Rocking the ranges

They’re the hottest kid designers out there – and their original ranges are set to fly off the shelves. Meet Dani and Nixie, winners of the 2017 Style Squad Kids’ Designer Range Competition.

Daniella Dos Santos

  • Range name Denim Bochella
  • Favourite saying ‘Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.’ – Marilyn Monroe
  • Favourite colour Lilac
  • Hobbies Fashion, baking, hockey, reading, sketching


‘I was overwhelmed when I heard the news,’ says Daniella Dos Santos (16). ‘Having my designs being sold in Ackermans stores is a dream come true. I tried my hardest and gave it 100%. It’s an amazing feeling.’

Dani attends Woodlands International College in Gauteng, where she’s known for her strong fashion sense and ability to mix and match her wardrobe. ‘My friends often come to me for fashion advice,’ she says.

Dani impressed the judges with her natural bohemian flair – and her range showcases her love of frayed and embroidered detail. ‘My style icons are Vanessa Hudgens and Sophia Miacova, and I’m also a fan of the Dolce & Gabbana brand.

The fashionista says her gran often helps her create clothing from sketches she draws and that her parents support her passion. ‘I’d love to be a world-famous fashion designer one day,’ she says. ‘And the President of South Africa.’

The experience

The talented youngster says she learnt a lot from the Ackermans buyers when she spent three days at the support centre. Here she chose hard-wearing denim mixed with purple, pinks and minty turquoise florals for her whimsical range.

‘It was interesting learning to design for a broader audience and not just myself,’ Dani says.

‘The buyers were brilliant. They guided me and helped me realise what I needed to take into consideration when designing for seven-to 15-year-olds.’

Nikhil Govender

  • Range name StreetSwag
  • Favourite saying Awesome!
  • Favourite colour Red
  • Hobbies PlayStation, Minecraft, Lego


He’s only 11 years old but he knows exactly what he wants from life. With ambitions to be a leading scientist – and the best-dressed kid in the country – Nikhil ‘Nixie’ Govender is set for success. ‘I’m known to be one of the most stylish boys ever,’ Nixie says proudly. ‘I love wearing leather jackets and designer jeans, which means I always look amazingly awesome.’

This youngster is a keen fan of social media too. ‘I like following Alonso Mateo (a five-year-old Instagram fashion sensation) because he always looks so cool – and I look at lots of fashion websites and blogs for inspiration.’

Nixie attends Winston Park Primary in KwaZulu-Natal and loves buying clothes online. ‘I’ve got a big wardrobe and my mom helps me choose clothes. She always knows what’s trending.’

The experience

‘I learnt a lot from the Ackermans buyers, mainly that it takes a billion departments to make one range!’ Nixie says. He’s a big superhero fan, and says Ironman, Batman and Spider-Man are his favourite characters. ‘I like strong, masculine colours and fabrics – which is why I chose red and camouflage for my Ackermans range. And I included an emblem of a wolf on my hoodie because wolves are strong, mysterious and cute – just like me! I chose a police-type badge for another piece because it’s a sign of authority and power.’

Read more about the 2018 competition.