Celebs fail at fashion

South African celebrities are launching their own clothing lines en masse.

South African celebrities are launching their own clothing lines en masse.

After conquering the party circuit, they are now entering the fashion world with their own clothing lines.

With insatiable appetites for all things celebrity, South Africans are influenced by them every day. We watch their soapies, listen to their songs and read about their dirty laundry on gossip pages.

But fashion has been the biggest inspiration for the modern consumer.

A growing number of South African celebrities have tried their hand at designing fashion lines of their own. Not all of them have been successful, though.

Celebs, whose clothing lines have disappeared from the scene include Pam Andrews, HHP, Thembi Seete, Noni Gasa, Ringo Madlingozi, Jub Jub, Mandoza, Augustine Masilela-Chuene, Theo Nhlengethwa and Speedy.

Basetsana Kumalo's clothing line was promising at first because she endorsed it by wearing her own clothes. But the quality was inferior.

Bonginkosi Dlamini, aka Zola 7's clothing line carried the same ray of hope when he launched it, but it has clearly not done well.

And who knows what happened to S'thandiwe Kgoroge's Poetry Museum in Melville?

Carol Mayi, a Johannesburg stylist and fashion critic, said the problem was that Kumalo flooded her line with many ranges in a short time.

"She had a Bassie Corporate clothing range, optical and sunglass range as well as cosmetics. The flooding confused consumers. She should have concentrated on one range."

Bongo Maffin claims they have their own label, but Stoan is dressed by Carducci and Thandiswa keeps crossing the floor between Stoned Cherry and Sun Goddess, depending on her weight at the time.

Now Nhlanhla Nciza has launched her own fashion line, NN Vintage. It is influenced by her style of dress that carries a range of vintage feminine designs.

After noticing sloppy sales, Linda Mkhize, aka Pro Kid, took responsibility for his products and embarked on ambush marketing. After each performance, he markets his clothes.

Sechaba "Chabi" Mogale, one of the founders of Loxion Kulcha who now owns SXTN STCHS, warns that the fashion world is not all glitz and glam behind the scenes, as many people are made to believe.

"Though the fashion industry looks glamorous, there is too much work involved. There is the business side that too many people miss. Your brand can be hot, but if the business side of things is not handled well the line could end up as a failure."

Things are looking up though.

Celeb couple Nkhensani and Zam Nkosi's Stoned Cherry is one of the most celebrated success stories of South African fashion.

Mayi attributes Stoned Cherry's success to its embrace of "Africanness".

The line embraces pre-uhuru Sophiatown when the fashion was more Eurocentric and characterised by berets, goggles and wide, long skirts.

Ntombifuthi Dabula, who wears Stoned Cherry, said the brand was successful because a lot of people identify with it.

The South African fashion scene has evolved.

Kwaito star Kabelo's line of Reebok sneakers launched a few years ago is selling well.