Greg Wallis / Consultant
With a 35 year ’love affair’ with the fashion business, Greg is respected throughout the fashion world and is the Fashion consultant for Ifa Lethu.
Greg has worked in just about all aspects of the industry and is now well known for his development work. He says; “Via students of mine, I am also in touch with other Fashion Institutions throughout the world. At one stage I sat on the State President’s Advisory Board deciding on the curriculum for design students.”
Greg visualised the Fashion Design program for Ifa Lethu, placed students in various studios, many of whom are now making a name for themselves on international runways, and continues to mentor many.
Sibusisiwe Gugulethu Msimang was born in Lamontville. After completing matric she went The Royal Hotel, Durban to train as a chef. Rediscovering her passion for fashion. She left her job and went on to study for a National Diploma at the Durban University of Technology which she completed in 2005.
Her signature label SIBU MSIMANG DESIGNS was born in 2005 and is currently available at The Space shops. Whilst at the Durban University of Technology, Gugu was awarded the Durban Design Emporium (DDE) Opportunity Award which enabled her to showcase her work at the Durban’s Designer Emporium retail outlet. She supplied clothing to the fashion chain from December 2005 to May 2006.
Gugu describes her style as 'ethnic inspired fabulousness'. She says her inspiration comes from the diverse cultures of Southern Africa. She has been part of the Ifa Lethu Design team since 2006 and has regularly showcased her designs at fashion shows internationally and nationally.
Apart from showcasing in India, she has also showcased in a number of fashion shows namely: Joburg Fashion Week, MTN Durban Fashion Week, Mercedes Benz Durban July Fashion Show.
Her work has also been featured in Glamour and Cleo Magazines and a number of newspaper articles. Sibu has also done a television interview for a programme on SABC 3.
She has recently been invited to join the KZN Fashion Council Board.
Karen Monk Klijnstra
Multi-award winning designer Karen Monk-Klijnstra launched her label in 2001, having spent seven years working both commercially and privately. She started her working career in fashion forecasting for Promostyl in Paris. Subsequently she has designed for labels Lee Jeans and Lotto Italian sportswear in mens and ladieswear.
She is a frequent and fiercely passionate contributor to the country’s premier shows, three fashion weeks and Design Indaba. Karen was Absolut vodka/Directions menwear winner in 1997, Fairlady young designer fashion awards winner in 2000, Rothmans July designer showcase winner in 1999 & 2000, and won the Vodacom July Designer Showcase in 2003. She has subsequently participated in the Showcase in 2005 and for the launch in 2007, where she designed an ensemble for a groundbreaking, first ever, underwater fashion show.
She was also finalist for the L’oreal/Fairlady Catherine Award 2002. Design Indaba 2006 was a wildly flamboyant and 100% local range, inspired by the mantra “home grown high end” which spelt enormous success for the designer and her collaborators. Not only was it widely photographed in the press; including the first ever, commissioned fashion editorial for Pursuit magazine and front cover, but it was also used to great effect on a national television soapie which lives and breathes quintessentially South African.
It has recently left South African shores to shown in Denmark’s New Africa exhibition and will proceed across Europe. She was selected as one of three contributing designers to the inaugural Ifa Lethu Heritage Collection which premiered at MTN Durban Fashion Week 2007. 2008 has seen her participate in Design Indaba and Audi Joburg Fashion Week designing a graffitti art/ liquorice allsorts range and her second Ifa Lethu collection. Added to this was a highly controversial and much publicised “tribute to heriones” at Durban Fashion Week 2008. All are a cross pollination of her flamboyant style with a street edge. She designs for special private client commissions and November 2008 saw the hugely exciting and long awaited opening of her first standalone store.
Bonga Bhengu was born in Ezimbodweni on the south coast of Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Second of four children, Bonga decided on a career in Mechanical engineering but changed his mind in just six short months when he realized that he was more drawn to the world of fashion. He enrolled in the Fashion and Design Technology Diploma course at the ML Sultan Technikon in Durban and graduated in 1998.
- Won the Vukani Fashion Awards in 2002
- In 2001 he showcased his work at the SA Fashion Week
- He was selected from a pool of 100 African designers to be part of a team of four designers to showcase their works at the CNN/Ebony New York Fashion Week in 2000
- Won the NWJ Gold Cup competition in 1999
- Received an award for being most outstanding student in his first year of study at ML Sultan Technikon
- Made the finalists’ list at the following events:
- Durban Design Collection at he South African Fashion Week 1999
- July Handicap in 2000
- His designs have been featured in magazines such as Elle, True Love and Black Elegant
- While working as head designer at the Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development, he also lectured a course in Industrial Training at the institution
He has been a member of the Ifa Lethu Design team since 2006 and has showcased his designs at Ifa Lethu fashion shows internationally and nationally.