Designer Quiteria denies body shaming Lesego Tlhabi and refuses to apologise

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Fashion designer Quiteria Kekana refuses to apologise after being accused of fat-shaming comedian Lesego Tlhabi.
Fashion designer Quiteria Kekana refuses to apologise after being accused of fat-shaming comedian Lesego Tlhabi.
Sunday Times / Alaister Russell

Fashion designer Quiteria Lebogang Kekana (37) has come under fire for allegedly body-shaming Trending SA presenter and comedian Lesego Tlhabi.

Lesego (32) known by the comedic name Coconut Kelz took to Twitter to give details of the incident. 

“So today I went to a famous designer who was told my sizes way beforehand because it’s for TV. Does he not then declare very loudly in the store after a failed try-on that he has nothing for me and then uses words like “fatty boom boom” to describe how I’d look in the designs. Yoh,” she wrote on Twitter.

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“To the convo this week, this is why fatphobia is so different than other shaming. I was made to feel like less than nothing today because of my body. My body is not good enough for his dresses & he let that shit be known. He really could’ve said that to the stylist on the phone.”

Lesego says she struggled to control her tears when the incident happened. 

“I’ve never swallowed tears like that. Wow. Heyi I’m hurt af. And of course, I have to shake it off because it’s for work. Your day really can get ruined on account of you being a big girl in a way that no one else will understand. The industry literally doesn’t want us. It's wild.”

In a live Instagram video in the early hours of the morning, Quiteria then threatens to sue those accusing him of defamation of character. 

“I did not say that to her. You have made up your mind. You want to belittle me and bring me to my knees. I have an attorney who is going to attend to this. I’m going to sue every little person,” he says.

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“I’m not apologising for nothing; I never spoke to her. I never called her fat. That is fiction. The stylist and wardrobe manager were present at the time, there was no way I could belittle any woman.”

Speaking to Drum, an unapologetic Quiteriac denies ever body-shaming Lesego.

“I did no such thing. I didn’t call her fat and I will not keep quiet or apologise.”

Quiteria goes on to say, “I have designed for men and women of all shapes, sizes, heights, races, and creeds for almost 15 years. Women have been the inspiration behind our brand. The versatile female form, silhouettes, and structures have been the inspiration for most of our garments. I would never insult a woman’s figure.”

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