Tell us about yourselves and how your interest in design came about? Maxwell: I was born in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. I only realised in high school that I wanted to study fashion. I obtained my diploma in 2016 at Vaal University of technology. 

Mmuso: I’m 25 years old and from a small town called Qwa Qwa in the Free State. My interest in fashion developed in high school. After that I decided to study fashion at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein.

How did you get an internship with designer David Tlale and what does it require of you? Maxwell: We both entered a competition where he called for interns in 2015. We have been part of the programme for 18 months now.

Mmuso: The FP&M Seta supported internship ran for 18 months and it recently came to an end. We worked with David and his team day in and day out as a part of our learning. 

Tell us about the first collection you produced as David Tlale’s interns?Maxwell: Our debut collections were at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg back in March 2016.

Mmuso: It was quite challenging because we only had a week to create the collection and we had to adapt because most of us were not really used to working under pressure.

Why did you decide to come together under one label mmusomaxwell? 
Mmuso: We decided to join forces towards the end of the internship after Lagos fashion week. We have a similar design aesthetic and similar views on fashion. 

Who is the mmusomaxwell customer? Maxwell: It's the individual who appreciates their African heritage with a contemporary approach. Someone who is looking for quality, design and practicality in their clothing. 

Tell us about the latest collection for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017? What were some of your inspirations for this season? Maxwell: For our latest collection, Indima, we drew inspiration from the role that women play in agriculture and the challenges they face on a daily basis. The silhouette and layering were both inspired by the dress worn in that type of environment, with contrasting tones and textures.

What are the most important lessons you learnt from David Tlale? Mmuso: Quality and craftsmanship. He placed a huge emphasis on paying attention to the technical details when creating a garment. 

What is the one misconception that people have about David Tlale? 
Although he is strict, especially when deadlines are concerned, sometimes people mistake him as being cold (because he has this “Miranda Priestly” look about him). He has the warmest heart and has been a father figure to all of us during our internship.

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