For The People

Young, Gifted And R.U.D.E

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KIMBERLEY – To be young, gifted and talented, to watch her take a simple fabric and turn it into a design fit for the runways of, well let’s start with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week just to ruffle the feathers of Gerrit Johan Coetzee. Young, gifted and all things R.U.D.E is Nonini Mpuang. Born and raised in Kimberley, Noni as she is affectionately known has always shown a flair for fashion, coupled with a diploma in fashion she also has a qualification in Strategic Communications instead of just following her fingers and studying design alone the young woman is the embodiment of beauty and brains. It must be that very Communications degree that’s had her brand become such a household name. We paid her home office a visit to get to know the young inspiration a lot better and as you walk into their home all you hear is the humdrum of the sewing machine.

As a matter of clarity, the term rude has such a negative connotation to it that one is extremely curious as to how Noni decide on that particular name for her brand. She smiles and seems to reminisce fondly to her days in fashion school at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) when they used to refer to each other as rude if you happened to be looking amazing on that specific day. And it was at that time that she thought it would be interesting to name a fashion brand just that. And she did just that, about two years ago was born the House of Rude – a clothing brand for the OBNOXIOUSLY stylish. Through her brand she wants to impart the audacity to look amazing, to give them the confidence to speak the language of fashion by educating them on fabrics, silhouettes and by definitely inspiring them not to shy away from bold prints and colours. “I see fashion as an art and its impossible not to be influenced by different trends be they global or African,” said Noni. She tries not limit her own eye, allowing inspiration to come from things as basic as the colour of a grapefruit, to the shape of petals or the flowers on the coffee table.

The biggest influences she believes, for fashion in Kimberley are guided by the youth. And she sees those trends as consistently evolving. As a young designer in Kimberley however she feels the need for more platforms to showcase her creative flare, and she’s not merely talking about fashion shows. She believes there’s a hunger for more social gatherings and events that will provide the platform for fashion to thrive in the province. Her greatest concern however is the diminishing existence or the absence of the textile industry and that’s becoming a barrier to the evolution of fabric in our town. When questioned on the future of the brand she smiles and states how she more an action rather than words kind of girl, feeling the itch to implement rather than putting the cart before the horse in this instance. She feels only free to reveal the fact that she’s keen to expand the product line and the brand as much as possible this year with greater hopes of acquiring other operational premises here the business will continue to thrive. She feels that having a home studio impedes on her family life and that moving out from her studio will give the business greater access to her clientele. Noni feels her academic background has aided in her ability to keep her brand foremost in peoples’ minds. In an era where social media is key to the lifespan of your business it is a rather tedious task to manage orders that come through from Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Dealing with her ever expanding client list can sometimes become quite the mountain to move but she has never shied away from being a Moses and in a move to better deal with all the extra administration she’s conducted interviews on getting an extra office hand, so that she can continue to push her love for design, and breathing creative life into her clients’ desires. Noni believes if your good to people, the people will be good to you and has kept that motto close to her heart when she’s had to pull many a night without sleep. Going the extra mile is what helps her produce garments of such an extraordinary nature and her drive and passion is what has her currently inspired on paper and in production as she prepares for the Market at Flamingo.

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