Well done Thamsanqa Klaas, you earned it!! It’s been a difficult journey for the young designer who from humble beginnings, scooped the prestigious Best Student Designer of The Year award at Free State Fashion Week 2019.
Klaas, who is affectionately known as Thami, is a part time student at the Free State Fashion Hub, a fashion design school based in the Free State. The young designer wins a fully paid scholarship to continue with his studies full time at the Free State Fashion Hub, and will also receive mentorship and guidance from top designers who are partnering with the Free State Fashion Council.
GLAMOUR caught up with Thami, originally from the large Botshabelo township about 45 km east of Bloemfontein, to discuss his journey to success. Take a look at the Q&A below.
GLAMOUR: Briefly, please tell us what inspired you to become a creative?
Thami: I am inspired by life; I like people who are working and I’ve always wanted to do this. I like being alone at times, this then gets my creative juices flowing. For instance, when I am alone those are the times where I get to draft and shape my thoughts.
I like watching people carry on with their lives, you see my brother, I am coming from a background that has not been great and that gets me going. My mother is a single parent and she works at Botshabelo industry’s where she really doesn’t earn a lot, as a result, I am really trying to improve our situation at home.
I am the eldest child of three, and seeing my mother struggle isn’t funny and I am really grateful for her support (starts sobbing). So yeah, I am inspired by life.
GLAMOUR: Mentioning how your family drives and inspires you, what does this award mean for you and them?
Thami: This means a lot to me. It will definitely help my mother as well. She will be able to save her money to patch here and there for the family. You know, I was unable to attend school last year (2018) because my mother who has been there for me since forever was unable to pay my fees. I was forced to drop out from Bloemfontein academy because of the situation at home, eish! My story bro waka, bo hlakahlakane (My life is troubled my brother). This award means I’d be able to change my life and to change my circumstances. My mother has been my greatest source of strength and I am really happy.
GLAMOUR: Its really been a tough situation you have been in. Do tell us, when did you start working on your range and what is it called?
Thami: I started working on the range I showcased tonight early this year, it has not been easy. I had to use every cent that I had to buy material that I would need for it. It is called Afri-Euro because they are elements of Africa in it. The range is about two creative worlds coming together.
GLAMOUR: Wow, that is interesting, now tell us what are your plans for the future?
Thami: Plans for the future is more dedication, and focus on building a brand.
Glamour: Who are your favourite designers?
Thami: Mm, I have four favourite designers, you see their work have influenced and encouraged me to be a designer as well.
1.Olivier Rousteing a French fashion designer and the creative director of Balmain.
2. Karl Otto Lagerfeld a German creative director, fashion designer, artist, photographer, and caricaturist who lived in Paris.
3. Hedi Slimane is a French photographer and fashion designer.
4. Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan fashion designer known for "exceptional personal style", and for dressing various First Ladies, including Jacqueline Onassis, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.