Making clothes for real people
HE RECENTLY created a frenzy on social networks when he sent "folk carrying devil down the runway" as an introduction to his SA Fashion Week show titled Holy Demons..
But Paledi Segapo's Pasle HOMME show turned out to be anything but creepy or Gothic as anticipated by SA Fashion Week revellers.
The revellers, who were for a moment left startled and in awe, wonder, fear and terror were relieved when it turned out there was nothing devilish about his collection.
If anything, the show was easygoing. It featured floral print details, checks on checks, bright colours and two-piece suits.
The collection was made out of gingham, houndstooth and wool that consisted of several stylish but easy-to-wear garments that could easily be mixed and matched. He also introduced cropped ankle pants and paired them with bright socks.
It's been close to a month since that fateful night, but the IT specialist-turned-designer says the events of that night still haunt him.
What inspired this introduction?
"Pain drove the intellectual underpinnings of the event.
"I was inspired by a rough, turbulent phase I'd endured. It was a very uncomfortable experience and a dark phase that I went through.
"Things were not coming together for me. I lost out on an investment I had made for the past few years and as a result a lot of things started falling apart in my life.
This resulted in people close to me turning their backs on me because they felt I did not have anything to offer them anymore.
"I had debts to pay and no money.
"This is when I sought the face of God. For me, the show was primarily a vehicle to express my imagination."
He says some people still think he is a satanist. The devilish introduction turned out to be a blessing as it generated a lot of publicity for Segape's line and won many consumers. who does he design for?
"I design for a guy who is not necessarily into fashion trends but rather into modern classics because he has timeless taste," says Segapo, who was the adjudicator for Miss SA.
He adds that his line is conceived with real people, not models, in mind. He prides himself on making durable, wearable clothing, inspired by the bustling and hectic Johannesburg lifestyle.
His line had a rare start in fashion - it hit the jackpot from the word go. He launched his first collection last year at the SA Fashion Week and immediately caught the attention of young stars.
He has dressed celebrities like AKA, Slikour and new artist Donald with a chart single on the airwaves, I Deserve.
He says his dream is to extend the brand and make an impression in Cape Town and KZN.
"We are also working on opening an online store and to launch an entry-level T-shirt and shorts range."
When did the love affair between someone who holds a Master's in Business Leadership with a dissertation on fashion growth strategies in SA and the fashion industry start?
The affair started in 2007 when he invested in a fashion label that has since closed.
The future remains bright for Segapo, who is also a creative entrepreneur, fashion columnist and contributor to True Love magazine.
He has also worked in IT for multinationals such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Oracle. His followers think his understanding of contemporary culture sets him apart as a designer.