Trenery Print Competition Winners 2020

WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES courtesy of Trenery


The Trenery Print Competition 2020 winners have been announced. Congratulations to the overall winner, Glorinah Khutso Mabaso, and to runners-up Primrose Charmz and Agrippa Hlophe.

All three designers’ prints feature internationally in the Trenery Autumn/Winter 2021 collection, which is now available in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Launched in February last year, the Trenery Print Competition was born out of the brand’s mission to continue championing emerging creative talent, by providing a unique opportunity to help young South African designers shine on a global platform.

“The entries surpassed our wildest imaginations,” says Trenery senior textile designer Bree Dhaliwal, who worked with the designers to bring their prints to life. “Glorinah was chosen as the eventual winner, because her print is bold and eye-catching, yet stays true to Trenery’s ethos of timeless, modern simplicity.”

From more than 400 entries to the competition, Glorinah’s was singled out for its raindrop-inspired design. The pattern pays homage to the Modjadji dynasty, and specifically, to the first Rain Queen, Maselekwane Modjadji (1800-1854) from Limpopo.

Drawing inspiration from the history of the rain dance for which this royal dynasty became famous, Glorinah interpreted the idea of rain smashing and running over glass into her design, combining straight lines and circles in a repetitive pattern.

“This pattern also signifies and emphasises that the power of women in society is just as powerful as the rain in the cycle of life,” she says. Glorinah explains that Maselekwane “was called the Rain Queen because she could make it rain through a rain ritual dance, a gift handed down through seven generations of queens with no interruption”.

Primrose Charmz’s design was inspired by the arum lily. It’s a modern South African interpretation of one of our nation’s symbols, a supremely elegant flower “that summer travellers are likely to spot along our beautiful coastline or on a scenic hiking adventure,” Primrose explains.

Also inspired by local tradition is Agrippa Hlope’s creative pattern, which pays homage to a decorative Zulu earplug. “My print was inspired by a trip to the Golden Mile beachfront in Durban, where craftswomen sell iziqhaza, an African earplug worn by amaZulu [the Zulu people of southern Africa],” Agrippa says. “That’s when I had the idea to translate similar patterns [into a textile design] in a bold and interesting visual way.”

Shop Trenery items in these beautiful new fabric designs here.