November 7, 2016
Besides acting, Omuhle Gela revealed she has a talent for design when she created Twenty Swimwear in 2014. As these things go, the line was born from necessity. “I always struggled to find the perfect swimwear to fit my body,” the former Muvhango actress explains to Grazia. “I have a small frame, but I’m very curvy. I realised that there may be a lot of women in SA who may have the same struggles – and that’s where I found a gap in the market.”
Last week, she launched her sophomore range,compared to her debut offering, this one has a lot more chutzpah. “It’s a little more mature than the first range, which was a little less experimental and more subtle,” she says. “I took a lot of risks. I like bold looks in general. With the new range, I wanted to think out of the box. I created a range that best describes me.
“It is for the girl next door who’s comfortable in her own skin–- it’s not only for model type women. It’s for every woman who just wants to look fabulous by the beach or pool.”
And that’s why Omuhle tapped social media star and photographer ThickLeeyonce to go behind the lens for this season’s campaign images.
“ThickLeeyonce is confident and comfortable in her skin. She fits the brand so well and is exactly what Twenty Swimwear is all about. She understands the female body, so I never have to advise her on how to get the right angles,” Omuhle says.
Of course, creating a line of bikinis and swimming costumes for women of every body type and size wasn’t without its challenges. “The logistics were quite challenging,” she confesses. “I didn’t realise there was so much work behind getting a swimwear range together. Another challenge has been to convince sceptical buyers that it’s okay to buy online, that their products will arrive and on time and will look identical to the images on the web.”
What to wear with a Twenty cossie? “Big and bold sunglasses, summer dresses, big summer hats – and sunscreen,” Omuhle advises.
Go big or go home, then.