Omphile Sibanda Merges Her Passion for Sneakers into Her Work


Inspired by the style and culture of the street, we caught up with Jewelry designer and Peaccessories founder Omphile Sibanda on her journey as a young designer, her love affair with sneakers and Johannesburg.

 Omphile Sibanda Lace Locks

Tell us how you got into Jewelry?

I’ve always been creative and I always knew I would be an artist, I just didn’t know what type. After graduating High School I came to Johannesburg with a friend of mine who was studying at the University of Johannesburg. She took me through the Faculty of Art and we went through each department until I found the Jewelry department, which was totally new to me. I think for the longest time as black people, we’ve always thought that jewellery is just shipped into our country and I was just blown away by how a raw material is taken from one state to this beautiful jewellery piece. I knew at that moment, that this is it. This is what I wanted to pursue – getting involved in the design and production process of creating jewellery. And I never looked back.

You’re the founder and design of your own company, called Peaccessories. What motivated to start your own business?

I’ve always flirted with the idea of business and I tried a lot of things that never really worked out, working with friends. For a while, I stopped, but I’ve always been drawn to the idea of working for myself and starting my own business. The lace locks really stemmed from my obsession for sneakers. As a kid, I would be re-drawing sneakers from magazines and be adding my own creative flavour to the designs. In 2015 I met Menzi Mthetwa from Ayashisa Amateki, and he heard about my sneaker drawings and wanted to feature me in the first season. A few days before we were supposed to meet, I thought to myself – why am I drawing sneakers? Everyone’s drawing sneakers! I really wanted to incorporate the jewellery element into my passion for sneakers so; I called him up and told him I’m bringing my gear and we’re doing the lace locks. You know, it was an idea he had already planted in my mind and I just felt like it was time. As time went by, I realised that no one else was messing with lace locks so it became a thing for me – I didn’t have a studio, but at least I could do something and I’ve tried to expand on the idea ever since.

 Omphile Sibanda

You remember your first pair of sneakers? Tell us about that feeling?

I can’t remember the exact pair or what they were called, but I remember they were a pair Nikes. I remember it was a casual day at school and I knew I had to flex my new kicks. You know. I remember that moment vividly. I wouldn’t consider myself a collector, but there’s always been this relationship with sneakers from my obsession with the designs in my drawings to the creation of lace locks.

What’s it like being a young creative in Johannesburg and part of a collective of designers and artists that are pushing the creative agenda of the city?

Being a young creative in the city is really exciting, as much as you don’t know what idea is going to succeed or not, it’s still very exciting. There a lot of places where people will shut down your idea and I think Johannesburg is one of the few places where people are willing to listen. Even if it means pushing your idea until people get it. This place built for ideas to strive because of the collaborative nature of people here.

 Omphile Sibanda

What are some of your influences that go into your work?

For me, I take a lot of inspiration from the streets. So although I work with a lot of precious minerals and materials, I choose to take influence from streetwear – taking inspiration from that space and making it my own.

What’s the future looking like for Omphile Sibanda and Peaccessories?

I really want to push my brand as far as possible as a proudly South African Brand and make it a household name in the Jewelry industry. I really want to be able to combine my interests with my craft and push the boundaries of what it means to be a Jewelry designer.

 Omphile Sibanda

Omphile's work as a jewellery designer was honoured at the De Beers Shining Light awards in Windhoek, Namibia where she placed first runner-up, receiving an internship at the Forevermark Design and Innovation Centre.

Check out @peaccessories_za on Instagram to get your hands on her sneaker lace locks and jewellery designs.



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