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Up-and-coming fashion designer, Bayanda Khathini (25).
It is said in order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’re coming from. It is hard to find a better example of this wisdom than Bayanda Khathini (25), a B Tech: Fashion Design student at the Tshwane University of Technology, who acknowledged his roots in a very fitting way at the recent SA Fashion Week hosted at Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg. 

Khathini da hails from Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal, also home to President Jacob Zuma. As a young boy, he spent a lot of time in the mountains, looking after cattle, but also imagining a life outside one of the poorest regions in the country.

To bide time, he made wired cars, which, perhaps in retrospect, was the first sign that a creative future awaited him.

“Ever since I was a child I wanted to become a designer, I love clothes. I am inspired by my mother who was a dressmaker, and in 2010, I started to assist her with sewing and patterns,” he says. 

In 2013, he enrolled at TUT for a Financial Management course. However, his real passion soon got the better of him in 2014 when he swopped finance for fashion. The accolades that followed proved that this was the right decision.

In his first year, he was named best student in garment and pattern construction and got an internship at Tsotetsi KL (the label of a leading fashion outfit owned by alumnus Khothatso Tsotetsi). In the same year, he was one of only three students handpicked to showcase their work at the 012 fashion IMBIZO. Last year, he bagged the Young Designer of the Year Sansui Summer Cup 2016 award.

Khathini started 2017 with a bang when he was selected for a Sies!isabelle Developing Designer mentoring programme, scooped the Award for Best Collection at the Department’s annual fashion show, and the cherry on top – named a finalist for the  2017 SA Fashion Week Scouting Menswear competition, run in association with GQ magazine.

As part of the latter, he got an opportunity to showcase his menswear collection – sharing his signature of tailored African luxury clothing, playing with a masculine-feminine dichotomy – to the fashion fraternity.

He ended off his show by proudly parading on the ramp with a wired car, similar to the ones he made as a young boy (see video link). “My main vision is to create garments that tell the story of being African; giving you a sense of belonging to Africa, no matter your background or where you find yourself,” he concludes.

Contact Bayanda Khathini Clothing at 079 996 6723/ bayanda.khathini@gmail.com.

His collection at SA Fashion Week: http://www.safashionweek.co.za/category/designers/bayanda-khathini/?mw=menswear

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.