Visit the studio of Durban-based fashion designer, Kathrin Kidger and learn more about her collaboration with media personality and award-winning actress, Dawn Thandeka King.

The Insider SA joins fashion designer and high-achiever, Kathrin Kidger in studio and on set as she introduces us to the women who influence her work. Kathrin’s inspiration draws from close friend and Uzalo actress, Dawn Thandeka King, and her supportive mother, Carol Kidger, who holds decades of experience in fashion.

Uzalo star Dawn Thandeka King and Fashion designer Kathrin Kidger.

In her Durban-based studio, Kathrin shares her journey into the fashion industry, owing the credit to her talented mom. “Growing up as a little girl, I watched my mother sew and work with such beautiful fabrications that I could only dream of sewing. Because of that, pursing fashion design was something that was always on the top of my mind.”

Kathrin always planned to work alongside her mom one day. With many years of experience, Carol has a keen eye for detail and ensures every Kathrin Kidger garment is flawless. Carol explains, “We have to make sure our garments are different and individual. Quality is absolutely essential.”

It was after winning a competition at the end of her studies in fashion design that kickstarted Kathrin’s illustrious career. “When I sat down with the brand in 2004, the idea about creating pieces that really speak to the narrative of being an African woman was at the core of my brand.”

Kathrin’s designs are tailored for the diversity of South African women with timeless styling and effortless glamour. Her ultimate goal is to make women feel sexy, powerful, and strong. Once Kathrin begins sketching, she chooses her fabrics and textures. After that, Kathrin and Carol get to work on the season’s designs.

“Living in Durban is a hotbed of inspiration,” shares Kathrin. “There’s many creatives here that are happy to collaborate. It’s amazing how quickly we all are to band together to create something really special.”

For this hot and tropical summer season, Kathrin’s latest collection showcases her vision of the future as a new era of endless possibilities.

Modelling the garments is Uzalo star and close friend, Dawn Thandeka King who provided ample inspiration for this bright and colourful shoot by photographer JoNo Nienaber.

Dawn is best known for her role as MaNgcobo: Uzalo’s very own First Lady – a formidable character who makes waves with her bold decisions and big money moves.

Kathrin shares, “My relationship with Dawn has always been a special one. I remember meeting her in a professional capacity, but it’s been very special to connect as two mothers in the field of art. She’s particularly inspirational and aspirational, not only to her acting community, but also to the community that she serves.”

Dawn confesses how Kathrin’s Dawn of a New Era shoot is reminiscent of her own internal journey, saying, “This shoot is intertwined with me overcoming a lot of things. Dawn of a New Era is not just my name – Dawn – it’s the beginning of a new era for me as a woman.”

Dawns uses her gift of acting to reach her community. She believes her art and her persona can carry positive messages of hope and healing. While temporarily away from the Uzalo screen, Dawn is focusing on her own brand and busy creating a network of likeminded South African entrepreneurs through her social media platforms.

To do her part for the community, she has to look the part as well. Dressed in Kathrin Kidger, Dawn always has her best foot forward. “I think Kathrin was a black woman in her previous life,” Dawn laughs. “She understands the bodies of voluptuous women. Her dresses just enhance the bodies of African women.”

Timeless elegance and confidence will never go out of style. And for Kathrin Kidger, elegance is all about reflecting who you are as an individual. Kathrin’s success lies in giving her clients the confidence to achieve, knowing they are comfortable in their own unique style.