Part of the Project
South Africa fashion designer Thabo Makhetha launched her Kobo Ea Bohadi range of Basotho-inspired blanket coats at Design Indaba Expo 2013 as part of the Emerging Creatives programme. The range saw her transforming the blankets, which are traditionally worn in Lesotho were Makhetha was born, into tailored coats and jackets.
Makhetha grew up in Johannesburg and has lived in various cities including Mafikeng, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and now Port Elizabeth. These vibrant cities have contributed to the many diverse influences found in her style and clothing that merges tradition with an urban edge.
How was the Kobo Ea Bohadi range received?
The response was wonderful! It was the first national platform where we could showcase our work. We were subsequently featured in a number of media publications including the Sunday Time’s Fashion Weekly, Marie Claire SA and Elle Décor Magazine.
Has the volume or nature of your business changed since being a part of the Emerging Creatives programme?
Yes. From Soweto to Windhoek, Rosebank to the V&A Waterfront we now stock five high-end boutiques.
What was the most valuable thing you got out of the programme?
Networking was really valuable. You meet other designers that you could collaborate with and get assistance from in future. Feedback from potential buyers and consumers was also really helpful and influenced the development of follow-up products.
Since Emerging Creatives, have you participated in any local or international exhibitions or events, or won any awards?
In September 2013, SA Fashion Week announced that I was one of the semi-finalists for the SA Fashion Week Renault New Talent competition. I was also named one of 51 top young rising stars in South Africa by House and Leisure.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a follow-up collection of coats for Winter 2014 as well as accessories including handbags and earrings.