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Young designer turns his passion into fashion

by ballyhooglobal.com
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Sicelo Nhlapho is a young designer born and raised in Kwa-Thema who has shown that your passion can turn into profit.

He has always had an eye and a love for fashion. In 2019, he conceived the idea to start his brand.

He describes Clothing Bliss as a purpose-driven streetwear brand that enhances the wave of creativity.

He wanted to create a brand that people could wear and feel confident about themselves. The process of creating his garments begins at the library where he uses fashion books to find references.

He goes fabric sourcing to find the right fabric and the right pattern. He then meets with his mentors and team to confirm the designs.

“The tailor makes the first samples. We follow that up with a photo shoot,” he said.

Nhlapho then engages the customers to get their opinions on the designs.

“We do this for about three months and after getting demand, we begin distribution,” he explained.

He said having the right team has helped his business flourish.

“I established the brand in 2022. And the response from people was slow in the beginning but so far, the feedback has been great.

“Aligning the brand with the right people was difficult but as time went on, I found the people who resonated with my brand,” he said.

Going to art galleries inspires his creative process, as well as watching music videos, and collecting fashion books from the library.

The founder of Clothing Bliss, Sicelo Nhlapho.

“I collect fashion content and I go to clothing events mostly in Johannesburg. Those activities give me ideas on what to create next,” he added.

Nhlapho aims to inspire aspiring designers from Kwatsaduza. He said he wants to show people who haven’t studied fashion but have a passion for it that it is possible to establish your own brand.

“Knowing your target market and meeting people who are interested in the style you’re producing is important.”

He pointed out that the journey to finding your target market is not an easy one.

“Fabric sourcing is another challenge. Finding fabric that is good quality takes time but with patience, everything eventually comes together,” he revealed.

“I overcome my challenges by learning and remembering what to do. Finding the right marketing strategy and manager is another obstacle I faced but I have a great team that guides me when I don’t know what to do.”

His last words of advice for other upcoming designers is that ‘clothes don’t expire and being original takes time’.

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