Thursday 1st of December 2022

Nairobi, Kenya

Nkano Senyolo, A Businesswoman, Is Committed To Assisting South African Fashion Designers Achieve Their International Success.

Posted On : July 25, 2022

Oscar Alochi


In addition to foreign designers like Alessandro Michele and Virginie Viard, South African fashion designers have often demonstrated that they belong in international fashion weeks.

Lukhanyo Mdingi, an East London native, debuted his African-inspired Bodyland line at Paris Fashion Week’s Autumn/Winter 2022 exhibition at the start of this year.
At the Autumn/Winter 2021 Paris Fashion Week, Thebe Magugu, winner of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, debuted his Banyoloyi A Bosigo line.

Therefore, it is evident that our nation has a wealth of creative potential, but the issue is in making the world aware of it more.

Nkano Senyolo, an entrepreneur and the creator of IFW Business, is out to alter that.
IFW Firm is a business that helps up-and-coming and registered South African fashion designers by providing them with tools including educational courses, masterclasses, trade shows, exhibitions, retail, and showcases to help them expand their businesses.

Senyolo, a fashion design graduate from the University of Johannesburg’s college of art, design, and architecture with more than 11 years of experience in the fashion industry, observed that there was an imbalance in the sector. Examples of this imbalance include:

African fashion trends lagged behind, there were many excellent designers with little exposure, many people with extraordinary creativity but little business sense, and the South African fashion industry was greatly underappreciated, to name a few difficulties.

She established IFW Business and IFW Projects (NGO) in 2019 due to her solution-driven, ardent, and charitable nature.
Her company’s goals include connecting designers with manufacturers of clothing, helping designers create a sustainable online presence that will draw more customers and buyers, securing and organizing attendance at international fashion shows and exhibitions, and creating outstanding fashion portfolios so that designers will be given preference in retail selection.

In order to eventually establish itself as the go-to brand for creative people or fashion designers looking to expand their brand, gain access to resources, and have more business opportunities, the company is currently managing a group of ten South African fashion designers and their collections while also working to incrementally expand its portfolio (nationally and internationally).

They were given the chance to participate in other international fashion shows after a successful debut in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in March of this year, where they showcased two talented South African fashion designers, Sandi Mazibuko and House of Fabrosanz.
Two local designers will go to Turkey in August on the company’s behalf to participate in the Cappadocia Fashion Week.

Africa Fashion Week Europe (AFWEU) hosts Cappadocia Fashion Week every year to give designers a venue to display their clothing and to promote various designers between Africa and Europe.

Nguni Brand and House of Fabrosanz will also be making appearances at Cappadocia Fashion Week as South African companies.

Rapule Mathonsi, the label’s creative director, Nandi Mtsokoba, the production director, and Wendy Magafela formed Nguni Brand together (Sales Director). The lovely and vibrant Nguni culture served as the inspiration for Nguni Brand.

They mostly take cues from Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, and Ndebele cultures, with some Sotho culture incorporated to produce distinctive patterns. The objective is to establish this as a global brand in addition to making it known in Durban, South Africa.

“We want the beauty of our cultures to be seen by people all around the world. We are a new, established, and energetic brand,” adds Mathonsi.

Designer Sandisiwe Mazibuko established Fabrosanz (FRS) in 2011. Fabulous Royalty Sanz is the abbreviation for Sandisiwe’s name, and Sanz stands for Fabulous Royalty.
The name of the company reflects Sandi’s desire for her clothing to make the wearer feel regal and wonderful.

The Nguni print, which is the most popular because it is purchased internationally, is one of the FRS’s own culturally inspired prints that it uses to create clothing for both men and women. Since the Zulu culture is a significant part of Fabrosanz’s heritage, it is important that she convert it into wearable clothing.

The Venda, Tsonga, and Sepedi-inspired prints were designed in 2021 as a way to commemorate the brand’s ten years in the business. These prints were influenced by earlier collections.

“The fabrics, colors, and themes found on these civilizations’ traditional clothing served as the inspiration for our collection offers. According to Mazibuko, the prints are created by combining various shapes with vibrant colors that all have cultural significance.

IFW Business intends to invite further regional designers to fashion weeks including Istanbul Fashion Week in December 2022 and Nairobi Fashion Week in November 2022.

Content courtesy of IOL & NFH 


Oscar Alochi


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