Mandla “Duch” Thabethe is a young fashionista, stylist, model and entrepreneur with a bold vision that aims to make a lasting impact in the fashion industry.
By: Staff writer
Photos by: Andile Bhala, Ayanda “Aya” Zungu, Viva & Lizwe Thabethe and Malwande Ngxekana.
When Mandla passes by, you are bound to turn and take another look. On any given day his fashion style never fails to capture or make a statement. His ability to merge contemporary, casual, smart and retro styles while remaining current is immaculate.
You may have seen him at the Neighbourgoods market (Braamfontein) or at Market on Main (Maboneng), selling products from the brand he co-owns, Project Inflamed Fashion. The brand specialises in custom made accessories for males and females, fashion tips, styling and also does modeling campaigns for fashion brands.
We had a quick chat with Mandla about his style and his company.
What kind of personal statement do you believe you make with your style?
Mandla Thabethe: Fearless and classical.
What kind of energy do you think you attract with your style and why?
Mandla Thabethe: Well, I draw positive energy, because my style is clean, versatile and inspiring.
Do you think your style can easily showcase the kind of person you are?
Mandla Thabethe: Yes! My style is an art of my personal expression; it has everything to do with what kind of person I am, what kind of person I will be, as well as my level of creativity.
What is your main intention with your brand, Project Inflamed Fashion?
Mandla Thabethe: The main objective for project inflamed is growth nationally and internationally. Our wish is to open Project Inflamed stores locally and abroad where you can shop for all the outfits we wear from head to toe. We also want to collaborate with international brands like Dsquared2, Nudie Jeans and Vitaly Design by being creative directors of such campaigns.
What would you say are the main characteristics of your products which give them authenticity?
Mandla Thabethe: They are locally made, beautifully hand crafted by us and we produce high quality products at all times.
What is your main motivation as a fashion entrepreneur?
Mandla Thabethe: As a fashion entrepreneur I am driven by the desire to achieve greatness. My strong desire is to be the greatest to ever do it and inspire young and old people to follow their dreams and do things they are passionate about.
What are the core values that influence your brand and why?
Mandla Thabethe: Courage, Creativity, Research, Hard work, Sacrifice, Relevance, Love for what we do and Financial Growth, because without these it would be a dead brand.
What fashion advice would you share with someone who wishes to showcase who they are with their style?
Mandla Thabethe: Don’t follow trends, create your own. Always be yourself unless you suck!
Facebook: Project Inflamed Fashion
Instagram: The Great Duch