Ten at 10: Interviewed RBA Designer Etienne Tshiswaka!
What a better way to start off this Monday morning than another essential GoTrendSA fashion update! So, this morning we bring you someone pretty awesome! We interviewed Model, Male fashionista and most importantly RBA designer and creator Etienne Tshiswaka!
GoTrend: Etienne, thank you so much for joining us on GoTrendSA, for everyone who doesn’t know you, introduce yourself!
Etienne: Hi lovely readers. I’m Etienne Tshiswaka, I part-time model, I’m the executive director of the streetwear brand called RBA and I’m an aspiring entrepreneur.
GoTrend: So, you have a brand of high-end headgear pieces and accessories; tell us a little more about that!
Etienne: I founded RBA last year, we released a limited edition last year and this year we released our first collection of 6 panel caps, named AMTW-Africa Meets The Word. RBA stands for Rebellious Blessed African, it is a streetwear brand with an African aesthetic. Our AMTW collection is doing fairly well and our limited bucket-hat collection sold so well and gave us a foundation to release our end of year Bucket-hat Collection which is pretty rad and the best collection of bucket-hats I have seen on the market to be fair.
GoTrend: So, where to do you draw inspiration for the designs in the RBA collections?
Etienne: The brand itself gets its inspiration from the African man who is tired of being the laughing stock of the world and decides to rebel himself and find better means. This actually came from a short stay in Paris where I decided to find ways and share the ways with other Africans and let them know we are more than capable of being anything we want. As I also design the gears, I get my inspiration from my everyday routine, the people I meet, the articles I read and everything that as a brand we are affiliated with.
GoTrend: We hear that RBA wants to expand into backpacks and more merchandise, can you give us a little scoop on what’s to come?
Etienne: With the lack of manufacturing in South Africa, it has taken us over 10 months to find a decent local manufacturer. Without this challenge we could have already launched the backpack collection. Regardless we are on a good path and the “scoop” I can give you is to stay connected with us, you are in for a huge surprise next year.
GoTrend: When designing pieces are you more influenced through African designs and patterns, or do you also investigate international trends?
Etienne: When I started the brand I wanted to use African prints as much as possible and fused it with other patterns. The brand grew, we stuck to the fusing of different patterns but we dropped the use of African print. I didn’t investigate international trend for the previous collections. I would ask anyone who is reading this to check our different headwear patterns, believe me the quality and the mixture of different patterns is a really a piece of work.
GoTrend: We always see you rocking your gear at events such as fashion week and more, what is your favourite piece in your collection?
Etienne: I would take that as a compliment as I prefer to no be noticed or seen. It is good that you guys noticed me, smile… Well, this is like asking someone’s dad, “You proudly carry your kids everywhere you go, so tell us who is your favorite kid?” I love all the pieces in the collections but if I really had to choose I would say the bucket-hats are really doing it for me at the moment and PVRIS, MILVN and New York for the AMTW cap collection are my brightest kids if I might add.
GoTrend: Where can we browse the RBA collection?
Etienne: You can browse through the website www.rba13.com. You can also get our merchandise from Stache, Dipstreet, Parooz and Sowearto. We will possibly sell in Bloemfontein and Cape Town in the near future.
GoTrend: RBA was created in 2013 and in just over a year has already skyrocketed in the fashion industry, what do you hope to create in the next year?
Etienne: We do hope to create magic in the next year! To have the full range of our product offering and also being able to give out our message across. A message of acceptance, a message of perseverance and determination, a message that in this world we are all capable of achieving greatness. This message will be delivered through beautiful, well designed products.
GoTrend: Etienne, thank you so much, lastly, we’re so impressed that you’re so young and so successful. What advice do you have to give to the youth on entrepreneurship?
Etienne: Thank you for the compliments. Nevertheless I’m surely young and we are on the right path to be successful. A message I could give to the youth on entrepreneurship:
1. Entrepreneurship is a calling and it is nothing but actions. If you truly believe with all your guts you are meant to be an entrepreneur and you have got an idea to start with your entrepreneurship. You better start working on it, the minute you finished reading this article.
2. Always set your priority straight in life. If looking and commenting about Kim’s ass is a priority for you then do it. If it is a priority for you to create a certain change within your community or within a market then know a fair percentage of your everyday routine should be given to that priority.
3. Always stay humble and remember this is a life of rational and natural beings, we are called to be sensitive to our surroundings. I think, we are losing the human values in our lives. We have become so self-centered, so money focused, so Instagramed living that we forget to live well with people in our lives.