Pex Lifestyle puts the "art" in start
Check the bottom of the article for Ez'Ntswembu's guide to getting started with advice from Umuzi's Recruits.
Pex /pɛx/: a small device that has a strong and solid grip over the item it is placed on.
After crushing it at Design Indaba and sharing a roof with Era by Dj Zinhle and Maxhosa by Laduma, it’s been an absolute joyride playing witness to Siyanda Mhlahlo’s evolution - from selling sweets at school to becoming a fashion designer in his own right. Siyanda co-owns one of the fastest growing indie brands SA has to offer - Pex Lifestyle - a mix of traditional with the modern, which is shaking the local fashion scene. “We personalise the brand to narrate our livelihood using everyday objects,” is how he describes his favourite project thus far. But Siyanda doesn’t stop there. Beyond being a fashionista to look out for slash entrepreneur, he’s also cutting his teeth in business strategy as a Recruit at Umuzi.
Born in Cape Town and raised in Ekhuruleni, he draws inspiration for the work he does from the community around him, from his favourite designers to local entrepreneurs. Itjale - the main material used to create the items sold by Pex Lifestyle - reminded him of his mother and after her untimely passing the brand became an ode to her. Creating something to honour his mother’s memory came to be a defining moment for Siyanda; he realized that he would be able to achieve his goals without having to outsource the resources needed to make his items. He took to the sewing machine - with no prior experience - and made his first ever pair of shoes.
Founded in 2012. Pex Lifestyle’s co-founders - Siyanda Mhlahlo and Ayanda Nkosi - created a brand that would show that fashion is no longer about piling layers of clothes on and looking extra, but about using what’s immediately available to you to make a loud fashion statement. Pex will be moving into the decor space in September with hopes of becoming one of the vital companies that keep the gears of the township economy well oiled.
Siya’s guide to kicking ass comes in one simple step… "JUST. START, don't sleep on yourself, you need to bet on yourself." Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it’s definitely a good place to start. ;)
“Angeke ize ibe perfect if awuqali”- Siya
Words by Tangie Mathebula
Visuals by Nokulunga Jonas