Zimisele Dlamini, 37, is a Johannesburg based leather bag designer who has been invited to showcase his latest collection at the New York Fashion Week 2020, as part of the Flying Solo NYC, Ones to Watch competition. He was selected amongst other designers who applied from all corners of the world. The initiative serves as a global platform for new independent designers to showcase their work. Zimisele will showcase his proudly South African designed leather bags to the international fashion community featuring Vogue, Harper Bazaar, Business of Fashion, Fashion Week Online and others. ‘This is a reminder to my peers that talent combined with a great work ethic, an avid interest and investment in financial literacy is the formula for building success for yourself and to realize that we can create our own economic doors.’ says Dlamini with a big smile on his face.
The 13 September 2020 fare at 59 Pier Studios, New York City will be his first time at a fashion week and first fashion show ever. More than 800 guests are expected to attend the show with an estimated audience of over 15 million worldwide. ‘My future goals are not only to realise profit and to be known for my passion of design, but also to use my talent and business as a beacon of hope and a weapon for the emergence of a robust black economy.’ he says firmly. Zimisele reflects this philosophy on his versatile unisex signature two tone leather laptop bag that can be carried as a backpack, by hand and as an over the shoulder bag. His work whispers Africanism, class and authenticity, topped by details and quality.
He started his fashion brand of ‘Zimisele’ loosely translated as ‘Be dedicated’ in 2014, with only a R500 balance in his bank account earned from his fashion retail job at Diesel in Rosebank, with the help of a Sunday Market leather craftsman. He designed his first laptop backpack which he sold over Facebook to a Durban based customer. His bag sales picked up and later slowed down, until SABC 1 show “100% Youth” featured him after coming across his talent on Instagram.