Go for it | Why this designer urges more young fashion entrepreneurs to follow their dreams
When one considers themselves a triple threat talent; singing, dancing and acting come to mind. Thohoyandou-born Thikho Mudau has added fashion designer to the mix.
The singer and actress is the brainchild behind her own fashion label, Thikho Mudau Collections, a brand that was spurred by her love of arts and crafts. When she started her brand, she had no intention to sell what she was creating.
“Because I had little understanding I believed that selling your artistry was just complete greed. A friend of mine who is a great businesswoman took me to a park market to go sell some of my items,” says Mudau, “that experience shifted my focus.”
Mudau has collaborated with a number of brands based in Bloemfontein, namely boutique store Cheeki Cherri. Her next step is to push her brand from Instagram to an official online store. She also looks forward to doing more collaborative work in and out of the Free State.
To kick-start Thikho Mudau Collections she saved pocket money and earnings from her artistic talents. Through these gigs she was able to grow a clientele and build the Thikho Mudau Collections brand. Although it began as an accessories brand, clothing has become a large focus for her brand. Mudau’s collections are inspired by a mix of influences with a distinct local flavour.
“These African wax print textiles are beautiful for the stories they tell. It’s not just the bright colours. They tell the story of who we are and where we come from and these stories continue with us, taking back our power, proudly standing for who we are.”
The Bloemfontein-based businesswoman credits inspiration from a number of designers who have started off in the same city. Among them are noted local designers, Cassper Bosman and Ole Ledimo of House of Ole. Mudau also looks up to Nigerian brand Keke’s Fashion.
Mudau focuses little time on the difficulties she often faces and chooses to focus on her growth instead.
“The focus is on the process and I always push myself a little bit harder to get the job done.”
She also urges other designers who want to start their own fashion business to take a fearless first step and “go for it!”.
“There’s room for everyone;work very hard. Keep your mind fixed on where you want to go, be very professional and never sell something you wouldn’t wear.”
One of her highlights as a designer was getting the opportunity to dress one of the Miss South Africa 2018 top 12 contestants, Margo Fargo.
To see more of her work you can follow her on Instagram @thikho_mudau_collections.