David Tlale’s training initiative to expose Namibian fashion designers

By Adolf Kaure

Windhoek – South African and world renowned fashion designer David Tlale believes that young Namibian fashion designers could benefit through continental exposure from his in-house training initiative – The Intern.

In 2013, Tlale launched the programme to provide to impart skills to talented designers in Africa through a one year internship programme at his studio in Johannesburg.

Speaking to The Southern Times after launching his programme in Windhoek recently, the fashion guru elaborated on how “The Intern” would be a good learning curve for upcoming fashion designers.

“They will learn how to build a brand and get exposed to Mercedez Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg and Cape Town and other big platforms on the continent,” he said.

First Lady Monica Geingos through her One Economy Foundation seized the opportunity to bring Tlale to Namibia in order for Namibian fashion designers to participate in this programme, alongside their South African counterparts.

Geingos commented the new development in the local fashion sector that:

“We believe that it is time for the arts to take its rightful place in the entrepreneurial development space.

“We believe this is an opportunity which matches talent, mentorship and entrepreneurial development and falls neatly within the One Economy Foundation’s philosophy of developing talent”.

Geingos launched the foundation earlier in May, a non-profit organisation that serves as a channel for transformation by connecting Namibia’s formal and informal economies and serving as a bridge over which Namibians in the second? economy or operating on the periphery of the first economy can cross and fully utilize their talents in one economy.

Tlale commended Madam Geingos’ philanthropic efforts and for her involvement in internship programme.

“Being a humanitarian that she is, I thought it would be a great innovation to work with her.

She is more of a game changer than anything else, and this is a good one because it’s going to impart skill and change peoples’ lives,” Tlale said.

As he went through the criteria for applying for The Intern’, the designer explained why the initiative is an industry game changer.

He encouraged as many Namibians to apply as possible.

“You have got to be a designer, you should be able to make clothes and you should be a designer who wants to take their work to the next level.”

“We are looking for people for are passionate, with a sense of originality and creativity and above anything else a sense of narrative in the fashion industry. We will know it when we see it,” he said, adding that applicants “should not be in the industry for more than five years”. Tlale will accept 7 Interns and has guaranteed place for three Namibians with a tuition fee per applicant, to cover all costs involved for the duration of the Programme.

The Office of the First Lady, in collaboration with the College of the Arts will work together on how to raise funding for one  applicant, who due to his/her background would not have fair access to this opportunity.

The two remaining applicants are expected to raise funds themselves. To apply, applicants must complete the application form and submit it together with a story board of their designs, showcasing their technique and ability.

Designers have up until the 30th November 2016 to apply.

Application forms are available on the David Tlale website www.davidtlale.com. David Tlale’s hard work and determination propelled him to mark his spot on the coveted runways of New York and Milan.

The author can be contacted at adolfkaure14@gmail.com