After mentorship from Botswana’s best loved fashion house, Mpho Kuaho, Mothusi Lesolle set up his own brand, iZAURA. Lesolle’s big break came in 2013 when one of his designs appeared on the cover of Lifestyle magazine, and he created a gown for Rosemary Keofitlhetse, who went on to become Miss Botswana. Soon after that he was featured in Macy’s ‘Celebration of World Fashion’ in 2015. Lesolle also uses his fashion label to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. His program, ‘Donate a Prom Dress’, gives local girls from underprivileged families the opportunity to wear designer clothes to their prom parties.
Rizwan Beyg’s design philosophy is, and always has been, ‘Pakistan Modern’. Shooting to fashion fame in the late 80s, the young architecture student had a determination to take the essence of Pakistani style, and modernise it for a contemporary audience. Pakistan Modern loses none of the traditions that are the hallmarks of the country’s culture. The chogha, achkan, lehnga and farshi are cleverly reinvented by Rizwan, experimenting with volume and structure, and often showcasing Mughal embroidery and embellishment. In 2013, Rizwan created the first collection inspired by ‘truck art’ – the style of design found on Pakistan’s rickshaws, inspired by nature, and painted by rural artists. Rizwan continues to work with ‘truck artists’ who design the colourful motifs for his collections, which are then embroidered onto jackets, waistcoats, skirts and accessories.
The big idea behind Quazi Design was found in some discarded magazines. Realising the potential of the brightly printed pages, the managing director of Quazi, Doron Shaltiel, turned the paper into tiny beads and set up her business in 2009. From just one artisan, the company now employs several artisans, each of whom specialise in creating miniature works of art out of paper. Doron’s plan was always to provide much-needed employment in Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland, giving full-time contracts to the artisans who on average have seven dependents.