Styletech by Teshie is a brand that is in so many words ‘TESHIE’, “it’s a true definition of my personality: confident, free-spirited and bold!” Teshie iterates. “I love bold colours and prints and fell in love with African print fabrics that embodied all the things I loved in fashion.”
Initially inspired by her mum, when Teshie moved to South Africa, she began exploring her style when she joined Matric in Cape Town, the first time she was able to wear home clothes in school, “I really explored my style during my Matric year and would come up with the most extravagant outfits to wear to school.” This is where her journey began. From being urged by her classmates to document her style, she began a style blog, Styletech, in 2014 as she transitioned into her first year at UCT (the University of Cape Town).
Being a techie, fashion became Teshie’s escape and the name of her blog the combination of her two industries. She studied Computer Science at university after always being urged to pursue her more academic side over her creative one throughout her school career. Her blog became her creative outlet upon moving to South Africa and seeing how developed the fashion community was there, showing her that a career in fashion was in fact a viable option. Transitioning from being a style blogger to fashion designer, Teshie got a sewing machine during her second year of university and taught herself how to sew, using Youtube and other online resources. She highlights “I always knew I would end up starting a fashion line and was just slowly prepping for it.”
In her final year of university, 2018, she launched her business Styletech by Teshie, keeping the name of the blog which she had become known for. Her brand is a true representation of her, an illustration of being “boldly African”. She iterates that she has always been a trendsetter, ahead of the time and so she wanted her “love for African wear to embody a modern and chic look”. In the creation of her brand aesthetic, Teshie highlights, “A lot of African clothing wear in the market at the time was very traditional and ceremonial and I wanted to shy away from that and show how trendy and fashion-forward African fashion could be.”
She feels that her decision to become a designer is validated, having been chosen to take part in the Truworths Fashion Incubation Programme in 2018 as part of the top 10 fashion entrepreneurs to watch in South Africa. Taking part in Africa Fashion Week, Nigeria in December 2019 where she showcased 10 pieces from her collection and now being chosen to take part in the Creative DNA programme, her career in fashion is growing.
Going forward, Teshie wants her brand to be “readily accessible to the global African market through boutique stores and other retail partnerships”, with prospects to grow her production capabilities and being able to take part in New York Fashion Week. Through COVID-19 and its widespread effects, Teshie notes the difficulties it has placed on a lot of people, noting that she too has struggled with her mental health, trying to find a balance in the new normal. In order to cope, she delved further into her world of fashion, and as a result, has just launched her latest collection. Dressing up during COVID-19 has been a source of sanity for Teshie, lifting her spirits and getting her ready to tackle anything that life throws her way. The latest collection serves to bring the same feeling to her clients. The simplicity of the designs is tailored to suit the comfort needs of a time like this. The choice of colours are playful and fun to lift up spirits and channel the happiness fashion has brought Teshie during this time. The messages on the Tshirts speak out on some of the issues happening in society. Her black t-shirt stands in solidarity with the Balck Lives Matter Movement, she notes “we hope when you wear our black T-shirt you feel empowered and truly important!” For every purchase, there is a mask gifted, urging people to keep themselves and others safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As a parting note, Teshie adds “I want to be remembered as the African girl who paved her way and created numerous employment opportunities in the African fashion industry. I want to inspire girls with big fashion dreams who don’t think they have a way to make their dreams a reality to start working on their goals, keep pushing and believe in themselves.”