Entertainment, Featured Article, Lifestyle, South Africa

David Tlale’s “The Intern” – Less than Admirable Attitude

Simphiwe Khoza

“Attitude is everything,” said Belgian-American fashion designer Dian von Fürstenberg (DVF), best known for her iconic wrap dresses. A less than admirable attitude was witnessed last Wednesday on a new show, The Intern by fashion powerhouse David Tlale.

David Tlale is a South African fashion designer whose work has been showcased at the Cape Town Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and Paris Fashion Week.


Tlale is a South African renowned fashion designer known for his bold design aesthetic. The David Tlale’s brand was born when Tlale won the Elle New Talent Show competition back in 2002, since then he has showcased for Cape Town fashion week, New York fashion week and Paris fashion week.

The SABC 3 show that airs every Wednesday at 19:30 premiered on the 12th July 2017.

The show is aimed at empowering young designers in which only 12 designers are selected to partake in a series of challenges throughout the competition that will lead to one winner who will then become Tlale’s “intern” for 12 months.

The first episode had people twitting about Tlale’s “diva antics” under the tag #THEINTERNSA towards the young designers who were auditioning to be part of the show. Some tweets include “David Tlale is too harsh… Baby girl started crying… Isn’t he supposed to be giving critique and not breaking spirits?”

The guest judges (who were mostly white) included the likes of Klûk CGDT, International award winning fashion house owned and run by the duo Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriël Du Toit and Aspasia Karras, The Times Media Group Publisher of magazine supplements such as Lifestyle, The Edit, Wanted, S Mag (Sowetan) etc.

As part of the judges, Tlale’s critiques to the designers at hand sent them home in tears rather than feeling inspired to do better in future. In one instance he told one designer that, she is just not a designer at all.

With all the unintended flaws that come with the much-anticipated show, the question that remains hanging is “what message is this show sending to our already crippled society and youth?”

In the year 2017 where South Africa has come so far in trying and fix our crippling system, and then you find prominent figures like Tlale who seem to be taking us back as opposed to moving forward with the rest of us.

The much awaited second episode of the show airs tonight at 19:30 on SABC 3; we can only hope it continues on a better path that it began.