Internationally acclaimed fashion designer Ineeleng Kavindama was in Johannesburg last week as a guest of the SA Fashion Week, now in its 20th year and attended by a bevy of young designers showcasing their Autumn/Winter 2018 collections on the runway. Kavindama said she was in Johannesburg to pay homage to the SA Fashion Week and its founder Lucilla Booysen for exposing African fashion and empowering young designers. Kavindama was one of the young designers who were featured by Lucilla Booysen during the inaugural SA Fashion Week in 1997.
Kavindama ÔÇô dubbed the Fashion Queen by the South African media ÔÇô first achieved prominence when she pioneered the merger of Southern African dressmaking and artistry with Western fabrics in the early 90s, inspired by the immense possibilities of recreating Ndebele fashion. Her exquisite Ndebele fashion wear and beadwork also formed part of the collections on the runway at the launch of the M-Net Face of Africa ÔÇô southern Africa finalists in Johannesburg.
The experience, Kavindama said this week, has inspired her to continue exploring the infinite possibilities of Ndebele design and knitwear. Today, Ndebele fashion is celebrated internationally and is in vogue throughout southern Africa. Next month, the legendary fashion designer will be back in South Africa to award upcoming young designers from the SADC region with the Ineeleng Kavindama Fashion Award medals and trophy as part of the grand finale of the Fashion Without Borders Designer Roadshow. The Fashion Without Border Designer Roadshow will be held on November 11 2017 at the Vereeniging Civic Theatre in the Vaal Triangle. Kavindama says the gold medals are meant to motivate young designers from the SADC Region who are focused, have business sense and a vision of where they want to go in the near future.
“These awards are there to motivate young designers from the region to know that it is possible to singlehandedly change the trends and not to lose patience in what they believe in,” said Kavindama. In the last 20 years, Kavindama has won the best designer for Menswear at the South African Fashion Designers Association in 1995. She is the first designer from Botswana to showcase in the first M-Net Face of Africa in 1997. She is also the first designer from Botswana to participate in the South African Fashion Week in 1997 and 1999. Her extensive body of work has also been featured on CNN after winning the SA Fashion Designers Association best men’s wear in 1995. Kavindama later represented SA at the Vukani Fashion Show in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Early this year, Kavindama gave awards to the best fashion designers and models with Ineeleng Kavindama gold medals and trophy at the Fashion Without Borders Designer Roadshow in Gaborone, Botswana.
In July this year, Kavindama judged the Botswana President’s Day Fashion Show. She is currently the Director of the Ineeleng Holdings (Pty) Limited, a company that deals with supplying medical equipment to the Botswana Government Hospitals since 2006.