David Tlale, the brand magnet: A look at how he chooses the brands he collaborates with

David Tlale. Picture: Instagram

David Tlale. Picture: Instagram

Published May 14, 2022


South African award-winning fashion designer David Tlale has a career spanning close to two decades. He has become renowned for creations that showcase his talent and his passion for South African innovations.

The Vosloorus-born designer launched his label in 2003 after winning the Elle New Talent at SA Fashion Week. Since the,n he has gone on to become one of South Africa's top designers with an imprint across Africa and the top fashion cities across the world.

Tlale has showcased in New York, Paris and London and has a list of accolades that leave you in awe, fashion fundi or not. He is recognised globally for his out-of-the-box, haute couture designs.

The fashion powerhouse has built himself a strong brand that has made himself a household name among South Africans. In doing so, he has become a go-to option for brands to work with.

Tlale has worked with legendary brands such as Avon, Tastic, Crockett and Jones and, most recently, Nescafé Gold on its Crafted Beyond Compare campaign.

In his video announcement, Tlale shared that it was “humbling” to be asked to join the world’s leading coffee brand on its latest campaign.

For the campaign, he has created four one-of-a-kind sunglasses. A fitting product, especially since he is well-known for rocking sunglasses.

“The brand recognises who we are as a brand, trying to push boundaries on a daily basis. Changing the game,” Tlale shared about his latest brand collaboration.

When crafting this ode to Tlale and the brands he chooses to collaborate with, I wanted to ask him how he chooses the brands he has worked with. However, he did not attend the Nescafé Gold, Crafted Beyond Compare launch because he was travelling.

Tlale may have begun as a luxury brand but, over the years, he has shown that he caters for every woman and man. His collaboration with beauty brand Avon is testament to this fact.

This year, Tlale launched his third collection with the beauty brand he partnered with in 2019.

Mafahle Mareletse, the managing director of Avon, previously remarked about how Tlale appealed to everyday women.

“I met Tlale in Polokwane when we had gone on a roadshow. I realised this man does not only appeal to wealthy people, but everyday women because our sales leaders and representatives are everyday women who make a living selling Avon. I saw these women going crazy about him and thought he is a brand we can work with,” said Mareletse.

Mareletse is spot on as people do go crazy for Tlale. I guess it is because of his relatable story making it from humble beginnings. A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting the award-winning designer at the launch of his Tastic Heritage month collaboration in Cape Town.

For the collaboration, Tlale created an exclusive pack design that was inspired by his childhood, as well as the rich and vibrant mix of cultures found in South Africa.

Working with a rice brand showed Tlale’s reach, as there are few homes in the country that don’t have a packet of rice in their cupboards.

At the launch, Tlale was dressed in his trademark all-black attire, which have become part of his brand. The man of the hour danced and partied the night away with guests that night.

His personality and ability to show that he is an ordinary South African is something that certainly draws brands.

How does Tlale choose his collaborations? It all boils down to his design ethos, which brands find themselves ultimately drawn towards,

“I am all about elegance and sophisticated fashion that is proudly made in South Africa and I stand for all things African," he previously shared.