Although breaking into the fashion industry is extremely difficult, especially for young and inexperienced designers, the 22-year-old self-taught designer and fashionista, Selma Shapwa, known as Kaselly, is ready and eager to tackle the industry with her new collections.
Specialising in designs for all age groups, that are colorful, stylish and have a touch of couture; Kaselly says by the end of the year and early next year she has bigger plans to grow her clothing brand. “Apart from registering my business officially end of this year, by early next year I want to start employing people to work for me as well. I really want to grow my business before penetrating into the international market,” says Kaselly. She adds that her biggest plan is to open a boutique, not any kind, but a unique big shop with branches all over Namibia.
A student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and studying fashion design part-time, Kaselly says designing and making clothes is what she always wanted to do ever since she was a small girl. At a tender age of 13 years, Kaselly started making clothes for herself and few friends by using stitching method with her own hands until at university, where she improved. “I later started doing business, and few people came through until I bought a machine and that’s how I started getting even more orders, making bridesmaid dresses, graduation dresses and many other clothes,” says Kaselly. She then realised that she really wanted to pursue a career as a fashion designer.
“My favorite part of being a fashion designer is coming up with something unique, make it and it turns out to be perfect. So, making perfect and unique clothes, that’s what I enjoy most. I feel really proud,” she says. Kaselly designs were inspired by South African designs from fashion magazines and anything related to fashion she read. “I also got my inspiration from my flowers. The bright colours of flowers inspire me to make bright coloured clothes too,” she says.
With her business growing, Kaselly says she is getting more and more clients, and this makes her fashion line more conducive to making a career out of it. “Since I began my own label (Kaselly Designs) and got a logo earlier this year, my work evolved quite well. I now think people began to realise that I am actually becoming more professional and you know, people like professionalism and well organised things,” she says.
With only a certificate for participating in a Matrix Fashion Show in Swakopmund recently, she says she does not have any other achievements, due to the fact that she is still an upcoming fashion designer, but she is working hard. Kaselly says she wants everybody who is and will be wearing her clothes, to feel unique because they are wearing distinctive clothes. “For the designers out there that want to come out and join the fashion industry, do it out of passion, if you are passionate about something, you are more likely to succeed,” she advises.