Hlonolofatso: Aspiring minimalist designer


Maseru – Drawing inspiration from minimalist architecture, Hlonolofatso Mapesela wants to keep things simple but extraordinary. The fashion designer, who hails from the Mokhotlong district is only 21. Hlonolofatso’s passion in designing and sketching outfits started at a very young age and this was inspired by dressing up her dolls, while an aunt who regularly visited her with a sewing machine ignited her urge for fashion design.

During her high school days at Seeiso High School, the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) student remembers a career guidance day at high school. She says amongst the many pieces of information that were shared that day fashion and apparel design remained etched in her mind.

From that day she made a decision that she will be a member of the LUCT family, studying fashion, apparel and design. Hlonolofatso, who graduated last year, has so far designed her school assignments, which includes each semester’s assignment and her final year collection. Apart from that she designs clothes for her clients.

In an interview with Life&Style, Hlonolofatso explained that her final design collection was sketched in six months’ time, being eight looks that had 10 sketches each and went as far as choosing the best four out of all to make her outfits, which took her another six months to make the outfits out of those sketches.

For her final collection designs of Year 3, Semester 2, she designed a collection of casual wear with a twist of street wear. She has taken home an award for Best Collection and an Aranda blanket. She aspires to create items that have never been seen before.

Hlonolofatso describes herself as a fashion designer who loves simplicity, but in a different way. Things that have never been seen set her goal to be an inspiration to others.

Responding to a question on when she discovered that she has good designing techniques, she said “my sketches were always among the best in class, I believe a good designer should be someone who is very good at drawing.”

As a young designer who is concentrating on drawing and making outfits for now, she explained that one major challenge is finding fabrics. Mapesela showed that her last garments were a bit challenging since she had to go to South Africa to purchase the fabric. Hlonolofatso hopes one day she will host her own fashion show in her home town because she wants the fashion industry to grow there.

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