School of Fashion Design

The Priscilla Bhika Story
Priscilla Bhika is an inspiring story and has laid the foundation for leadership in the field of fashion, education and culture in South Africa

The School of Fashion Dressmaking and Design established by Priscilla Bhika in 1965 has played a very important role for the last 52 years in educating men and women in the bespoke art of clothing and fashion designing. Prscilla has moved mountains and stood against all odds to grow her college with one main focus in mind: that is to uplift, motivate and empower as many people as possible to be able to sustain themselves and their families.

Since its inception, over 8000 people have been trained and equipped to carve out glittering careers in the hotly contested arena of Haute Couture.

Launched By Priscilla Bhika, and working closely after Democracy with Labour Departments to train people to earn a living by working creatively.

Priscilla has a wide diversity of students from all over and has encouraged each and every one of them not to forget their roots and culture. Every student that comes to her school is talent waiting to be discovered, says Priscilla.

This educational institution under Priscilla Bhika has taken ordinary people and moulded them into accolade winning Fashion Designers, which virtually helps change trends and set new vogues. This multi-talented lady has swiped over 245 awards in her career, Judged well over 780 contests and competitions and had played a significant role in the business sector for Pietermaritzburg.


Priscilla a prominent personality in the community as well as a motivated member of Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, Member of the board for Arthur Blaxell School for the blind , Member of Indlovu Partnership for Life Long Learning, 1990 selected as finalist for Woman of the Year Award and Executive member of the C.B.F. [Consultative Business Forum], Finalist for Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year Award, Top 5 in the Lotus FM Phenomenal Woman of the Year, Best Dressed at Durban July and Gold Cup and the list goes on.

Among the many awards was the 2001 National Arties award in honour of a Person who has worked tirelessly to promote Culture and Education in South Africa. In January 2007 her fame and achievements were also internationally recognised as she received an award amongst the International and National Dignitaries in Mumbai India for Outstanding Lifetime achievement Award For Education And Culture.

Priscilla Bhika, the dynamic fashion designer, motivational Public speaker and active community member, has remained strongly rooted in her belief that “while it is important for South Africans to familiarize themselves with western culture, it is just as important that they don't lose touch with their own identities."

To Priscilla her most important accolades thus far have been her family: three children, 1 daughter-in-law, 2 sons-in law and her adorable grandchildren.

The School of Fashion Design offer courses for all tastes and needs some of them only taking one day. Many people from the rural areas go back home with special skills to share with their communities and to generate incomes.

She has featured on Indian, South African and Mauritius Television Stations on several occasions promoting her individualistic approach to the most elegant of garments –The Sari.

Priscilla has invented 54 different ways to drape a sari and she has incorporated influences from all parts of the world- Egypt, Greece, Africa This original concept of Priscilla has escalated into a major fashion trend.

Priscilla Studied Fashion Design in Johannesburg and started running Dressmaking classes in Pietermaritzburg from a single classroom to uplift women who needed to make their own income.

A strong Believer in that if you want to make it in this world there is only one way: hard work, hard work, and hard work!!!!!!

This Year marks the 52nd-year anniversary for The School of Fashion Design.

In the past 52 years, Priscilla Bhika, through hard work and dedication, has grown the School of Fashion into the largest fashion design Institution across the Midlands. The Students at the college have swiped over 568 National Fashion Awards; and continue to lead in fashion in South Africa. Priscilla Bhika's vision is now reality where most of her students own boutiques, are retail buyers for chain stores, abroad showing off their fashion, working in costume for television series, or have opened up their own C.M.T factories and are doing well- They are assets to our economy and are shining examples for the future.

Priscilla is a vivacious and dynamic personality, well known in the industry and has infused her college and designs with the flare and vibrancy she has come to represent.