Thula Sindi: Understanding the dynamics of being an emerging fashion designer

Thula Sindi believes designers have to make themselves indispensible to customers by making truly wearable clothes.

Johannesburg-based fashion designer Thula Sindi aims to make comfortable, wearable clothes. His most recent collection, which he launched at Design Indaba Expo 2015, is an amalgamation of an urban aesthetic and a country dream.

“Lots of people have an idyllic way of looking at city life,” says Sindi, who grew up in a rural community. “Then once you are in the city there is an idyllic way of looking at rural life. I want to mix those two ideas and create a more relaxed silhouette and fabrics.”

Sindi’s collection features gentle “milk maid” fabrics such as white cottons and broderie anglaise, and “leather we associate with cowboys and ranches”.

Sindi asks that local designers focus on making clothes that become a part of their wearer’s daily lives. Instead of a focus on cocktail and occasion wear, he suggests instead a movement towards active or sports wear and everyday apparel.

“We should become indispensible,” he says about fashion designers. “We’ve got to create beautiful clothes and make sure people buy them.”