South Africa: David Tlale, “King of Fashion in SA.”

david tlale

Finally! Damn it’s been long overdue.

I have been intending to write about Tlale since forever. Actually he stalled my designers profiling. Yeah that’s how bad it is!

Any who, forget all those excuses we are here now. Let’s dig him, shall we? A look at the 10 years of the brand

David Tlale, South African born talented, gifted (does that mean the same thing?), creative, self-taught and one of the best award winning designers launched his brand over 10 years ago.

In May 2003, Tlale started working from home running a design studio.

Since then he has had an incredible journey. With creations that have exceeded expectations, to showcasing in major platforms, dressing household names. David Tlale has indeed taken his brand to places most designers only dream about.

Why wouldn’t he? His designs speak of style, elegance and you can tell there is a lot of effort, passion and creativity put into his collections. With over a decade of excellence there is no doubt that his is a call of passion.

Tlale says “We are out there looking for investors because I know what needs to be done now. If you don’t, you can get taken for a ride. I know a few designers who sold their souls for money. Investors come and go. Passion stays.”

You know how I feel about diversity in the fashion industry and for Tlale to Represent South Africa with Almost Entirely Black Supermodel Entourage during NYFW Spring/Summer 2015, he won my heart even more.

And who led the entourage? Tyson Beckford the first black male supermodel.

In 2005 he was appointed “Head Designer for Carducci Woman” under the House of Monatic Group in Cape Town South Africa.

In 2007 Tlale was one of the 4 young South African Fashion designers to be selected to present their Couture Collection during Paris Couture week.

2008 he was voted the most stylish designer at the South African Style Awards, he was also voted Mzansi’s South Africa’s Star Designer of the year. He Launched a Green Collection for the voluptuous women of Mzansi.

Nominated for the Mercedes-Benzes Fashion and Art Awards along with many other accolades and nominations, Tlale was invited to judge the Elle New Talent competition. He was a semifinalist at the South African Fashion Week Elle New Talent Show Competition earlier on in 2002.

In the same year he designed a Couture master piece for British super model Jordan Dunn at the closing show for Virgin Mobile Cape-Town Fashion Week.

2009 Tlale won ‘Designer of the Year” after show-casing his debut Spring/Summer 2010 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Africa Fashion Week awards hosted by international super model Alek Wek in Johannesburg.

In 2010 he made his debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring /2010 amongst other three African designers, courtesy of African Fashion International and Arise Mag.

During the same year Tlale showcased at Mid-night the “Butter-Fly” Collection at the Africa Fashion week 2010 Johannesburg. This collection was one of a kind; it attracted a lot of praise from both the media and fashionistas saying the collection indeed exceeded their expectations.

2011 however was a major one for Tlale.

He closed the “Iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge” in Johannesburg to present his Fall 2011 “Made In The City” Collection in the longest ramp with 92 Models in celebration of the 92 years of Nelson Mandela’s life.

In the same year Tlale celebrated the opening of his 1st ever flagship boutique at the Michael Angelo Towers in Sandton, Johannesburg.

In 2012, Tlale presented his 1st solo Ready-to-Wear Fall/12 Collection during New York Fashion Week. He became the first South African fashion designer to showcase solo at the New York Fashion Week.

2013 he presented his 2nd “Decadence” Collection at Lincoln Centre New York. He also took the collection on tour to South Africa and Angola.

He launched a hand bag range that is sold nation-wide in South Africa.

In the same year David Tlale created a dress to represent Robben Island, for the heritage and culture stand at INDABA, one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar.

And yes even brands as great as Tlale’s makes mistake.

“I have a particular message I need to portray. And I can see it. Sometimes I make mistakes. I buy fabric, try, and if it’s not working I have a right to kill that line and start again. It has happened several times. I’m my own worst critic.”

I have learnt through Tlale that it takes more than just creativity to be an accomplished designer. There are a lot of things that completes the whole make up. He says there is a time they did an all-white collection which didn’t sell. They dyed everything black and the entire collection sold out!

“By the time the media comes through I have done it already. By the time the world sees it I’m exhausted and ready to create something else. I find pure joy in making bold statements that make people think. My team asks how we got there. I don’t know. It just happens.”

Well that’s 10 years of the brand, wishing him many more achievements.

Here is peek at few of his collections I like.



David tlale 2

David solo




My name is Queen. Editor, Blogger and fashion designer. This blog is a back love platform showcasing African fashion, beauty, art and lifestyle. I like to call it Africa through my eyes. These as well as fashion updates and topics around the globe

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