Mothusi Lesolle is the determined new kid on the block who is looking to setting new trends and to bringing new vibes and flavours to Botswana’s fashion industry.
Lesolle is not completely new to fashion; he has had stints in it the through the media, as a stylist for a magazine and as presenter of the subject on radio and television.
Five months ago, he took a bold step, replacing his microphone with a pair of shears, needle and thread.
At first glance, this self-appointed fashion ambassador exudes a funky aura and may easily be mistaken for a conceited, whimsical celebrity type but once as one talks to him, you realise he is a down-to-earth, simple young man who confidently trumpets: “I wants to make the world a much prettier place to be.”
Lesolle, a holder of a Political Science degree, tossed his degree aside after spending some time in the corporate world before realizing that “It wasn’t for me”.
With unquestionable faith in self, he lept unflinchingly into unfamiliar territory.
“Working with fashion has always been a sub conscious dream of mine,” he says. “I suppressed it until very recently when jazz muso, Nnunu Ramogotsi, turned to me for ideas on what to wear for the launching of her debut album.”
He stated that the minute they stepped outside to go and buy material for Nnunu’s outfit marked the birth of his clothing line.
He called his line ‘iZura by Mothusi Lesolle’. He claims he was not quite sure about his creation then until she saw Nnunu dazzling the cover pages of newspapers. That, he says, is when he realised his potential.
Why such a unique name as iZura and what does it mean?
Lesolle explained that his choice of name is rooted in his past, saying that there is an 80s television show from which he derived this name. The show, which he says he and his mother used to follow religiously, was set against the backdrop of African slavery and the evolution to freedom.
Lesolle claims that his clothing line will also complement the evolution of the fashion industry.
“I am aware that Batswana are still very timid regarding clothing, but iZura intends to bring forth the versatility in clothing, which will enable them to dress up well,” he says and, with a mischievous chuckle, adds” “At some point, a person will be wearing a dress with matching horns.”
Armed with nothing other than passion, motivation and a burning desire to make clothes, Lesolle explained that he went to now a fellow designer, Mpho Kuaho, who he claims had been a “client, associate, sister, friend and mentor”, for help and guidance in the industry since she is a seasoned international fashion designer herself.
“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.”
As a fashion designer, for flawless productions one has to be very precise and pay maximum attention to detail as the slightest change or slip could result in a dramatic negative effect on the item.
iZura is said to be a strictly female clothing line and will have a few Haute Couture items but Lesolle intends to focus a lot of his energy on what he describes as “Ready to wear attire” to suit the subtle fashion sense, which still dominates Botswana’s fashion industry.
He pointed out that he intends to add some ‘oomph’ and a lot of style, which he hopes will eventually lead to a more flexible and daring clientele to his market.
Lesolle has been a part of many fashion shows and recently gave a sneak preview of what people should expect from his clothing line, which he will properly unveil to Batswana at a later stage.
Lesolle has started production and proudly names Lorato Motshwarakgole, of Generations fame, radio personality, Tshepo Ntshole, and Nnunu Ramogotsi as some of the people he has ‘woven garments for’.
If he were to choose anyone in the country to dress? Without flinching, Lesolle mentions the Governor of the Bank of Botswana, Linah Mohohlo, as being at the top of his list.
“She embodies the style, grace and elegance of the type of people I would love to see wearing my clothes.”
iZura clothing will be distributed by a channel of stores across the country after its official launch and Lesolle is crossing his fingers that he clinches a few deals in Johannesburg, South Africa, so that a few shops there also carry his line.
Full Names: Mothusi Casper Lesolle
Favourite food: Although I love Indian Cuisine, here at home I live and die for Koko ya Setswana (free range chicken)
Favourite City : I have been and seen a lot of places but on the coast of Mozambique lies a place called Tofo. I love the beauty and serenity of the place.
Likes most about people: I love the honesty in some people and their ability to stay true to themselves.
Dislikes most about people: I absolutely loathe insecure men who have no respect for women; it’s a HUGE NO!
And if his house were to catch fire? I would try with all my might to save my Blackberry, my photo album and my clothes.