When he was six years old, he was mocked for writing his name on the soles of his unbranded takkies, bought at Pep.
When the other children asked him why he did that, this young man from the northern areas of Nelson Mandela Bay said that one day his name would appear on clothes. That is exactly what happened for 23-year-old Llewellyn Mazok, who is now an established fashion designer and entrepreneur based in Johannesburg.
Mazok, originally from Extension 27 in Bethelsdorp, has his own clothing line, LM Clothing and owns two companies, Llewellyn Mazok PTY LTD, which focuses on his designer brand, and MZK Industries-Mazok Industries, where clothing is designed and manufactured for brands and other local businesses.
“I never thought that I would actually become a fashion designer, even when that incident took place where I wrote my name on my takkies.
“However, from a young age, I knew that God had a goal in place for me, even before I was born and that I’d one day reach that goal. I just didn’t know what that goal was yet.
“It was only when I got older, around 2017, when I realised that fashion design was that goal. Only then did I know it was what I wanted to do and that nothing and no one would stop me,” Mazok said.
He mentioned that his love for fashion design comes from his dad’s side of the family, who are all quite talented when it comes to drawing. “Just before I went to high school, I started drawing on clothes. In high school, I drew on other people’s clothes too, and that is where I started developing a passion for clothing and designing.
“Apart from that, my mom also asked me to help her with sewing and I was still in primary school when I made my own school pants,” he said.
Mazok, a graduate of Damelin College with a qualification in Fashion Design and Retail Buying, said that LM Clothing aspires to be a luxury brand and that it tells a story.
“With my brand I am saying that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can rise above your circumstances. Society says that if you hail from the northern areas, you can’t wear expensive clothes.
“That is why my brand doesn’t have a certain target audience. Whether you are wealthy or not, you can wear Llewellyn Mazok clothing,” he said.
“Growing up in the northern areas, you face so many challenges, whether they be financial, educational or even within your family, and I literally faced all of those.
“There are always things trying to bring you down or break your will and most of that came from the environment around me. Being able to rise above that is a great feeling.
“I could look back and see that there really is more to life than just alcohol, gangsterism and parties,” he added.
His advice to aspiring young fashion designers is that if they have an idea, to just implement it.
“Do it. You only have one life and sometimes you only get one chance to make a life-altering decision. The decision you make in that one moment will determine the rest of your future and you probably won’t see the benefits today, but you’ll reap the rewards within the next five or 10 years.”
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