Poppy Mudau is adamant that her PDesignsSA line will continue to grow. Photo supplied.
Phophi “Poppy” Mudau needs no introduction among local fashion fanatics.
This designer from Matanda village in Nzhelele, who has since moved to Louis Trichardt, started her brand with just a sewing machine, some Xitsonga and Tshivenda traditional fabric and a small space in her bedroom.
Mudau started off as an image consultant about six years ago, but she decided to follow her dreams and subsequently launched her own fashion line, PDesignsSA. The brand has since grown extensively in popularity, especially in the Vhembe and Mopani regions.
“We strive to produce superior quality products with that PDesignsSA touch,” she added.
When she initially launched her brand, attire such as formal shirts incorporated with traditional fabric were not that popular in the region. Today, most people in the region wear these clothes when attending special occasions.
She has turned the garage into a studio where customers can walk in, buy items or request her to create a unique product they may be looking for at the time. “We create, customise and personalise both men’s and women’s apparel, varying and ranging from formal wear and casual wear to uniforms, work suits, bedding, house wear and accessories,” she explained.
Walking into her studio one is graced with a creative environment probably designed to embrace the brand’s exclusivity. Mudau is continually busy crafting sketches for her next items, along with her assistant, Andrew Hilton Sefole. Clothing items are hung around the studio walls.
“Some of these items might not be here when you come next time, and we don’t repeat our collection. Even though you see them out there and may need them, once they are sold, we will no longer create them,” said Mudau. “We allow our customers to order what they want but they cannot make us repeat our collection.”
“Fashion business is very tricky. It’s been roughly six years since our initial launch and I can say a passion to wait for that long is finally paying off,” she says.
She believes the most interesting aspect about fashion is the subjectivity and that there are many similar items, but crafting your product in a unique and different way will absolutely help your brand stand out.
Mudau has since secured land in Nzhelele which she will eventually use as a sewing factory and a place where upcoming young designers can get an opportunity to showcase their talent.
To date she has hired eight permanent employees. To get a glimpse of her latest fashion collections, follow PDESIGNSSA on Instagram, PdesignsSA on Facebook and @PDESIGNSSA on Twitter.
Date:07 April 2019 - By: Phathutshedzo Luvhengo