Fashion Friday: Designer Showcase Nomalanga Nyanda


This fashion Friday focuses on the work of an inspiring, focused and passionate designer Nomalanga Nyanda, we delved into what inspires her and sets her work apart.  Nomalanga’s work is  inspired by the Sophiatown era in the 50s, during a really difficult time politically/socially for black Africans in South Africa who still took pride in the way the looked. I find her design aesthetic so authentic, bold and transportive, she had a great eye for detail and is truly someone committed to their brand and the message thereof. She spoke more about what excited and drove her passion for the fashion industry, in a 10 question interview.

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A little story about Nomalanga:

  • Abantu was founded by Nomalanga Nyanda in 2001.  I have a B-Tech in fashion which I obtained in 2003. For the most part of my career, fashion has been my bread and butter.


What is Abantu Creations and what inspired/s it?

  • Abantu Creations is a 50’s inspired ladies wear clothing line. We create timeless pieces that are reminiscent of the Sophiatown era, where men and women in the City of Johannesburg made it a point to look good, despite all the hardships of being a black man/woman in that time…

How do you see consumers engaging with your brand (your vision for the brand)?

  • The Abantu customer is one that has the audacity to look different, someone that does not follow trends but wants to stand out. My vision for the brand is to see women wearing Abantu to work, on a day to day basis and not only to weddings and traditional occasions.

What is the most exciting part of your job?  

  • The exciting part of my job must be the photoshoots where we create the visual appeal of the garments, tell a story about the garment and also allowing the garment to sell itself…


What in your opinion is the future of the South African fashion landscape?

  • I think the future of South African fashion could be brighter if we had the support of the retail stores as well as boutiques. If the boutiques and retail stores made it a point to sell products from South African designers, we would be made! Right now it feels as though we are in competition with one another…

How do you make sure you are relevant as a creative? and how do you make sure your brand is as well?

  • Relevance is when you can help to shape the industry that you are in to be better, I’m working on that.

Biggest career milestone and overall lessons?

  • The milestone that I would love to achieve is to be able to change the mindset of South Africans about supporting locally made products and also being proud to wear clothes that are represent who we are as a people, and not just reserve them for special occasions only…

What or who inspires your creative process?

  • I’m inspired by the books I’ve read, by other forms of art, whether it be dance, music, documentaries.

Best and worst advice?

  • Best: Be who you’re supposed to be.
  • Worst: Follow your passion…

Words of inspiration/mantra

  • The world is as we are

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I am always inspired by creators who take inspiration from their immediate surroundings/ history to create fresh, relevant and authentic designs, Nomalanga is one of those people. Her fashion label Abantu, which translates to “People” reiterates her connection to what inspires her as she endeavours to empower her customer through each item from her clothing line.

To view more of her work or consultations simply email her or follow her FB page:




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