Kabelo Legodi's IPantsula Collection: A modern take on a classic South African style
By Lindelwa Masuku
Welcome to our latest edition of Threads of Inspiration, where we showcase the work and insights of talented fashion designers. In this edition, we had the pleasure of interviewing Kabelo Legodi, a rising star in the South African fashion scene.
Kabelo's designs are inspired by the South African narrative, featuring unique prints, silhouettes, and fabrics that tell a story.
In this edition of Threads of Inspiration, we feature the talented South African fashion designer, Kabelo Legodi. Kabelo grew up in Seshego, Limpopo, in a household where clothes, colognes, and shoes were a big deal.
His love for dance, music, and choreography heavily influenced his passion for fashion. After completing his studies in fashion design at Vaal University of Technology, he embarked on a journey to create his own fashion brand that reflects the South African narrative.
Kabelo Legodi's designs are a follow-up on previous stories through his unique prints, silhouettes, and fabrics. He recently participated in the Vodacom Durban July Men's wear competition and came out in second place, which meant a lot to him.
Kabelo's ultimate goal is to be recognized internationally as one of the greatest fashion designers and to tell a story for the black African child.
In this interview, Kabelo shares some insights into his background, inspiration, and plans for the future.
1.Can you tell us about your background and how you got into fashion design?
Full name: Kabelo Legodi born and raised in Limpopo from a small township called seshego. I grew up in a household where clothes, colognes and shoes are a big deal. My love for dance, music and choreography also influenced my passion for fashion.
During my high school years, I was heavily involved in the street culture and also part of a dance crew, this led to me having my own stylist and fashion designer in those years. After I matriculated I pursued my studies in fashion design at the Vaal University of Technology.
2.We are obsessed with your ' BLACK CHECKERED SHIRT. PINSTRIPE PANTS AND PINSTRIPE DENIM JACKET' look, can you tell us what inspired your design and creative process?
This look is part of the Ipantsula collection, so for this specific look we focused on the flannel pattern (check striped shirt) from the 70s,the olden day pantsula would wear a 3 piece set of Scottish check pattern also known as the flannel from head to toe.
So, we decided to bring it back with modern influence, Recycled denim with screen printed Ipantsula flannel pattern inspired by famous pantsula check print. Jacket and shirt silhouette inspired by the coach jacket for professional soccer coaches.
3.Can you share a memorable moment from your journey as a designer so far?
I participated in the Vodacom Durban July Men’s wear competition and I came out second place and it meant a lot to me.
4.Can you tell us about a project or collection you are particularly proud of?
Every new collection is better than the previous one, but I would like to highlight a project I did with JTI (Japan tobacco international) . It was a half a million project which required us to design and manufacture fashionable, stylish and functional promotional clothing for the company employees.
Till this day I still bump into the cigarette sales people wearing my reversible bomber jackets and length adjustable bandage dresses to mention a few.
5.How do you stay current with fashion trends and incorporate them into your work?
We are not really a trend focused brand, we believe in introducing our craft to the audience and creating our own line of what we define as trendy.
6.How do you approach sustainability in your designs and production process?
We try to be low waste and limit our emissions, also we promote greater environmental conservation and restoration. We avoid fabrics that are highly water, land and energy intensive. We also seek to create high quality and lasting goods.
7.Can you share your plans for the future of your brand and career as a designer?
We plan on introducing a shoe line which will be unisex and showing our collections all over the globe. Locally we are aiming at taking the number 1 spot as the leading fashion brand.
As a designer and brand Kabelo Legodi, I would like to be recognized internationally as one of the greatest and also plan on telling a story for the black African child.
8.How do you plan to make an impact and stand out in the industry?
My designs resemble the South African narrative which is something that makes us who we are. Every collection is a follow up on the previous story through our unique prints’ silhouettes and fabrics.
9.What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?
I would advise aspiring fashion designers to try and enrol at accredited institutions. It's more likely to make it in this industry when you have proper qualification. Self-taught designers are also likely to make it but a fashion design qualification is necessary.
In the words of Kabelo Legodi, "Aspiring fashion designers should try and enrol at accredited institutions. It's more likely to make it in this industry when you have proper qualifications."
Kabelo's designs resemble the South African narrative, which makes them unique and reflective of his culture. His brand focuses on being low-waste, limiting emissions, and promoting environmental conversation and restoration.
Stay tuned for our next edition of Threads of Inspiration, where we will feature another talented designer.