After completing his studies in fashion design at the Tshwane University of Technology, haute couture extraordinaire Orapeleng Modutle had the privilege of interning at Khensani Nkosi’s ‘Stoned Cherry’, and as they say, the rest is history. Over the past decade, Modutle has built a stellar brand by designing show-stopping bridal garments, as well as stunning ensembles for the who’s who of African entertainment. Two things signal the signature Modutle style: intricate beadwork and a sexy silhouette. Through his imprint OM Style Avenue, the self-proclaimed King of Couture has produced a variety of intricate red-carpet-ready pieces for media stars such as Bonang Matheba, Nomzamo Mbatha, and Boity Thulo, among others.
Expanding his acclaimed bridal wear imprint’s portfolio, Orapeleng Modutle recently collaborated with online retail giant, Superbalist to launch his first ever limited edition ready-to-wear collection, allowing enthusiasts of the couturier’s work to finally own a piece by the designer that won’t break the bank.
The Superbalist x Orapeleng Modutle collection presents a line of ready-to-wear attire featuring both dramatic and timeless silhouettes. Moreover, it boasts an extensive array of styles, including dresses, jumpsuits, and skirts. It incorporates a rich tapestry of fabrics and embellishments, including metallics, diamante, lace, and sequins, making it an ideal choice for special occasions and festive gatherings.
Having spent most of his career designing custom garments, Modutle believes that this range will give more consumers access to his work. We had a chat with the King of Couture to find out more about the inspiration for his latest collection with Superbalist.
Tell us more about your collaboration with Superbalist and how it came about.
Superbalist is celebrating 10 years in the game and so is O.M Style Avenue. The two brands are celebrating a milestone, a decade in the industry, therefore it was important for us both to collaborate, it was fitting to just do this now at this specific and imperative time in our career. And Superbalist is such an amazing avenue to work with for my ready-to-wear collection. Everything about this collab felt easy and natural for both parties.
OM Style Avenue has always been committed to crafting garments that are feminine, elegant, and timeless. Is the same true for this collection?
Yes, absolutely. It is still very much O.M Style Avenue coded, the only difference is it is more affordable and accessible to all fashionistas of all tax brackets – the collection being ready to wear does not take anything away from our aesthetic and brand architecture that we’ve always had and maintained over the last decade.
Your brand is also popularly known for its haute couture. How did you find the balance between infusing elements of haute couture into the ready-to-wear collection?
Style is the same, taste is the same, O.M is about premium luxury – it was a challenge maintain the flare and opulence of our craftsmanship at a more affordable rate but in the end, it worked out seamlessly.
Do you have personal favourites from the collection?
The bootycon white dress with the gloves and the printed t-shirt with a picture that was taken by the amazing Trevor Stuurman – who hails from my hometown of Kimberly. It was important for me to shine a light on where I come from in this collection, it was important for me to celebrate my people.
Collaborations such as the one between yourself and Superbalist are essential for the growth of the local fashion industry. What else do you think should be done to ensure that designers can make a living from their craft?
The more established design companies should create and provide platforms for young or underprivileged designers. What I have learned over the years is that designers, all they ever need is a platform that will showcase their skills and talent. There are also several design competitions run every year by multiple companies/agencies. I also believe that it all lies in the principle of paying people for their talents.
What can fashion enthusiasts expect from the upcoming collection?
This collection has pieces for every occasion in this holiday season, whether you are attending a birthday party, a wedding, or a Christmas party. This ready-to-wear collection will get you red-carpet-ready in an instant, it is sexy, it is current and of course, it has that.
In parting, Modutle shared that Shoppers can also expect “exaggerated elements, like cascading trains and billowing sleeves” on various styles, including dresses, jumpsuits, and skirts – couture elements if you will.