He has been a fashion designer for just three years but even by his own admission, it seems like it has been for ever. Having started his career as a stylist, hehas been a constant feature in the local fashion industry that is the elegant and stylish Mothusi Lesolle. Even the global news channel CNN could not resist his charm.
“I had to cancel the interview twice because I would suddenly develop cold feet at the thought of being recognised byCNN,” he tells Lifestyle.With his overwhelming self-confidence and sense of worth, it is hard to imagine Lesolle being intimidated by the prospect of a knocking opportunity.
But just over three years before he graced screens around the world, the University of Botswana Political Science degree holderwas just a marketing executive at Flair Magazine.
“I decided to switch from my marketing position to fashion editor,” he says, adding “I have always harboured an incredible passion for fashion.” Unfortunately things did not work out for the magazine and Lesolle had to look elsewhere for a job. Destiny would blow him into the fashion house of Mpho Kuaho.
It was through the renowned fashion designer’s mentorship that Lesolle found his true calling. Armed with nothing other than passion, motivation and a burning desire to make clothes, Lesolle was determined to make his mark in the fashion industry.
“Mpho has furnished me with reading material, guidance and with her as a reference, I came to realise that there is more to the fashion industry than putting a few pieces of cloth together,” he told Lifestyle back in 2013.
It was not until jazz artist Nnunu Ramogotsi approached Lesolle for fashion advice prior to her debut album launch that his fashion design career took off. “People began to take notice of my work when Nnunu (Ramogotsi)appeared on the Lifestyle cover rocking my design,” he says. He said at the time, that the minute they stepped outside to go shop material for Ramogotsi’s outfit marked the birth of his clothing line, iZaura.
Lesolle would also design an evening gown for one of Miss Botswana 2013 contestants, Rosemary Keofitlhetse, who went on to scoop the title. Lesolle had finally arrived where he wanted to be. “I have only been designing for three years but when I look at my portfolio today, I can hardly believe it,” he tells Lifestyle. But he is not by any means complacent. “I have and will always consider myself a student of fashion designing,” he says, “I also want to carve my own signature design. I want people to look at a beautiful dress and be able to say ‘that’s iZaura’.”
In 2014 Lesolle showcased his designs at Kenya’s biggest fashion event, the Festival for African Fashion and Arts. It was his participation in fashion extravaganzas throughout Africa and the US that landed him an interview on CNN’s Inside Africa where he shared the story of his journey. He dresses local and international celebrities and is part of the annual Masa Square Hotel Wedding Expo, where he showcases his designs as well as donning the hat of producer.
He has also taken part in the De Beers Shining Light Awards; a competition that showcases talented jewellery designers from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Lesolle also uses his fashion label, iZaura, to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate.
His partnership with the Dignity Foundation afforded young girls from impoverished communities a better access to sanitary pads by auctioning some of his top designs to raise funds. Lesolle has started a programme called ‘Donate a Prom Dress’, which gives young girls from underprivileged families the opportunity to wear designer clothes to their prom parties.
While he has designed for high profile clients Lesolle’s Brunch with iZaura, hosted in partnership with Masa Square Hotel, is aimed at giving all women an opportunity to interact with his designs. “People will get an opportunity to buy some of the 30 pieces I have designed specifically for the event,” he said. He would also be giving advice and taking questions from the floor. The event would also include a pop-up shop and fashion show.
“My partnership with Masa Square Hotel goes way back to when I first started,” he says. “It has always been a strong mutually beneficial partnership.” Masa Square Hotel also hosted Lesolle for his interview with CNN. Branch with iZaura was scheduled to take place yesterday (Saturday November 5).