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: Blacklight 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.
The brand specialises in custom-made accessories for men and women, and also offers fashion tips, styling, and organises modeling campaigns for fashion brands.
Blacklight 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 “Duch” Thabethe: Fearless and classical.
What kind of energy do you think you attract with your style and why?
Mandla: I believe, 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: Yes! My style is an art and my personal expression. It has everything to do with the kind of person I am, the kind of person I will be, as well as my level of creativity.
What is your main intention with your brand, Project Inflamed?
Mandla: 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, by being creative directors of such campaigns.
What would you say are the main characteristics of your products which give them authenticity?
Mandla: They are locally made, beautifully handcrafted by us – and we produce high quality products at all times.
What is your main motivation as a fashion entrepreneur?
Mandla: 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: 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: Don’t follow trends, create your own. Always be yourself, unless you suck!
View Mandla’s gallery:
Facebook: Project Inflamed Fashion
Instagram: The Great Duch