From fabric scraps to Paris runways. This is how dreams materialise
Khothatso Tsotetsi arrived on the fashion scene with bold dreams. The young visionary planned to turn heads on the runway and dress the most glamorous celebrities. But the path to success was lined with opposition. “As soon as you graduate, you’re competing with the big heads of the industry,” he says. The cut-throat business was intimidating. But Tsotetsi was confident in one thing – himself. Despite every challenge, he stayed persistent in his vision and work ethic. “You have to understand what it means to be at the bottom in order to be at the top,” he says.
Tsotetsi’s talents began shining in childhood. “When other kids were playing in the township, I would make dresses from scraps,” he says. After matric, his place in the world of fashion started taking shape. Tsotetsi lectured at the Tshwane University of Technology on constructions, patterns, and creative design. From there, he apprenticed for acclaimed designer, Clive Rundle. Working alongside a big name took dedication and grit. But it taught Tsotetsi invaluable lessons. “I realised that accountability comes from even a small piece of fabric,” he says.
At Mercedes-Benz AFI Fashion Week in 2012, renowned model, Alek Wek, walked the runway in Tsotetsi’s creations. “I felt like that was the beginning,” he says. Tsotetsi has since exhibited at Black Fashion Week in Paris and is one of the most sought-after emerging designers in the country. With his brand, Tsotetsi KL, he’s threaded his future together with just his hands. “Not everyone knows what they want in life,” Tsotetsi says. “But when you do, getting there is where perseverance comes in.” With commitment, hard work, and the right attitude, our dreams will materialise.