Fashion show hits

2017-01-17 10:05
Byron Pharaoh will host a fashion show to introduce his clothing label, Beron 69, later this month.

Byron Pharaoh will host a fashion show to introduce his clothing label, Beron 69, later this month. (Chevon Booysen)

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A young fashion designer from Bridgetown in Athlone will introduce his label to the world officially in a self-funded fashion show later this month.
Byron Pharaoh (27) will host his debut fashion show on Saturday 28 January.

Pharaoh says he will not let the lacking sponsorship put a damper on his dream.

“It’s what I’ve always dreamed of and I can’t wait for people to come and see what I have to offer. I have been working on this show for about a year now and soon people can see what my label is about,” he enthuses.

His fashion line, Beron 69 – Custom Design Clothing Line, started at a young age while growing up in Athlone.

“I used to sew stuff onto my schoolbag at primary school already and I taught myself how to sew. That is where it all started for me. Nobody taught me how to stitch; it was just something that came naturally,” he says.

He explains “Beron 69” comes from a friend who pronounced his name wrong during band practice. His other friends followed suit in calling him Beron.

“And the ‘69’ part comes from my birth year and that needs to be cleared up because many people have made their own assumptions about what the number actually means,” he explains.

Pharaoh says he also enjoys dressing up. This spurred on his love for fashion while at Bridgetown High.

“When I got to high school we did technology and there we were also taught how to sew and I picked up tips there as well. While at school, a neighbour of ours – Ann Adonis – also helped me in putting garments together. Eventually I figured out how to do it by myself and later on through the help of my cousin I got my own machines and started making garments,” Pharaoh says.

He never matriculated, but, Pharaoh says, he furthered his studies at Cape Town College.

“But none of the subjects or courses I did were in the design field. I did office administration and entrepreneurship courses among others. I am currently a hospitality student and work at a [hotel in the City Bowl],” he says.

However, Pharaoh knows fashion is a passion he wants to pursue and he would not let anything stand in his way.

Pharaoh reveals he used to take drugs.

“I come from a single-parent home and was raised by my great-grandmother. I was also on drugs for about three years but have been clean for about seven years now. I didn’t go to any rehabilitation centres. I got sick one day and just stopped,” he says.

“I was also stabbed and almost died when it was found the knife scratched my heart. I had open-heart surgery done and survived that.

“And coming from such a heavy and hectic background I quickly realised I can’t be spoon-fed and that I had to find my own opportunities if I wanted to make a success of myself,” he shares.

Pharaoh says he has approached organisations to support his first fashion show but says help has been trickling in.

“Ticket sales have been doing well and I have a lot of support from family and friends but I really need sponsors to come on board as well. Our ward councillor, Rashied Adams, has also been really supportive so far,” he says.

His dream is to open his own shop and factory one day.

“I used to work from my family home but I now have workspace not too far from our home where I am able to work on my garments. And people are really happy with the quality I give them. One of my happy customers was a guy that needed a 5XL and that was the biggest I made so far and the customer was really happy.

“If you have a knack for it, then anything is possible,” he says.

Asked where he got his passion for fashion and clothing, Pharaoh says his family used to tell him that his father was a man who worked creatively with handmade pieces.

He shares a few inspirational words: “Don’t ever give up, nevermind what your background and circumstances. Opportunity is earned and if you show people your dedication they recognise your hard work.”

The Beron 69 – Custom Design Clothing Line show will take place at the Joseph Stone Auditorium on Saturday 28 January at 19:00. Tickets cost R100 for VIP tickets and R50 for general access tickets. If you would like to contact Byron Pharaoh for tickets or for sponsorship, call 084 941 7645.

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