Getting To Know Project Runway South Africa Season 1 Winner!

Kentse Masilo Project runway South Africa season 1 winner SA Fashion handbook

Kentse Masilo entered Project Runway South Africa for the opportunity to unlock one of her dreams. She shares exclusively with us some valuable lessons learnt on her journey to winning the competition and some future plans.

Now that the dust has settled, do you think that Project Runway is a great platform to inspire young designers to explore their full potential?“Exploring your full potential requires courage and what the show has taught me is that not everything you design will be a huge success but one still needs to continue even when you have encountered failure, I believe that is what makes great designers ”

What was the most challenging thing about being on the show? Were there times when you felt like giving up? “That would be the self doubt that comes with working under pressure and in a room full of cameras! I am not going to lie there was a time when I had the urge to quit! ”

The SAFW new talent search competition was an amazing experience that helped me prepare for Project Runway in so many ways, but mostly giving me insight into the quality standards the industry expects from young designers

Is there anything you would have liked to change or have done differently, throughout the duration of the show?“Perhaps I would have done things differently in the 3rd challenge, I didn’t put much effort in the my garment cause I was afraid if I won three times in a row things would be awkward for everyone!”

What have you learnt about yourself as a designer? “I have learnt that it is crucial to stay true to yourself and live your truth. I’ve developed certain qualities that have helped fuel my drive. The criticism from the judges whether it was directed at me or the other designers gave me direction ”

I don’t believe in having a set creative process. Design happens anywhere and at anytime. This competition is a great example of that. Talent means nothing if you cannot manage it and as a creative I have learnt that

What advice do you have for all the young designers who do not believe in themselves, how can they look at you as a source of inspiration?“The only advice I have for young designers is to tell their story no matter how ugly and uncomfortable it may be! Do not conform to the pressure from the industry to try fit in, you inspire others by staying true to who you are”

To all the other contestants who did not win, what would you say to them? “All the designers that made it to top 12 all deserved to be there and I personally learnt a lot from each one of them. Some have inspired me and continue to do so and I am very grateful.”

With the exposure that Project Runway South Africa has given you, how do you plan to grow your brand?“I plan to take full advantage of the exposure from Project Runway by leading in my community and in the Fashion Industry. It is important to build a sustainable business, one that can create jobs. Plus, I have a voice and I plan on using it. I want to change the world through fashion and I would like to think that I have the courage to achieve it and still remain true to myself.”

What are your long term plans?“I plan to export my clothing in the future, and will be developing my couture range for 2020/ 2021. I plan on growing my business and empowering the youth of Bethanie”

We look forward to seeing you on the runway next year!

Follow Kentse here @bespoke_kentse

Written by Nomsa Motale   Find on Twitter @sasamotale

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