In five years from now the enthusiasts, passionate and fabulous fashionista swear that fashion lovers will be witnessing the growth of a new brand to take over the fashion world. Seipati Sihle Sandra Mkuzo Magape, a 33 year old fashionista born and raised in Tembisa by her multitalented grandmother. When talking to uniQ Magazine fashion team, she made it very clear that his grandmother was her best role model and contributed a lot to what she is and become today. From raising him, spoiling him to teaching him about life struggles, religion, triablism and fashion designing.
Sihle is not a church person but through his prayerful grandmother, she has learnt about the God’s existence. Due to the ever moving around grandchildren, she changed schools often, which enable her to learn nine South African languages out of 11 which is a privileged and a tool to penetrate the industry easily. She says apart from being multi-lingual she also learnt learnt Sports to the extent that she started to treat himself as the champ in the field as she excelled in everything he is involved in.
Like most of the South African youth, Sihle felt it is necessary to study something that can give her an opportunity to access job without considering what exactly her passion is. After her matric she studied law degree for full 3 years, but she dropped out of school after a realization that law is not his passion and it does not fulfill her destiny. Her life journey already revealed her passion to ‘Fashion Industry’.
“My late grandmother was a woman of many talents. She was a dress-maker, there was nothing she couldn’t make from wedding dresses to church uniforms. She loved what she did, it was her craft and she loved and respected it. Every now and then she would ask me to help cut material and put needles together for her or get the iron ready. I watched her deciding on a design, I watched her draw it out and I saw her put it together to exact what she envisioned” says Sihle.
She further said her grandmother’s skills were magical and she wanted to learn her ways of doing things, her way of thinking. He then started tapping into her footsteps. Sihle speaks highly of her grandmother and the impact she had on her.
“I looked up and still look up to my grandmother, to me she was a strong woman of real vision, a mother who loved her family with our imperfections. She went all out for us and stood firm. She was a funny woman who was loved by people of her generation, my generation and generations after mine. Every day I strive to be a woman she was, I am nowhere close but working towards it. She was and still is my superhero I want to be that to my kids and grandchildren. I love fashion, I love clothing and I love keeping up with the latest trends but I realized I was not getting what I wanted. I feel shops don’t really cater for me as much as I wanted”. I then realized I could do something about my dissatisfaction on the clothing I have been seeing in shops. This is how then my brand ‘Barcoded’ was born” as my way of sharing my style with the world”.
Lack of funds and lack of support has never discouraged Sihle in achieving her goal which is to see her brand reaching premium level with their signature sign which includes baseball jackets and sweaters.