Essie Apparel By Enhle Steals The Show At #SAFW Day Two

She chats to ZAlebs about her brand and showcasing at the #SAFW

By  | Oct 25, 2022, 08:23 AM  | Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa  | Top of the

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Essie Apparel by Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa stole the show on day two of SA Fashion Week (SAFW). Enhle showcased her autumn/winter 2023 collection alongside Black Coffee, Munkus, Ntando XV, and Erre and she received a standing ovation from the crowd after wrapping her showcase.

Her collection stole the hearts of many people and they couldn't stop singing her praises. Enhle's Essie collection takes its cue from the edgy globetrotter and international jetsetter. Simple, yet exciting, fashion forward silhouettes imagine new frontiers and are infused with her ethos of “keep moving forward to push boundaries, never stop."

Zalebs caught up with Enhle backstage after she closed day two of the show with a bang, and she broke down in tears when her grandmother came backstage to congratulate her.

Tell us about Essie Apparel?

It was born in 2019 just before COVID-19, it was amazing with our fashion show we got to be in Vogue Italia, and we won our first international designer award and COVID-19 came, but now we are back and we are completely disrupting the space and its absolutely fine.

What inspired your designs today?

The inspiration came from colors we have in Africa and celebrating colours and translating and beading in a different way than we usually do. When we think African we think of one solid idea so I thought what would Africa be if it was for the world, so the collection came up. The Ndebele culture has beautiful colors so I played with them. The Tsonga's have a beautiful culture so I played with the colors on a yellow gown and it was very sexy because in Africa being naked is  completely normal but we just made it a taboo.

What was your favourite part in working on the designs?

Being bold enough to break the chain of "winter is this colour." I think when you watch autumn/ winter shows its so boring because you know what colors we gonna find. No one if bold enough to celebrate colour in winter and I think that's why we are here its like a blank canvas lets colour it up."

It's absolutely amazing when your work is well received because it takes a lot of blood and sweat and the style of Essie Apparel is very simplistic, elegant and sexy so getting everything right is often tricky. We got the models with earrings and nose rings, we got the LGBTQI Community. I just wanted to involve everyone and interrupt the space, and I had a man with a wedding gown and for me that is something we need to explore and be part of the culture.

Where to from here?

Follow the footprints and being in SA Fashion Week is always beautiful because you know the international community is gonna here as well.

What advise would you give aspiring fashion designers?

Study, study, and study it's always great to know what you are doing and know where you are going. You need to know beading and the process of designing outfits.

Which countries would still like to penetrate in Africa?

Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Zimbabwe, Kenya a and just all off them. Namibia is the love of my life now I absolutly love Namibia and I am there often I love the people weather and the culture. I think Africa needs to think of itself as one.

Image Cred: ZAlebs
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