MASERU – When you look good, you feel good too, says fashion enthusiast and designer ‘Mannamo Phalo. The 23-year-old from Mahobong in Leribe aims to put Lesotho on international scale in terms of fashion designing.
‘Mannamo has always loved fashion, from a very young age. Since her days in primary school she has always found joy in drawing illustrations of girls wearing royalty dresses fit for princesses – she says she did not realize then that the fashion bug has bitten her.
Her greatest enthusiasm for fashion started showing when she was in secondary. She would always cut clothes and transform them into something new, she adds that “my mom would be very angry at me, sometimes even beat me up and I would still continue cutting them.”
She studied for her primary and high school levels at the Leribe English Medium Schools, and later on enrolled for a Fashion and Apparel Design at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology where she is currently in her second year.
“There was this other time that I took my aunt’s old vintage checkered pair of trousers, I actually wanted to make short pants out it…but instead, I made a ‘Delela’ shorts.
What I did was so amazing that my mom was astonished by my work. At that time I had sewn the whole garment with my bare hands, just a needle and thread, no sewing machine. And that is when my mom realized that I was actually made for the fashion industry,” ‘Mannamo continues.
She adds that she is actually blessed to have her as a parent, “unlike other parents who would want their kids to embark on sophisticated courses which would give them fancy job titles, she just told me to go for what I think I am made for, and here I am!”
“I would say my love for fashion is basically inspired by my love for clothes. I love dressing up. For me, it’s the confidence that comes with it!”
‘Mannamo says they have done quite a lot of sewing in school, but it is unfortunate that they are not allowed to showcase their work anywhere yet because they are still learning. They will probably do all that towards the end of their third year during school exhibitions.
“I am into Haute Couture. It is basically all about red carpet garments and all that, and I would also like to be one of the first fashion designers to introduce Avant Garde fashion in Lesotho.
Avant Garde is all about creativity in high fashion, and consists of garments that a normal individual would not actually wear in public. It is basically all about how innovative a fashion designer can be, it is quite interesting!”
She is currently still working on her personal brand, which is currently still under wraps but will definitely be launched before the end of this year.
She aspires to be a fashion designer who will be able to deliver what my customers ask for in satisfactory work. “I am actually looking forward to working with some of Lesotho’s top fashion designers, just to put Lesotho on an international scale in terms of fashion.
Five years from now, I want my brand to have been known nationally, and I will definitely be preparing for an international scale to compete globally. It is going to be quite a long journey, but will definitely be worth every effort.”