By Phume is an androgynous designer apparel brand. The inspiration behind the brand is making eye-catching statements using bold design, quality, craftsmanship and colour. The brand originated from the lack of variety in the retail clothing market. Naturally, I saw the gap in the market and set out to fill it.
Growing up, I always dreamt of being a Formula 1 driver. However, getting into racing is very expensive and I could never quite get started. The second-best thing was studying mechanical engineering in order to be at least close to the cars. While I was studying at the University of Pretoria, I really got into modelling and fashion.
Design was drilled into my DNA. I found it easy to conceptualise ideas and communicate them to people. This is how I fell in love with fashion design. What really catalysed the transition is how well my designs were received by my peers.
I am really fascinated by Japanese fashion. I mimic their silhouettes a lot in my designs. But if I summarised the overall aesthetic, it would be hippie/punk.
Androgynous fashion is a massive trend. I initially made my designs for the stylish and progressive gent. However, when I launched my initial pieces, the ladies screamed the loudest. I could not ignore them. When I launched the brand, I added androgyny as my fundamental design principle.
Making my first sale was pretty satisfying! My career highlights in the fashion industry include being invited to be part of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives Programme in 2020. Some of South Africa's most celebrated artists such as Laduma of Maxhosa have been part of that programme. So, for me, it was very encouraging to be considered as a talented creative on such a massive and inspirational platform.
Own race, own pace! Start small. Develop your craft. Collaborate with your peers. Have fun with it.
Life is lit young blood. Every single day is a blessing. Don't waste it on just anything or with just anyone. Be intentional.
Honestly, I'm prepared for my mind to be blown. That's what I am working towards.
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