The makings of Orapeleng Modutle

2018-11-03 00:00

Orapeleng Modutle is fast becoming one of the country’s most recognisable designers with his unique way of structuring garments, and his market success is growing in leaps and bounds. Rhodé Marshall asks him about his latest collection and what keeps his creativity ticking.

The Orapeleng Modutle Style Avenue brand has been seen in all the major fashion magazines in the country, has graced some of the most popular red carpets and has been admired by many lovers of fashion across social media platforms.

The designer says his latest collection, themed Listening To My Inner Melody, is rooted in the influence music has on fashion.

“This collection is one that is dear to my heart as it is reminiscent of where my career started and how I meditate through the medium of music during the development of my collections while I sketch. The relationship between fashion and music is one of abundant and mutual creativity,” Modutle told #Trending before publicly revealing his 2018/19 Spring/Summer collection.

We caught up with him to find out what inspires him, his work and everything in between.

What was your earliest ambition?

While growing up, I always wanted to become a theatre actor or do something on Broadway [in New York].

Who was or still is your mentor?

Nkhensani Nkosi, the founder of the South African fashion label Stoned Cherrie, is my mentor and has been since I had the opportunity to intern with her during my final year at Tshwane University of Technology. She has taught me the true essence of running a fashion business.

Ambition or talent – which matters more to be successful in the fashion industry?

I think both do. I strongly believe that talent is nurtured by ambition. Talent without ambition is like a bird without wings.

What ambitions do you still have?

The sky is the limit. The Orapeleng Modutle brand is yet to take to greater heights in the Pan-African market, as well as the greater European market with concept stores and a lot more that’s in line with our opulent experience.

What drives you?

I’m always in search of ways to be better and find innovative ways to become a game-changer in my profession.

What is the greatest achievement in your life so far?

It would be that I have been able to build a reputable and profitable brand that has continuous growth.

If your 18-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?

I think he would be proud. He would see that I have grown, matured and developed immensely over the years.

What is the greatest challenge for local designers now?

It’s an issue of not knowing the difference between instant gratification and building a sustainable and reputable business. We are all about accepting deals that make money now and don’t consider any long-term goals that we want to achieve.


Tell me about the theme and inspiration for your 2018/19 Spring/Summer collection.

The 2018/19 Spring/Summer collection is a relationship between music and fashion. The relationship between the two is one of abundant and mutual creativity.

What were the thoughts behind the colours and fabric used?

What better way to represent something as classical as music than to use a black and white palette? The colours also illustrate piano keys.


Tell me more about the bridal collection. Who is the Orapeleng Modutle bride?

The quintessential Orapeleng Modutle bride is feminine and is someone who takes risks. She could get married on an island in Greece and loves being different. The bridal collection tells a story of the day-to-day clients we get to meet – they are extremely unique and diverse in their own right.

What’s different in your thought and design processes when creating bridal gowns as opposed to other garments?

A bridal gown is extremely important as it holds so much memory for the most special day in a woman’s life. I get to pick up the bride’s personality when I consult with her, and that builds on my thought process when designing the gown.

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May 19 2019