Student designers smell the coffee for Fairview races

Paledi Segapo
Fashion designer Paledi Segapo is one of the judges at Fairview at the East Cape Derby


Designer Paledi Segapo in PE

Palse Homme menswear designer Paledi Segapo hopes Nelson Mandela Bay students will do more than wake up and smell the coffee when he judges their garments during the East Cape Derby at the Fairview Racecourse tomorrow.

The Soweto-born entrepreneur, MBA graduate and fashion ambassador for Caterpillar, is a ramp regular at SA Fashion Week and on other platforms in Africa and in Europe.

He is one of three judges at the annual horseracing extravaganza tomorrow, looking at garments by second-year students from NMMU’s fashion and textile department.

“I’ll be looking for creativity, how well they have comprehended the theme, impeccable workmanship and clothes that are a tour de force,” Segapo said.

Inexperienced designers sometimes fell into the trap of costume wear, he said. “They must not go overboard and make a costume. It must still be fashion.”

Dress to impress with coffee theme

The student brief is to design for the theme Out of Africa, based on a coffee blend by Port Elizabeth firm Mastertons Coffee.

Although each garment must illustrate this, the students may also incorporate one specific blend of Mastertons coffee in their design.

Segapo is a seasoned judge – he is the official designer for Miss South Africa this year – and has also lectured on fashion at Johannesburg’s London International School of Fashion (Lisof).

In 2015 Segapo was voted African Designer of the year and describes his own style as modern classics with an element of surprise.

Taking the cue from international trends in men’s fashion, Segapo says skinny fit pants are on their way out, to be replaced with a wide-leg look: “It’s going to be frightening for South African men! The ’70s are moving towards the ’90s.

“The other trend that is unfolding is gender fluidity, clothes are now becoming genderless, so a boyfriend and girlfriend can wear the same garments. That is the other big trend that is about to explode in South Africa.”

The designer is also a regular at the Vodacom Durban July races but will not be taking part in the 2017 event there on July 1 as he will be at Dakar Fashion Week in Senegal on that date.

Out of Africa

How then will this fashionista be expressing the East Cape Derby dress code of “Dress to Impress – Out of Africa”?

“I don’t even know what I will wear. As a designer I hardly get time to make clothes for myself so half the time I end up doing alterations to existing garments!” he said, but it would “definitely be Africa-inspired”.

The World Sports Betting East Cape Derby is a classic stake race for three-year-old horses, the first Saturday Derby Day in several years and also is a pre-Mother’s Day celebration.

Fairview Racecourse promotions manager Karin le Roux said the day would include live acts, lucky draws, giveaways, a children’s entertainment area and food trucks.
Entry to the course is free. Gates open at 11am, and the race programme of nine races starts at noon.

She said guests in the HB Christian Room could enjoy a buffet lunch with a barista from Mastertons, as well as musical entertainment, and there would be a separate “MixLab Triple B Festival” with burgers, beer and bourbon on sale.

More information from Le Roux,, (041) 372-1859, or 076-480-3739.


Fairview fashion
Racehorse Silva Key and Khanya Mjoli, modelling a coffee-inspired outfit – one of a range by NMMU second-year fashion design students Picture: JUDY DE VEGA

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