Gracia Bampile’s fashion journey started with an ugly dress that she was supposed to wear for her 7th birthday.
The pink dress was a gift from her parents but unfortunately, it spawned in the little Gracia a deep-rooted dislike for African print.
“I remember thinking I would rather not celebrate my birthday, she told Forbes Africa. “I was traumatized… The dress was just horrendous.”
“I got so angry with my parents that I couldn’t let go. That’s how my passion for fashion started. I didn’t want to feel like that again.”
It was not the material, tradition or the culture that is what bothered Gracia about African Print.
“When I got to the age of 15, I thought maybe it’s not the African print [that’s the problem], it was probably the way it was presented to me. I went on a journey of rediscovering African print and design. My love for it was revived,” she said.
Now you can see African Print being celebrated throughout Gracia’s designs for her fashion brand, Haute Africa.
The brand started in 2015 and has already dressed African TV personalities, actors, presenters, singers and rappers.
Her aim with Haute Afrika is to promote “African sophistication and elegance by catering for a growing continent” and to “break societies stereotypes by infusing art through fashion and sharing the ethnic culture of Africans.Tags: Africa, fashion, fashion designer, South Africa