Grand prize for daring designs

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Her designs ooze creativity. They honour and represent South Africa's youthfulness.

It's no wonder Thembekile Lukhele got the heads of judges swivelling in the yearly Old Mutual Vukani! Fashion Awards bursary competition.

The 21-year-old Lukhele scooped R30000 worth of study at the Southern African School of Design in the competition, which is sponsored by Old Mutual, Sowetan and the South African Fashion Designers' Agency (Safda).

Lukhele said she was required to interpret in fashion how she saw June 16 today compared with June 16 in 1976.

"I saw the competition in Sowetan and did it for fun. I made a few sketches, hoping the judges would love them. And guess what? They did."

She said her dream was to work for Adidas.

"I love Adidas. It's loud, fashionable and hip. It talks directly to me. I would love to design the women's range one day."

Sonwabile Ndamase, spokesman for Safda, said he was proud of Lukhele.

"The theme was very daring. It challenged young designers to create a collection for South African youth who are stepping up to conquer the fashion world but are unshaken in their South African identity."