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Ouma is, oh, so cool

THE past decade has seen the rise of black fashion designers catering for various needs in the market.

Pretoria-based Ouma Tema identified a gap in the plus-size market and launched her label - Plus-Fab - aimed at the bigger and curvier woman.

She launched her fashion line in March last year and in a short time proved she had made a good decision.

"My mother always struggled to get me the right size when I was growing up. It pained me that I did not have a choice of clothes I could wear, but had to make do with whatever size was available," Tema said.

In her teenage years, growing up in Namakgale, a small Limpopo township near Phalaborwa, Tema said she established a close relationship with a seamstress, whose brand she designed.

"By the time I moved to Pretoria to study at the Tshwane University of Technology for a public management diploma in 2002, I had created my own unique style."

She explained that her technique included focusing on high-waisted dresses and skirts because her design "works around the curves".

"This is not just a fashion line but a lifestyle option to encourage ful-figured women to celebrate their bodies and dress appropriately.

"My consultation is not only about the clothes. I take the client through a holistic process of how to take care of themselves."

The 28-year-old designer said it was all about celebrating "bums and boobs, but not being trashy".

She emphasised the need for buying the proper under-garments -such as body shapers - to enhance one's shape.

Her popularity has seen celebrities such as poet Lebo Mashile and radio DJ Chriselda Kananda choosing her fashion line.

"I am so proud to have been a guest on shows such as 3Talk and other media platforms that have embraced my garments."

Her garments have been ordered from countries such as Ghana and Nigeria and even some orders from the US.

"I have shipped orders throughout the country and my client base keeps growing. I plan to host talks to educate the full-figured women about the right grooming techniques."- motaud@sowetan.co.za

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