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The Soweto Soirée

Published 6 years ago
By Forbes Woman Africa

It’s difficult to pin down Bathini Kowane, an emerging South African designer who recently showed at the Soweto Fashion Week (SFW). We finally meet in her new office above popular night club Carfax in downtown Johannesburg.

Kowane, an honors graduate in African politics from Pretoria, woke up one morning and quit her nine-to-five job. Fascinated by print and fabric, the 31-year-old decided to pursue a career in fashion when her husband bought her a sewing machine for her birthday.

“After three, four years in this particular bank that I used to work for, I left to do this, to do clothes. I planned it, waited for my bonus, and when I got it, I went and resigned the next day!” she laughs.

It’s only over a year since Kowane launched her eponymous brand, Bathini Designs. Her first showcase at an art and fashion exhibition at the State Theatre in Pretoria in September last year got some good reviews.

“People came up and said I want that dress, I was like ‘oh my gosh I have to multiply’, I have to make different sizes,” she says.

Kowane enjoyed sewing at a young age – she pursued it as a hobby, going on to undertake sewing, drafting and fabric-making lessons on weekends, and making pencil skirts for her work wardrobe.

In June, Kowane was at SFW, with close friend Lehlogonolo Sekhukhune who modeled for her on the ramp, and who incidentally, was recovering from an acid burn accident at work.

What is Kowane’s fashion forecast?

“Little kente prints, tones that are not widely found like brownish mustard, cuts that are mermaid style, slim dresses that accentuate hips, loose-fitting but sexy for evenings out or weddings, parties, festive functions.”

Kowane is now expanding her range to children’s clothing, a line for boys called Buggzy, inspired by her own son.

With her political science degree, it perhaps won’t be long before Kowane aspires to dress up a politician for parliament.

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Related Topics: #August 2015, #Bathini Kowane, #Fashion, #Soweto.