Tshepo Mohlala is the talented young man behind eponymous African luxury denim brand, Tshepo the JeanMaker. Born in Lydenburg and raised in Tsakane, a small township situated in the east of Johannesburg, he founded his business in late 2015 in a quest to live out his passion for denim, which he says was inspired by his aunt’s classic yet quirky personal style. The stylish denim wear he creates is universal and timeless with original and eccentric nuances.
“The Tshepo the JeanMaker brand also evolved from my love for story-telling – something that’s been a part of my life since I can remember. I grew up listening to tales told by my grandmother. She was a pastor, and used story-telling as a vehicle to spread a message of hope within our impoverished community. I personally experienced the impact.
“Additionally, I believe that jeans carry personal stories and the more they age, the more sentimental they become to the wearer,” he explains.
“So this is the philosophy of the brand: to honour and tell authentic stories about great individuals with a can-do attitude via a unique and perfectly tailored pair of jeans, meant and made for other mavericks, boundary-pushers, avant-gardists and out-of-the-box thinkers out there!
“One of the most popular ranges of jeans we’ve ever made was named to celebrate my girlfriend, Wenawedwa. Her name means ‘the only one’. Through her own style and manner, she tells her tale of individuality and black excellence, also echoed via her beautiful voice. So I conceived a denim collection to reflect all she represents, featuring only 30 individually numbered pairs per style and colour. Personalisation is key to what I do.”
Made in Johannesburg, the Tshepo the JeanMaker products are distributed nationally and in neighbouring countries including Botswana, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.