Sello Medupe speaking through his Scalo designs

Rhodé Marshall wore this design by Scalo to the 2017 SA Style Awards earlier this month. Picture: Sello Medupe
Rhodé Marshall wore this design by Scalo to the 2017 SA Style Awards earlier this month. Picture: Sello Medupe

From chic dresses and showy dinner gowns to fashion-forward menswear, Scalo designer Sello Medupe has become one of fashion’s red carpet favourites in a couple of seasons. Just as followers of his work were starting to think they couldn’t love him more, his Spring/Summer 2017 collection, revealed at the Mercedes-Benz SA Fashion Week, blew everyone away. Scalo is a contemporary, stylish and futuristic brand.

The designer, who names Alexander McQueen as his fashion icon, keeps getting better and better. His clothes are bold, colourful, textured, structured, ruffled, voluminous and, at times, perfectly over the top. Medupe, who comes from Diepkloof in Soweto, mastered his craft at the SewAfrica Training Centre for three years, graduating in 2010.

“I believe fashion chose me,” he says modestly. “I’m very passionate and I love the idea of creating something.”

Now, Medupe’s work is sought after by celebrities and pretty much everyone who loves looking edgy, yet glamorous and feminine. In 2015, Scalo Designs was invited to privately showcase its work for the Queen of Lesotho, Masenate Mohato Seeiso.

What’s his favourite part of the design process? “Sketching,” he says, adding that he would like to specialise in textiles in future.

Medupe says the themes and his inspirations vary from collection to collection.

“Sometimes I need to see fabrics first, other times my inspiration takes me there.”

But about his latest collection he says: “It was inspired by a rainbow and lights ... happy thoughts.”

The bright and bold colours on the beautifully embellished fabrics sweetly usher one into the fun season.

“My plans are to get into stores, create bags and shoes, and showcase in Paris, London or New York,” he says of his future.

  • You can find him on Facebook at Scalo designer, or email him at
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