We caught up with Ditiro via email.
Tell me about your brand name?
I got the word Serati from one of my favourite Sepedi idioms which reads “Mapelo oja Serati Sekgetelwa ga senyaki” and which translates as ‘One who does what her/his heart pleases’. I think when a person’s heart is in the right place, their steps are ordered and their purpose is well defined. This is what I believe to be true about the Serati brand and all those who follow and believe in it.
Why did you land up in this creative space?
I was born a designer; from very early on I was fascinated by colour compositions found in nature. Growing up around women who practised craft and design made it easier for me to visualise myself becoming a creative one day. I believe I am where I am because I always dared to live a life of adventure and at every point in my career seized divine moments.
Explain your love for textiles?
Textile surface design is my first love. My great grandmother was a proud Sotho women and I believe that I inherited her eye for colour and taste for all things textile. It is also a spiritual language which I have learnt to read and which I use for communicating the creative cues I get from my dreams, divine inspiration and from nature. My love for textile is akin to my love for beauty.
Are there any particular motifs / patterns / visual themes that you are drawn to and why?
I love telling stories through my textiles. Motifs that are in my sketchbook are of flowers and I absolutely love fringed works. Nature is primarily what I find to be creatively stimulating to work with and enriching.
Where do you fit into the sustainable fashion framework?
I am a quiet activist, every aspect of my design practice is carefully considered. Quiet, because I believe there is much more to learn when you listen.
From where do you source your materials?
The bulk of my natural fabric is locally sourced. I love Photogenics but on a daily basis I buy from Metro Home Centre in Pretoria. It’s a general store and has the best fabric business practice in this city. I have visited all fabric stores in my area and this one is the only one that doesn’t give me the chills when I walk in the store. They supply a large variety of Da Gama fabrics which work well.
Who is your customer?
My client is a bold practitioner, who values high-craft and an authentic contemporary South African story.
How do you see your brand develop?
My sense is that what I am doing with Serati is creating a story about a brand that encapsulates the essence of the 21st century South African people. In years to come it will be a heritage brand.
What is your relationship to Earth?
I am a steward to the Earth and her treasures; this includes me and my fellow humans. My every action and decision has a long-lasting, ripple effect and I keep this in mind as I journey through life.
Here is a short Design Indaba interview with Ditiro:
- Follow Serati Ltd label on Instagram
- Images supplied