God ordered all to cover their bodies, then we are all models: KB
MASERU – Aspiring fashion designer, Karabelo “KB” Sylvia Raletebele, dreams of dressing the world’s best celebrities and believes that if God has ordered everyone to cover their bodies, then all human beings are models which her company should dress. In achieving this feat of dressing us, she says she will also be creating jobs for the multitudes of unemployed Basotho.
KB, as she is popularly known, is both a designer and a model who holds a Diploma in Fashion and Design from the International Business College (IBC) where she graduated in 2014. She comes from Tlokoeng in Thaba-Tseka and is just 28 years old. “Immediately after completing my studies it was a bit hard since I had no clients. But I got together with a group of other ladies and started our own company, a project that did not even last two months.
“After that I was hired for a month and I got fired at the end of that very month, I got hired again and got fired before the day ended. “So, I was at home for a few of months planning on how to start and then I came across the Lesotho Online Market. I advertised there and I got my first two client, that was in 2016, and it marked the beginning of it all,” she recalls.
Karabelo says she grew up a very dark-skinned girl, which she adds was not easy as she was the darkest in her family and friends’ circle. She says she always received mean comments and she grew up with a very low self-esteem.
But as she grew older, she learned that a lot of people experience a similar feeling of low self-esteem and zero confidence, and she now planned to help both men and women to boost their confidence through clothing. “Now that business is booming, my greatest challenges are lack of material here in Lesotho and convincing clients to do some things that would suit their bodies but you find they dislike it.
“On the other hand, I see myself having achieved a lot of things and having more clients in a short space of time. Having a lot of clients for me is something to be grateful about as it means a lot of people like my work,” she continues.
“Being a fashion designer and a model has been really amazing, I love being both because after designing a few outfits I wear them and showcase them as a model at a photo shoot, post them on social media, then people start liking them and I get clients,” she says.
Karabelo wants to be recognised globally and to dress the world’s biggest celebrities, she sees herself owning a big internationally acclaimed company that will open up jobs for Basotho in future. “I just want to give all the upcoming generation that you can be anything you want in life as long as you work hard for it. I have learned that people think being a model means you have to have special features to make you a perfect. For me everyone has modelling features,” she says.
She hopes that she is slowly getting a sense of fashion across the country as a lot of people are beginning to understand what fashion is and are very supportive. KB advises that the industry needs patience and passion.