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Stylist Matlaila remembered for his contribution to fashion industry

Fashion designer and stylist Reggie Matlaila, who passed away on Saturday, was passionate about making people look good.

Matlaila, 43, who hails from Mokopane in Limpopo, died after kidney failure at a hospital in the province. The designer, who had an established name in the fashion world, dressed many famous people including Bhoza Mphela, Cici, Moneoa, Thandy Matlaila, Chomi and Khanyi Mbau, among others.

A note posted by his family on social media read: “We are sad to announce the passing of our son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend Reggie Matlaila on October 29 2022. His love, laughter and generosity will be dearly missed.”

His cousin Thandy Matlaila defined the fashion designer as a family-oriented and loving person. Thandy, an established TV actress and professional dancer, said her cousin’s health became serious in June and he even moved back to Mokopane. She said when the designer recovered he returned to Johannesburg where he continued to do his work.

“The last time I saw Reggie was two weeks ago and he was happy and excited that business was picking up. He told me that he was fully booked until the end of the year. It was good to see him back and happy after a long time. I never knew that it was a way to say goodbye to me.”

She said she wants her cousin to be remembered by the industry as someone who contributed to the growth of fashion industry. She said Matlaila was one of the country’s finest fashion designers.

“Reggie was passionate about making others look good and he enjoyed that. He was a character and was the loudest in our family. He always wanted to please everyone, which many times I fought with him about it. His passion for fashion began at a young age with him being inspired by his mother who is a seamstress. But I will forever miss how he always came through for me when I needed emergency dresses.”

Fashion designer Paledi Segabo, who was also Matlaila’s business partner, met the fashion designer around 2006.

“I was still in corporate then and he looked like a true creative. He told me that he was a designer and when I left corporate we decided to be business partners. I loved his approach to creativity. He could make illustrations and bring those sketches to life. This is when I realised that I was working with someone who was genuinely talented. I realised that he was not in it for fame but for the love of arts.

“We created a lot of collection together for Fashion Week and Miss World. We also worked together creating Cici and Donald’s outfits for their show. After that he hinted that he was not okay but he did not look sick to me. I thought he was going to be fine. I was so devastated when I learned about his passing on Saturday.”

Artists and celebrities manager Phil Mphela said the passing of Matlaila was a great loss to the industry. “Reggie was very good at what he was doing, that is why I appreciated being dressed by him. He paid attention to details and came up with ideas to accentuate whatever ideas you have for the outfit.

“I was shocked to learn that he has passed on when I thought he has recovered. The last time I spoke to him he was excited about his recovery and looking forward to life. Reggie will even go to the event to manage your outfit and see how it looks on you.”Read more at: cheap formal dresses melbourne | adelaide formal dresses

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