So many brands come to the fore based exclusively on their founder’s ability to design lines that are attractive to the eye. Paledi Segapo also brings a Master of Business Leadership degree from South Africa, where his final dissertation was on ‘Growth strategies within fashion enterprises’. And it looks as though he’s applying those strategies successfully in the real world.
“I believe that everyone should be investing in their look and their clothes”, says Segapo. “Those clothes should follow your body’s lines precisely, yet still make you feel comfortable when you wear them”.
His brand is called Palse and it is creating quite a stir.
Segapo’s inspiration comes from a particular mixture of old and new – with the customer as the ‘Unorthodox Roman Emporer‘, where a new generation of kings meets modern design. There is also a love of the equestrian in there somewhere, helping to create something unique in the 21st century.
“I love beauty, it’s not my fault”, he says.
His clothing has now been showcased everywhere from Botswana to London, yet he never forgets his humble beginnings in Soweto.
Yet his parents lived in a very different world and might have struggled to believe that Segapo could have lead such an expansive life. Back in the 70s, Soweto was famous for its clashes with the South African security forces – centering on the uprising of 1976, where hundreds of students were killed and injured because they took to the streets to protest being forced to take exams in Afrikaans – the language of their oppressor. That tragedy is now celebrated across South Africa with the Youth Day public holiday on 16th June.
When it comes to advice, Segapo says that men need to be realistic about their choices. “If you are a man and your waist is more than, say, 34″ – then you need to be careful about what you select. You can’t just take a slim fit from the catwalk and wear it, you need to make smart choices”.
With that in mind, his golden rule of fashion seems at odds with his advice for larger customers, “The only rule in fashion, is that there are no rules in fashion”.