Kireshen Chetty. Picture: Supplied

Kireshen Chetty made KZN proud recently when he placed third in the season finale of  'Project Runway SA'.

The show, the first of its format in South Africa saw the Pietermaritzburg resident enter the competition along with 11 other designers from around the country for a place in the finals.

With no formal education in design, Chetty eased through design challenges week by week, gaining a spot next to Jamie Liu and Kentse Masilo in the top three.

Although Masilo was the overall winner - Chetty says the experience and lessons gained from the competition will never be forgotten.

“I entered the competition because I’ve always been sidelined for opportunities in the industry. The only time I got to do my skill was at local race days and fashion event. I’m a huge Project Runway fan and saw this as an opportunity for me to show not only SA but the rest of the world what I’m capable of,” Chetty said.

He said he was happy with his place considering the calibre of contestants.

“Ultimately I would have loved to win and travel to Paris, but I’m happy that I’ve made it this far,” he said.

The self-taught designer who describes his design aesthetic as sophisticated with a bit of avant-garde said his love and appreciation for fashion started at a young age when he watched his mother studying fashion design.

“I’ve always been in a fashion-forward environment thanks to my mom. I also have a degree in Architecture, so my love for design and planning of structurally beautiful architecture, compliments and translates into my career as a fashion designer with symbiotic fluidity,” said Chetty.

'Project Runway SA' has taught Chetty many lessons, but the one that stands out for him is to always follow your instincts and never doubt your abilities.

“As a designer, it’s so important to push your design aesthetic and identity. It’s something that consumers will relate to your brand. And never be afraid to push yourself and all boundaries. There is no right or wrong fashion, it’s just preference,” he said.

After the competition, Chetty said that he had been approached by a few people in the industry to collaborate and help to build his brand.

“I want to do Paris and New York Fashion Weeks, it’s something I am working towards. And hopefully, I will be dressing some major celebs in the future as well as supplying some major stores with my ready to wear collection,” he said.

Some of Chetty’s celebrity clientele includes the likes of Mayuri Naidu, Mishqah Parthiephal, Madhushan Singh and Rory Booth.