Manolo Mom talks to David Tlale about SHOES!

I simply loved chatting with David Tlale yesterday at his Parktown North studio. His easygoing manners coupled with his charming smile puts anyone at ease in an instant. David Tlale, the iconic designer of SA’s fashion industry, is known for his amazing talent, bold and undeniably glamorous garments not only in SA but also around the world.


The press often refers to his big hair, and even a bigger attitude, as the defining factors of the man behind the signature sunglasses. No one can deny that David has a flamboyant personality, he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for his incredible talent, grand vision and a lot of hard work, and yes a great deal of flamboyancy. David Tlale can easily be considered South Africa’s iconic fashion designer.

I have seen David at work, I have seen him at the fashion shows and I have read a lot about him. However, one thing that became very clear early into the conversation is that David Tlale is a spiritual man. Whilst waiting for him to finish with a client, I noticed a bookshelf in the lounge, the book that stood out the most was a well-read copy of The Holy Bible. David made a number of references to the amazing power of God, and he credits the Divine for all that has happened to him and the direction his life has taken.

A lot has happened since David Tlale won the Elle Talent Award in 2003. It is evident that with each collection, each show and with every client, David wants to push himself to new levels of creative excellence. He is constantly innovating and creating designs that supersede his previous successes. David Tlale is a brand that defines convention and a brand that impenitently employs unpredictable use and understanding of fabric, colour and texture.

David spoke with excitement about his recent experience at  New York Fashion Week, where he showcased his creations along the side of world’s Fashion elite. However, New York Fashion Week was by far, not his first touch of international catwalks. He exhibited his creative talent at other international platforms, including an invitation to showcase in Washington DC as part of the De Beers Shining Light Collection in May 2008.

His latest endeavor was something I wanted to find out more about, and it is the much-talked-about Limited Edition David Tlale Shoe Collection from Luella. Ranging from beautifully-crafted cage leather platforms to bejewelled satin peep-toes (which melted my shoe obsessed heart), the collection has something for every woman. Whilst holding those beautiful creations in my hands, my heart was pumping with excitement as the shoes are really, really that stunning. Keeping true to the David Tlale signature, these shoes have daring element to them that livens the mood of the wearer. Each item is uniquely crafted and styled to perfection with a keen attention to detail.

“The partnership with Luella came at the right time when I was looking for something that would complement the garments we design. Luella understands what DT brand is about, and together, we came up with a daring collection that is sure going to turn heads. Trust me, you’re gonna want to own a pair of these shoes” says David.

The Luella David Tlale Collection will be available in 12 Luella stores across the country from the beginning of December 2009. I have now officially joined the long list of David’s clients and fans who are anxiously awaiting their arrival.

Trust me girls, David is right, you will want to own a pair!

Dimi Ingle

Dimi is the founder, editor and creative force behind StyleScoop. She curates the very best of fashion, beauty, travel, decor and lifestyle, every day, right here!

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