Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

25 January 2013

Namibia: Taati Sibolile Namibia's next Louis Vuitton

Fashion in Namibia has seen tremendous growth over the last couple of years with local designers going to great lengths to market unique designs. This year, fashion is set to be redefined as individuality has become a priority.

For what could perhaps become the first of its kind, Fashion designer, Monde Sibolile will launch her online designer shop under the name TAATI SIBOLILE. This is a truly Namibian brand that can be compared to the initial stages of the Louis Vuitton empire.

Outspoken and ambitious, in her first one-on-one interview with the media, Sibolile said that she considers her makings a unique brand that emphasises elegance and exclusivity.

A BA degree holder in fashion from FEDISA, Cape Town,. Sibolile is keen to share her passion for fashion, saying that it is one of those underestimated sectors that play a role in everyday life.

A force to be reckoned with in her own right, she has been tailoring since early secondary school and has gone on to study numerous courses until she settled for what she loved doing; fashion. "My Mom has always pushed me to do fashion but I was reluctant until I did an entrepreneurship course that made me realise that I can actually earn a decent income from fashion."

After completing her studies in November last year, Sibolile decided to be her own boss and pursue a career in designing. "I've always wanted to have my own brand and earlier this year I decided to go for it. My idea is to own a high-fashion online shop that anyone from anywhere can access."

She said that online shopping is the latest trend and more so in the Western world. "Even Europeans can order their clothing from my online shop and have it couriered. It is definitely the new way of shopping, its more convenient and you can do it whilst lying in bed."

Although online shopping is a relatively new concept in Africa, Sibolile said, "we need to get up to standard, why must we be a season behind, why not let Africa take the lead, then the rest of the world follows."

Sibolile said she believes in the motto of self evolution and tries to push design styles. "I like luxurious clothing made of fine material to create an elegant and sophisticated cloth. If there is any mistake on lets say a gown, it simply has to be redone. I do not compromise on perfection and I pay attention to detail."

She said that although humanity is alike, we differ and the clothing we wear gives the first impressions, not the first words. "Fashion is a way of living and its for those that are looking for true individuality."

Sibolile imports most of the material from outside the country as the textile industry is still relatively small. "Because textiling is still growing in the country, most of our material is imported from South Africa and from pl;aces as far as Paris and I find most of my inspiration from the Japanese."

As an afterthought she said "I also make it a priority to attend International Textile Trade Fairs and opt for eco-friendly materials such as silk. I must say we keep stretch material clothing to a small scale."

Also a basketball player, she said that although her aim is like that of any other business person, which is to make profit, her dream is to build a Sports Academy for underprivileged kids. "I've done sports since I was in pre-primary school and even now I still do sports. I really think that sports is the one thing that is enjoyable and you learn from it."

The unveiling of the online shop will take place at the Hilton Hotel on 09 February and will introduce both ready-to-wear clothing and couture under the theme 'Scarlet & Raven'.

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