WE MEET ENHLE BABES COUTURE’S URBAN PRINCESS OF FASHION - ENHLE GEBASHE
We met chef Linda Mnikathi at his beautiful home in Newcastle, KZN to find out how he has adapted his business to help keep food on the table.
Enhle Gebashe is an exceptionally talented urban princess of fashion, who under the guidance of her mother and manager Desiree Gebashe, is taking the fashion world by storm designing her own outfits and custom-made African prints.
“My love for fashion basically came from my mom’s side of the family. My great gran, my granny and my mom all had a passion for fashion,” says the teenage Founder & Creative Director of Enhle Babes Couture. The kid’s brand that she founded at only 10-years of age in October 2018.
“Enhle has always been a curious child, who wanted to explore things,” comments mom Desiree Gebashe. “She’s very creative as well. I picked up at a very young age that she was going to be a creative.”
Gogo Thoko Msomi enlightens us to where it all began. “It started when she was 10-years old, when she started to draw. Firstly she would draw a doll wearing fancy dresses, and then she told her mum she wants to make a dress for her doll. From there, she took fabric from her mum and started doing these things – drawing, cutting the fabric and started to use her hand at first to make the dress. And I knew then, ok this one is following in my steps now.”
Enhle’s grandmother Thoko used to be a needlework teacher, so taught her all she wanted and needed to know about threading and using an electric sewing machine. She was also the one to give Enhle her very first sewing machine.
Enhle owes much of her success to the support and nurturing that she received from those around her, and her brand that’s inspired by African culture and everyday life.
“Nigerian fashion is the fashion culture I like the most, because they are happy, colourful and vibrant,” says the young designer.
We had the privilege of meeting her little brother Njabulo, who too is a big fan of her clothing range. “I like my sister’s clothes because it’s comfortable, nice, colourful and you can wear it anywhere.”
Moving to Durban last year, she began attending Josephine Makanye Primary Sport School of Excellence. The school quickly noticed her talents and helped her create a platform to further her design skills – including designing the Grade 7 Class jackets, and the pedestal patrol team reflector jackets. Enhle was also bestowed the unique honour of creating a new uniform for herself and her peers to wear proudly at the school.
“When she came to the school she realised our uniform wasn’t unique, because everywhere you went, it was there in our district and our circuit, provincially and nationally. So she created our beautiful uniform with our school colours, which is red, white and navy. It looks beautiful and matches so nicely with the school jack and socks,” comments Zama Makhanya, Principal of Josephine Makhanya Primary Sport School of Excellence.
Inspired to exhibit other artists like herself, Enhle launched Model Your Dream, with the intention of using her platform to provide a space for others to shine.
“I started a project called Model Your Dream. I started this project because I saw there were so many talented girls and I wanted to showcase this talent. There are going to be 10 girls. Basically I’m going to be designing dresses for each of them. They’ll be showing off their talent and I’m going to be the presenter and host of the show. It will basically be a talk show where I’ll be interviewing the girls about their talents.
Having already achieved so much, Enhle Gebashe is an inspiring reminder to live with passion, never be afraid of who you are, and to proudly showcase your talent to the world.
Q & A WITH ENHLE BABES
How does ‘living better’ influence your design process / how does your work inspire living better?
“Enhle Babes Couture is proudly South African worn by South Africans and the rest of the world.
My design process of showcasing African colourful cultures and the beauty of African prints, influences and inspires living better.”
What legacy would you like to leave behind through your design / work / business?
“I would like people to look at my designs and see the beauty and diversity that Africa possesses as a whole. I would also like to leave a legacy of a strong African fashion story that will stand for future African generations.”
How can our viewer’s live better and improve their home design simply?
“A touch of African inspired pieces bring colour and identity in homes. I would like to encourage viewers to simply opt for buying handcrafted home decor items for their homes to create a better living space.”
How does your work incorporate or lead the conversation around sustainability?
“Sustainability to me is finding my passion at an early age. People should really look into following their dreams/passion – with your passion you never lose interest. I sustain my brand by ‘doing’, that has been my sustainability tool.”
What do you feel are important considerations to keep in-mind when looking into pursuing a design project in South Africa?
“When pursuing a design project in South Africa, hand made crafted items take time and thinking to produce. The people who make the items are creative beings and need to be paid fairly for the work they do. If anybody is looking to pursue a design project in South Africa, they need to pay the people that do the labour because the project is dead without the labour.”
Are there any last comments / thoughts you’d like to add?
“I would like to ask South Africa to follow my journey and support South African arts, crafts, decor, travel and fashion! I encourage the world to watch The Insider SA every Monday evening to stay informed, motivated and inspired.”