South Africa’s leading fashion designer, David Tlale recently celebrated the Nelson Mandela Centenary with his biggest fashion showcase to date. To honour the father of the nation, the 43-year-old designer had 100 models walking the runway with 100 different designs in Johannesburg’s Sky Rink Studios. During the showcase, the king of glamour shared that his latest collection drew inspiration from many aspects of Mandela’s life.
“I wanted to recognise the great work our icon did for South Africa, Africa and the world as well as the voice he gave us as a nation. The collection titled Azania is not just political but also from the Hebrew word meaning “God listens”, which also applies to how far I’ve come both as a designer and a brand,” David explains.
The showstopper collection 100 looks also consisted of Toga dresses imprinted with influential leaders in the history of South Africa, Albertina Sisulu and Winnie Mandela were some of the political veterans to make it on the long flowy dresses. With its unexpected feels, Azania stopped the New York traffic a few weeks ago. David who is also celebrating 26 years in the fashion industry explains the collection as emphasising democracy and education.
“We used the collection to evoke a talking point and awareness on how politics, fashion and South Africa’s lifestyle have evolved,” he says.
His fashion stopper collection featured the likes of Vusi Nova, Lalla Hiriyama, Refiloe Modiselle and D’Banj, the Nigerian artist who got to walk the runway for the first time. The collection will also be showcased in a number of countries in the coming months.