Maloti Mothobi is the Founder and Creative Director behind the Menswear brand Strato™, based in Cape Town. She graduated in Fashion Design in 2004 at the Cape Technikon, yet her fashionable roots can be traced as far back as her upbringing in Lesotho.
Maloti previously worked within the buying department of the Foschini Retail Group for two years before venturing out on her own. Within her portfolio, she was tasked with selecting product ranges and monitoring their performance in stores. Besides heading the Strato lifestyle apparel, Ms. Mothobi spent 3 years at the Cape Town Fashion Council as Marketing Officer. The CTFC is the first fashion-industry trade association in South Africa. It represents over 250 Western Cape designers and stakeholders in the clothing and textile industries. Here she was responsible for events planning and co-ordination (e.g. CT Fashion Week), Website maintenance, Content compilation of bi-monthly e-newsletter and print media, amongst others.
In 2009 she completed her degree in Fashion. In June 2010, she became a volunteer in the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Before, during and after this sporting spectacle, she and 15 other volunteers in the Marketing division, were responsible for all FIFA 2010 World Cup branding and signage within and around the CBD and the Cape Town Stadium. Maloti is an active member of the Black Management Forum in the Western Cape, in particular its Young Professionals programme, where she initially led the marketing committee. In October 2010, she formed part of a youth delegation invited to attend a 3 day conference which launched the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and subsequently the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute.
Strato first clothing boutique,
In May 2011 Ms. Mothobi, single-handedly opened her first clothing boutique, the Strato Concept Store. It was a move encouraged by the positive response the Strato brand had received. In July 2011, Africa Fashion International (AFI), spearheaded by Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe invited her to showcase her brand – Strato™, at Cape Town Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2011 show. Strato™ was back at it to showcase again in 2012, under the Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion week umbrella. In 2013, her brand exhibited at the internationally acclaimed tradeshow, Design Indaba. She was nominated twice at the 11th Van Ryn BBQ Awards in 2012, for New and Innovative business of the year award, and Young Achiever of the year award. The Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) Awards are South Africa’s longest running economic transformation business awards.
She became a guest speaker at the inaugural Shape eKasi Entrepreneurship Conference in Khayelitsha. The conference is dedicated to shaping the state of entrepreneurship in townships across the Metro. eKasi aims to ensure that township entrepreneurs are informed, trained and connected with the necessary institutions that will assist them in propelling their businesses – as collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector and government remains crucial to the development of townships. Ms. Mothobi remains passionate; not only about fashion but also the development of Africa and its people. She draws inspiration from everyday people overcoming tough challenges in their lives and admires female entrepreneurs who continuously strive against all odds.