Mpungwe has been in South Africa since she was 10, attending junior school, high school and university in the Rainbow Nation. Until the age of 19, she was just another foreigner in South Africa.
But her career took off after that.
According to Forbes Africa, Her first store opened in 2012 in Maboneng Precinct, a trendy art hub outside Johannesburg’s Central Business District. Visitors to her store have included international musicians such as Swedish singer-songwriter Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon, and American singer-songwriter Amel Larrieux.
She has over the years also had the opportunity to dress American singer-model-actress Solange Knowles for the cover of Elle as well as local South African stars such as Lira, Anele Mdoda, Bridget Masinga, and Simphiwe Dana amongst a slew of other celebrities.
“After graduating in South Africa, getting my degree in fashion and marketing, I went to do my post- graduation in London. They have a good network there, so you get to work with different spaces and [get enough] work experience for you to know what you want to do; and I didn’t know which part of the fashion industry I wanted to be in. So I had to do all those different [types of] work experiences to know I definitely didn’t want to work for a magazine, [and] definitely not in a factory,” says Mpungwe.
Mpungwe was also chosen to gift one of her designs to former American First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to South Africa in 2015.
“That for me was a very proud moment because of who she is, how she operates as a female. I [received] a little letter from her to frame to put next to the accolades. As much as those things excite me, to be honest with you, I think it is the everyday people that make me feel good about what I do,” she says.
Over the last few years, she has worked with corporate brands such as Maserati, Converse and Nestle among others. Mpungwe is now sharing her experiences and showcasing her creations in the hope of seeing more young Africans traverse the globe spreading the beauty and bounties of African fashion.