Lebogang Makgale is working on a few pieces while keeping up with his active lifestyle. Picture: Instagram.
Lebogang Makgale is working on a few pieces while keeping up with his active lifestyle. Picture: Instagram.

What local designers are up to during lockdown

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Apr 8, 2020

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It’s the second week of the lockdown and while the country continues to try to curb the spread of coronavirus, many things are put on hold. Factories cannot operate, business is still, it’s a stay home situation. 

However, we still have people on duty offering essential services as well as those who are working from home.

For designers like Tomi Rikhotso who are always working, this lockdown is the best time to rest. Rikhotso is the founder of Tomi R Creations, a brand that specialises in evening wear and traditional wear for all sorts of events. 

Tomi Rikhotso is using lockdown to take a break from work. 

“I've always wanted to take a break from work, so I'm using this time to do things I've always wanted to do but never had the time to do or been avoiding to do, like making a solid plan for the next level of my brand. 

“I love comfort zones and I think my brand has outgrown the cocoon I've been reluctant to get out of, so this lockdown has given me time to reflect on the goals I've achieved and what I still want to achieve,” said Rikhotso. 

He added that he’s using the isolation period to read.  

“Though it's also hard to plan for the exact time of things I wanna do after the lockdown cause we don't even know how long it's going to take, my routine during the lockdown involves, reading, I also spend so many hours on the net researching Coronavirus and vaccines, watching movies on Netflix and food, I try to exercise now and then, I'll only work once I inspiration hits me, I've got everything I need here, fabrics and all the materials to create a new collection but I'm not in a hurry. 

"I'm also aware that after the lockdown it's going to be messy for a lot of designers, we are all going to be swamped with a lot of work as people will be planning the events and ceremonies they've had to postpone because of the Lockdown, so I'm recharging and resting so that when that time comes I'm ready for it, physically and mentally,” Rikhotso said.

Another designer, Lebogang Makgale, founder of MacGale Clothing has been working on a few pieces while keeping up with his active lifestyle. MacGale Clothing is a b
espoke brand with a distinctive African signature. 

I f he's not sewing, Makgale is doing home workouts, which he enjoys sharing with his Instagram followers. 

Inga Gubeka, founder of Inga Atelier, a contemporary lifestyle brand that makes unique luxury leather goods is using lockdown to come up with new innovative ideas. 

The designer that fashionably fuses technology with leather accessories has started making reusable fashion masks made from synthetic leather on the outside and polypropylene on the inside. 

Inga Gubeka rocking one of his masks. 

“I think this epidemic and lock down has taught us to adapt our businesses. Most importantly, I see the trend of masks emerging especially from the big  luxury fashion houses. 

“I’m currently working on a mask project for the Covid19, basically I have developed a reusable mask that is made from synthetic leather on the outside and polypropylene on the inside. We believe this mask will be good for the current state of shortage because one can use it over a long period of time, all you need to do is wash it and leave it to dry for 2 hours and use it again. 

"You can also use a sanitizer on the outside part just to wipe it. This will reduce shortage and waste because the current mask available can only be used for 24 hours. We are currently running tests and getting necessary standard accreditation for this product, as soon as that’s done we will be able to assist in fighting this virus and donating some masks to the public and those who need it the most,” said Gubeka. 


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