Fashion designer, Paledi Segapo shares how he took a leap of faith to pursue his wildest dreams. Paledi shows off his latest capsule collection and his hottest tips for Summer styling.

Soweto-born Paledi Segapo left the corporate world behind to pursue a career as a creative entrepreneur. Becoming a major player in the fashion industry is no easy feat, but Paledi’s free-spirited nature and authenticity has changed his life from being a business analyst to a fashion designer. Today, his label, Palse, has earned Paledi many accolades, including African Designer of the Year.

Paledi always had a natural gift for fashion and style. As a child, he spent most of his life with his great-grandmother who was a dressmaker. Fascinated, Paledi would join her to shop for fabric and watch in awe as she created garments on her Singer sewing machine. But despite his great passion, his family encouraged him to get a ‘proper qualification’ instead of pursuing the arts.

After working many years in corporate and getting a Master’s degree in business, Paledi knew it was time to finally pursue something that would bring him satisfaction.

Paledi started by consulting for local designers helping them with business and marketing strategy. He also got his name out there as a fashion columnist writing for True Love Magazine. “When I established my brand, Palse, in 2011, I didn’t have any capital, but I knew I needed to set up a studio” shares Paledi. “The first celebrity I contacted to dress was Loyiso Bala who was going to perform at the SAMA Awards. After that, I started getting orders from other celebrities.”

Since then, Paledi has dressed almost every South African male celebrity including AKA, Cassper Nyovest, ProVerb, Jonathan Boynton-Lee, and the late Simba Mhere. Additionally, Paledi has received international acclaim showcasing in London, Paris, Switzerland, Zambia, and many other African countries.

In his latest capsule collection for summer, Paledi highlights the classic shorts and T-shirt with a twist. “It’s a small, curated collection that’s ready-to-wear and accessible. My look is all about being as light as a feather.”

Paledi explains that there is no cardinal sin that could come from wearing shorts – whether you’re a size zero or plus-size. He shares his fashion advice, saying, “Pair your shorts with a shirt that compliments them and always apply a little bit of a twist; an element of surprise. Always stand out, don’t blend!”

Reflecting on the South African fashion industry, Paledi looks at our nation’s creativity with pride. “I’m so glad that we’re very proud to run with our aesthetics and prints. Europe is always a season ahead of us so we already know what the trends are. As designers, we’re able to forecast. But, it’s also important for us, as African designers, to keep to our aesthetic without doing a direct copy and paste of what’s happening internationally.”

With a new online store opening in March, Paledi’s philosophy to success is working hard while still enjoying every moment of the creative challenge.  His strong business acumen and keen-eye for style have established this free spirit as a respected name in the fashion world.