Iman Mtshali, founder of Iman Shaik. Picture: Supplied.
While we’re still on Women’s Month celebrating those who are doing exceptionally well in their respective careers we take a look at Iman Mtshali (27), a fashion designer who is based in Midrand, Joburg. 

Mtshali is one of the designers who will be showcasing at the Fashion Without Borders(FWB), a two-day event that is more than just a fashion show, but also a lifestyle event that includes pop-up stalls, industry-related workshops, and opportunities that will allow patrons to interact with both local and Southern African Development Community region designers. 

FWB will take place on Friday, September 6 to Saturday, September 7 at the Park Inn Hotel, in Sandton.

Describing her style as elegant, classy, sexy and sensual, Mtshali will be showcasing a collection with the spectrum of rich colours and fabrics-which is a dedication to the African continent. 

Iman Shaik designs. 

“My collection will be “A Love Letter To Africa” which will be my modern take on Africa I  know and love via the spectrum of rich colors I use as well as the fabrics I have chosen. Africa can never be excluded from my artistry as this has been my surrounding and has made me the designer I am today and inspires my work daily,” added Mtshali. 

On how she feels about sharing the platform with other African designers such as 11-year-old fashion designer; Ethan Mokhele, Kele Foko, Nivaldo Thierry  and Kofi Asante, Kaelo Godirwang, Aline, Aman Chamane, Anslem Agwoko, Sane Ratlhogo, Tumane Thabane, Bismark Nimoh Poku, Cathy Mbemba, Maatla Matlhabe, Izak JD and Claudine Uys, who will also be showcasing at FWB, she said:  “I’m very excited because this will be my first time showcasing at Fashion Without Borders. I love and respect the platform which FWB has created for African designers- it’s such a step in the right direction for prospect and future fashion industry entrees.” 

What makes her stand out from the rest is her multicultural background and how she uses that in her designs. 

The black matter. 

“I believe that what makes me different is being myself and being true about who I am as we are all unique. There is no other who can replace the mark we make whether as people or artists, etc. I also believe that being from a multicultural background has been a contributing factor to my designing style as I’m proudly African and also of South Asian heritage and I believe that this has influenced a lot of my style of multi-layer beading and the love I have for feathers on my designs, prints and the materials I love to use,” Mtshali added. 

Mtshali has had the privilege of dressing Mzansi’s “it” girl, Bonang Matheba for her “Being Bonang” show. She is inspired by the likes of Dr Precious Motsepe, the founder of African Fashion Internatilan as well as Palesa Mokubong, the first African designer to collaborate with the international giant brand, H&M. 

“Women who inspire me in the industry would be Precious Motsepe who continuously creates a platform for designers in South Africa and even on an international platform. Biji and Laura owners of Biji La Maison are such inspirations because their talent and work are impeccable, unique and aspirational - you want to wear a gown by them. I’m also so inspired by Marianne Fassler and Palesa Mokubung, owner of Mantsho."

Looking elegant in Iman Shaik. 

The fifth installation of FWB will start with pop-up stalls and fashion unpacked workshop on Friday, September 6. And then on Saturday, September 7 there will be a fashion show at 6 pm where all the designers will take center stage to showcase their collections. 

Tickets start from R250 general access and R500 for VIP access via Webtickets and Pick n’ Pay stores, nationwide. For more details on Fashion Without Borders, visit https://fwbafrica.com.