, Zama Msomi, and (front, from left) Princess Hlatshwayo, Tessa van Rensburg and Ceri Williams with principal and founder, Priscilla Bhika.

PHOTO: nicole john The young designers from the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion selected for the Young Designer Awards (back, from left) Claudia Novuka, Athenkosi Mfungula, Leona Magdalene Pillay, Zama Msomi, and (front, from left) Princess Hlatshwayo, Tessa van Rensburg and Ceri Williams with principal and founder, Priscilla Bhika.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

EIGHT students from the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion have been selected for the top 25 of the Young Designer Awards in the run-up to the Durban July.

Fashion colleges from across the province competed in the event.

Priscilla Bhika, founder of Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion, said she is thrilled with the progress for her students.

“I am really chuffed. They keep getting better each year. This is all about the students and sometimes people think that because we are a small town we cannot produce a competitive standard of design. Our students have shown the exact opposite. We know we are going somewhere, the student’s creativity knows no bounds.”

The top 10 designs will be chosen next Monday, 6 June.


WILLIAMS is from Howick and has been selected for the first time to showcase her work on a public platform. The young designer said she always knew fashion was something she wanted to pursue.

“It’s an expression of art in a practical way. I love to see my designs come to life.”

Williams describes herself as an alternative designer who prides herself in using artworks in her designs.

“There is always something artistic in my work whether it’s paintwork or dye, but there has to be some art technique involved, that’s my own personal trademark,” she said.


ASHDOWN’S Mfungula has made it to the showcase for the second time this year with his edgy male clothing designs. He has only been studying fashion design for the past three years and has already come far in his career being recognised for his trendy work.

“I think I’ve always had it in me, but I just didn’t know it. I would always draw designs of clothes in my spare time, but never thought about getting into it. I even studied an LLB after school, but it never worked out. My mother suggested I should give design a try since it’s something I love and I have never looked back,” he said. Mfungula’s designs are described as classic “swag” for men.


ANOTHER first timer in the showcase is Pillay who prides herself for being selected and explained that fashion has always been her fashion.

Pillay, from Raisethorpe, said she has always been interested in clothes and admired clothing on other people.

“I’ve always been inspired by clothing and then understanding and learning about clothing from other cultures and countries.”

She describes herself as an “open-minded” designer who does not want to be put in a box.

“I think as a designer you need to be able to adapt to changes and design clothes for people catering for everyone. So I think I have a bit of every style,” she said.


The Eastern Cape’s Novuka will also be showcasing her work for the first time this year. She said she has been interested in fashion from a young age and came to the school to get her formal education in the industry.

“Fashion is so interesting. It’s art. You are creating art. So when I design I like to be versatile. I can’t just stick to one kind of style and then design similar outfits. I want to be able to design anything and everything. My favourite thing at the moment to design is evening dresses. I love everything about fashion,” she said.


ANOTHER first timer, Hlatshwayo is from Johannesburg, but chose the fashion school in Pietermaritzburg to get her formal education in the industry.

“I love fashion. I get to do my own thing. I also like the fact that I have the ability to design my clothes so that no one else will will wearing the same outfit as me. I like to be unique and I feel that’s what fashion is about, expressing your own creativity,” she said, wearing one of her designs.

Hlatshwayo said she took an interest in fashion at the age of 13 when she watched her mother work in the industry.

“I think my designs can be described as ‘classy’ and ‘modern’. I like being edgy, but not over the top,” she said.


EDENDALE’S Msomi will be showing her work for the first time in a public space.

“It’s so exciting to get to show your work in a public space and have other people admiring it.”

Msomi, whose ultimate goal is to become a clothing buyer, said she had to understand fashion in order to achieve her dreams.

“Last year was the first time I touched a sewing machine so when I went to showcase my work at the event I didn’t believe in myself and didn’t think I had what it takes to make it, but then, when the judges looked at my work and liked it I realised that I might actually be good at designing,” said Msomi.

Her style is laid back and casual and she takes great pride in her ability to manipulate fabrics to create an additional exciting element to her clothing.


VAN RENSBURG from Scottsville said for three years, after finishing school, she studied a couple things, but nothing ever took her interest.

“I really had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was always musically and artistically inclined, so during my years of trying my hand at a few things I took a short course in fashion design just to find out what it was all about and I absolutely loved it.”

She said she loves to see her interpretations come to life and takes time to understand the different types of fashion across the four seasons.

“I was a tomboy growing up so I have never really been overly feminine in my designs. I like simple and sleek looks with a touch of feminine. This was my very first time showing my designs publically so I am very excited about the selection,” she said.

The eighth designer selected is Aarifah Ebrahim from Gabarone, who was unfortunately, unavailable for an interview.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.