Eastern Cape designer dressed for success

Poliswa Plaatjie

DESIGNS inspired by controversial American rapper Kanye West scooped an Eastern Cape designer first place in the J&B Met's most elegant couple competition.

For his creativity, designer Xolisa Figlan and his model Peggy Ncita have won an all expenses paid trip to Mauritius and beauty, spa and fashion vouchers.

The J&B Met is about glamour, networking, fashion, sophistication and having a good time with friends. The eventfeatures prominently on the country's social calendar and takes place every year in Cape Town early in February.

Figlan said yesterday that he first went to the Met in 2013 and decided he would design something that would win him the most elegant couple competition.

"I told a friend of mine that I wanted to enter and he was supportive and I started working on various designs," he said.

The long black dress Ncita wore had feathers inside out, while his two piece outfit also had a few traces of feathers.

Figlan, who was born in Qumbu and grew up in East London, said he started making their outfits two weeks before the Met, which sees celebrities from all over the country flocking to Cape Town.

Figlan owns his own clothing line, Royal Blood. "I want people to look and feel like royalty when they wear my clothes," he said. He said he could not wait to go to Mauritius. "This means a lot for me as a designer."

Figlan said because of his Mauritius trip he would miss the Durban July. "I've never been there but I have designed clothes that were worn by people there," he said.

Sanya Strauss and Riaan Claasen came second in the competition followed by Neil Hougaard and Olga Möller.

The race celebrated its 37th anniversary this year. Last year the Met event had an estimated economic impact of R68-million for the city of Cape Town and the region.