Enhle Mbali during her SAFW debut. Picture: Eunice Driver.
Enhle Mbali during her SAFW debut. Picture: Eunice Driver.

Enhle Mbali wins her first international fashion award in San Francisco

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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Actress and fashion designer Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa is waving the South African flag high on the global stage after wining the best designer collection in the newcomer category at Fashion Community Week in San Francisco, California. 

Mbali, the founder of Essie Apparel, made her South African Fashion Week debut last year and as a result, she got invited by fashion community to compete among new and emerging designers from across the world. 

She showcased the Essie apparel 2019 A/W19, a collection that won her the award. 

The Essie Apparel AW19 collection. Picture: Eunice Driver. 

"It’s such a tap on the shoulder. It’s a sign that I’m moving in the right direction and that there’s a global appetite for Essie Apparel. Also, I really think the judges enjoyed my interpretation of fashion in 2020 as fresh, versatile and avant-garde. Our AW19 collection as featured in Vogue italia was really intent on pushing the bar at home,  said Mbali .

On where she got her inspiration from, Mbali said the collection was inspired anime, European fashion and the African beads. 

"I get inspiration from Japanese anime, the Simplicity and versatility of European fashion and African beading. I’ve tried to incorporate all 3 of these into Essie Apparel to create striking pieces that can be worn under winter coats or in the summer as statement pieces," She added. 

An Essie showstopper. Picture: Eunice Driver. 

For this season, expect a lot from Mbali because she'll be playing more with summer textiles and flowing fabrics for the Spring/Summer collection. She says she hopes that all the fashion lovers will enjoy what she has in store for them.

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