Designer Paledi Segapo on the business of fashion, longevity and the art of collaboration

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Fashion designer Paledi Segapo. Image by Kpaparazzi
Fashion designer Paledi Segapo. Image by Kpaparazzi
  • Designer Paledi Segapo is looking forward to continuing to design modern classics.
  • After a challenging period during the Covid-19 pandemic, the designer hosted a brunch to remind us that he still has a pulse.
  • He says innovation and collaboration are important to keep a fashion business running.

As South Africa exits the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a relief that we can safely toast having our lives as we know it back.

It feels like the world is at least healing from the torturous pandemic that put a lot to a halt in more than two years.

A brunch was held with Palse x Valdo Prosecco at a Clico Hotel in Rosebank.

"Palse still has a pulse," I joke with Paledi Segapo, the designer and owner of the brand Palse, upon meeting at the intimate get-together.

"It is nothing formal," he says, adding that "it is a way of reconnecting" after an unprecedented hiatus.

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He admits that life during the pandemic was difficult for designers such as himself, who are known to dress people for red carpet events, weddings and black-tie affairs.

"It has not been easy for us in the business of fashion. One thing we were able to implement was introducing a diffusion range, apparel (entry-level clothing) that's affordable and reusable with a minimalistic approach. This approach has positively impacted our cash flow," he tells W24.

"Every day comes with challenges. So, I always feel like my yesterday's business prepares me for tomorrow. Fashion is business and must be treated as such," he adds.

It has been 10 years since the establishment of Palse. Paledi says plans are in motion for his brand as the world of fashion gets back to normal.

He attributes his longevity and success to the "genius of collaboration". "As the African proverb goes, 'If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together'," he adds.

"Collaboration is pivotal for any business to thrive. What I love about collaborations is that they help both brands to tap into each other's market segment."

He says he is currently collaborating with the Prosecco brand and Dermalogica skin care products.

"There are amazing things that'll be unfolding soon. Watch the space," Paledi says.

He also looks forward to opening his second showroom in Mall of Africa in Midrand, Gauteng, later this year.

READ MORE | 'It was really an out-of-body experience' - Gert-Johan Coetzee on designing a dress for Lizzo

According to Paledi, these are three qualities that make an amazing designer.

  • Talent is not enough. Every designer needs to comprehend the business of fashion fully.
  • Understand your clients, design for your clients incorporating your signature style and not clothes that won't yield a demand.
  • Have a muse to be constantly inspired by.

Paledi looks forward to designing modern classics, "minimalistic and certainly not 'costumey'."

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