SOUTH Coast’s very own fashion designer, Sipho Mbuto, has won the first season of MadeInAfrica (MIA), a new design competition. Mbuto took the crown at the grand finale held in Durban last week.The competition, which was broadcast by the television channel BET Africa, is aimed at discovering the best emerging designers from across the continent.The Oshabeni designer explained that, during MIA, the competition was very tight.“What came in handy is my very different aesthetic style of designing clothes for both genders; that helped me excel when it came to the brief that I was given by the judges,” said Mbuto.He added that the clothing he produced during the competition was based on his background and he was inspired by his upbringing in a disadvantaged community, where there was no appreciation for arts as a designer. “That was what took me to the finals and made me win the competition, I would like to believe,” said the designer. Mbuto, who has been trying to make his mark in the fashion world, was also one of the semi-finalists for the South African Fashion Week MINI Scouting Menswear Competition. Mbuto’s collection, which was showcased at MIA, is now available in all SPACE stores nationwide. The 25-year-old designer is currently working on a collection that he will be showcasing at the Togo Fimo Fashion Festival. Next year, in March, he will be participating at the Vancouver Fashion Show in Canada.“I have to express my gratitude to my South Coast family and friends for their continued support,” Mbuto said.