While many people decide on a design specialty and spend their lives cultivating that art without ever branching out into a different spectrum of design, there are those that just happen to embrace a multitude of disciplines. Ayesha Kamalie isn’t just a painter, or a fashion designer, or a product designer. She’s all of these, as well as a qualified architect and it seems that her repertoire just keeps growing. From the age of five, Kamalie has been starting up her own enterprises, at one time selling painted pebbles door-to-door. As the years passed, those stones were replaced with wood, glass, fabric and recycled objects, while interests expanded to encompass fashion, furniture and architectural design.
Under the Emerging Creatives banner, Kamalie was able to market her new label, Akliviti, on the Design Indaba Expo floor. Her designs, a mixture of bold colours and quirky materials, had people double-taking. She found the amount of open-minded people who appreciated her zestful designs unbelievable. Her highlights were plenty, from being approached by local boutique and gallery owners, to being asked to supply an exciting new concept store in Johannesburg, and meeting well-known figures in the creative industry such as Storm Janse van Rensburg of Goodman Gallery and Lorato Liphuko of African Fashion International. There is even a possible collaboration on the cards with South African designer Craig Native who was blown away by her designs.
“Some of my most special moments at the Design Indaba Expo came when I was bombarded by questions and interviews from scores of school kids and design students,” Kamalie says. “Even though I am just starting to get the Akliviti brand out there, I am immensely grateful for everything that has come my way.”