Itumeleng, known affectionately as Itu, is a 23-year old Johannesburg based designer and entrepreneur who hails from Burgersfort, Limpopo. Fashion designing is a mountain she has dreamt of conquering since childhood. Last year, in November, she finally realised part of it when she launched her own fashion brand called Melanin Appreciation. “This is my childhood dream and gift that I have always wanted to share with the world.”
Melanin Appreciation is a women’s custom-made clothing brand. She started it as a form of celebration and appreciation of black women through style. Itu carefully designs the clothes with African women‘s beautiful bodies in mind.
For the young designer, her journey to launching the brand demanded a combination of courage, overcoming self-doubt, patience and an appetite to learn new things.
Where Melanin meets Itumeleng
Itu describes herself as a die hard advocate of black women. So naturally, she leans a lot on all things black women. “I am a fan of anything African, our history, our power.”
For Itumeleng, melanin (what makes brown people brown) is magical – that’s why she’s taken it upon herself to celebrate it.