Contributor: The intern by David Tlale
It is my belief that there is no greater legacy than the legacy of affecting the lives of others positively and there is no bigger gift one can give another than the gift of time and mentorship. This is the spirit that The Intern by David Tlale is based on. World renowned fashion designer David Tlale saw a gap in the South African fashion industry, he feels that budding designers need support and guidance. David was launched onto the fashion stage when he won the Elle New Talent fashion designer competition 15 years ago. He found that after winning, there was nothing in the way of support to guide him in his new career path. He has taken on the responsibility to fill that gap through taking on the role of mentor. This is why he began the mentorship program, “The Intern by David Tlale” four years ago. This program has grown and flourished and produced seasoned designers who have showcased on stages such AFI fashion week and Lagos Fashion to name a few. In 2017, this ground breaking designer in now ready to take this label to the world in his new witty sassy spicy and dramatic reality show aptly named, “The Intern by David Tlalle.
The Intern is a 13 week, 13 episode reality TV show on SABC3. “The Intern by David Tlale” is a program developed to focus on skills transfer for post-graduate and self taught Fashion Designers, who are looking to improve their skills, finished products and become market-ready. The Interns will be trained in all aspects of the David Tlale brand and business and will ultimately showcase their work on national & international platforms and will enjoy all aspects of fashion shows.
I had the opportunity to talk to the fashion power house after the Polokwane audition and this is what he had to say.
Q I know you have done work with Limpopo designers in the past, why was it important to include Limpopo in the auditions for the show.
We wanted to ensure that the show is a true reflection of the talent that is available in the South African Fashion Industry.
Q you are a world renowned fashion designer who is celebrated all around the world, what made you decide to take on this very demanding role of mentor?
“The Intern by David Tlale” is a way for the David Tlale brand to give back. “When I was a designer starting out, I didn’t have any one guide me through the industry, I learned through trial and error.” I believe that the right thing to do is to take experience and the knowledge I have gained over the last 15 years of building my brand and impart those skills gained to a young person who is not only talented but also driven. Designers need to know that the fashion industry is not only about creativity and glamour it is a BUSINESS.
Q what advice do you have for up and coming designers?
Education is key. Master technique and don’t stop practicing. It is also key for designers to understand the business do’s and don’ts and where you can LEARN, find a mentor and take criticism and guidance.
Q what are the core principles of the David Tlale brand and David Tlale the man?
“You cannot separate the two. I am my brand and my brand is me. There is no distinction. The principle that I hold dearest is authenticity. Know who you are and where you are going that is the only way to focus and move forward.”