Sunday 26th of March 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

The Collections For South African Fashion Week Begin in April.

The 25th Spring/Summer collections of SA Fashion Week (SAFW) are set to debut this month.
Some of the collection’s dynamic developments include environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, inter-brand collaboration, and proudly local production investment.

Ephraim Molingoana for Ephymol, Amanda Laird Cherry and Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho, and cult Kasi brand, Loxion Kulca, now designed by Olé Ledimo, will unveil their 2022 collections to the media, buyers, selected VIPs, and a limited edition of public tickets.

This is in addition to exciting new stars such as 2021 New Talent winner Artho Eksteen, Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu, and Sipho Mbuto, who both took part in the Fashion Bridges collaboration with Milan Fashion Week last year.

The 24th New Talent Search, hosted by Maps Maponyane, will once again kick off the event with a lineup of six of the most promising young designers to watch. The following are this year’s contenders:

  • Thando Ntuli – Munkus
  • Nichole Smith – Ipikoko
  • Mikhile du Plessis – MeKay Designs
  • Calvin Lunga Cebekhulu – Czene.24
  • Sanelisiwe Gcabashe – Gjenelo Couture
  • Mimangaliso Ndiko – Sixx6

What to anticipate

The Cruz Collective with Sokhulu and Mbuto, as well as another new generation notable, Michael Ludwig Studio, were also highlights of the first day.

Day two begins with The Oppo Collections, which brings together Artho Eksteen, Ezokhetho, the gender-neutral signature, The Bam Collective, and the much-loved Amanda Laird Cherry.

The high-profile trio of Cape Town-based Helon Melon, who wowed audiences in 2021 with her all-white, sustainable collection, fashion-forward Judith Atelier, an ardent supporter of South African mohair and perennial fashion week darling, Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho, follows.

BeachCult’s Joanna Hedley and Belhauzen, both Cape Town-based designer brands committed to clean fashion, will be in attendance.

Similarly, Pretoria-based Isabel de Villiers is a body-positive activist who will unveil her current, size-inclusive collection, while Johannesburg-based Kayla Stamboul of Kayla Stam proudly supports women empowerment with a 100% female-owned supply chain.

On Saturday 30 April, the SAFW Collections Men will shine a light on the excitement that is contemporary menswear design in South Africa, with a power trio consisting of Ntando Ngwenya, who merges conservative and postmodern techniques to create a distinctively new clothing presentation, Thato Mafubedu’s Afrikanswiss denimwear, and the much-loved Loxion Kulca brand currently under Olé Ledimo.

According to SAFW director Lucilla Booyzen, an exciting new collaboration between designers Fabrice Moyo of Franc Elis, menswear brands Floyd Avenue and Ephymol, and KwaZulu-Natal-based and proudly South African shoe manufacturers Eddels, Evox, and Hopewell Footwear marks an exciting grand finale for the Spring/Summer 22 Collection.

The significance of fashion
According to Nerisha Jairaj, executive director of the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (Saflec), the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (Saflec) is proud to be making industry history with its inaugural association with SA Fashion Week this year.

“We are thrilled to be flying the ‘Made in South Africa’ banner with the debut of three of our most exciting footwear brands for men on this high profile & prestigious platform so that a wider audience can discover the remarkable capability of fashion South Africa.”

According to Maishe Mambolo, brand manager at Cruz Vodka, fashion reflects a country’s culture. “It’s more than just clothes.” Fashion becomes an expression of your attitude. Fashion professionals value art, design, and culture, as well as a sense of beauty.”

From the 28th to the 30th of April, the SAFW’22 Spring/Summer Collections will be on display at Mall of Africa’s Parkade G5, Entrance 24.

You Can Buy Tickets Here.
Each designer’s information, biographies, and contact information can be found here.

Content courtesy of Biz Community & NFH

What Went Down on Day 1 of SA Fashion Week SS21 Digital Collections

Sustainable fashion. Self-expression. Graceful and edgy artistry. Classic and playful elegance. Personal stories. And going back to basics.

This was Day 1 of SA Fashion Week SS21 digital collections which included fresh talent and legendary designers. Words: Kgomotso Moncho-Maripane

The SA Fashion Week tagline, “The business of ethical fashion” encapsulates its ethos precisely. Running with this, sustainable fashion became the underlying theme with which designers in the New Talent Search were tasked to follow when designing. Upcycled and deconstructed fabrics were a running thread all around.

With a collection inspired by “De-gendered geometry”, Michael Ludwig Studio showed how the fluidity of structures, proportions, and colors shape evolving identities.

MC Alpine played with interesting shapes and details, while Sipho Mbuto took an avant-garde approach to deconstruct denim.

Stand-out looks from the competition include Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu’s soft and edgy collection boasting a red, white, and black color palette with images that boldly speak to the beginning and the resilience of life, relevant to what our world is going through.

Her collection was inspired by “how planet earth strives for an ecological balance within the forces of nature.”

The debut of Thulani Vuyo Mlambo’s Saint Vuyo shone with notable layering and tailoring. With a brand ethos taken from his lineage, the collection invoked the spirit of Africa’s women armies like the Dahomey Amazons – the all-female warriors of West Africa. Again, a testament to strength and survival.

However, it was Artho Eksteen’s winning combination of fine art and fashion design that saw him take the 2021 New Talent Search winner title.

His collection takes cues from the Surrealist method of Exquisite Corpse where a collection of images or words is collectively assembled to reveal a completed artwork.

Eksteen played with the juxtaposition of different fabrics and textures; different silhouettes and prints to bring together a body of work that is appealingly ugly-beautiful. The beauty is also in how functional the collection is even if it was to be deconstructed.

Read more on the New Talent Search Competition finalist designers here and watch out for our fashion shoot with New Talent Competition winner Artho Eksteen soon!

The Satiskin Rise & Shine Collections brimmed with playful and classic elegance showcasing designers who are retail ready. Romaria charmed with their signature monochromatic wool prints offering subtle pops of woven color. Even more charming were the wool accessories that ranged from bags to headbands.

The story behind the Ezokhetho collection is about the designer, Mpumelelo Dhlamini, having lost his dad. And so, the bold and joyful colors are in celebration of his father’s life. The designs are inspired by a character that the iconic Thembi Nyandeni played in the comedic drama series, Kwakhala Nyonini called uMfazi Wephepha.

The much-loved character was loud, opinionated, fashion-forward, and money-driven. Dhlamini interprets this with exaggerated shapes, playful proportions, and a sophisticated and desirable finish.

Previous New Talent Search winners, ERRE are consistent in the exquisite nuance they bring out in the fabrics they choose to work with. In the past, they have worked ingeniously with leather and moved past its limitations.

Here they highlight scuba fabric, velvet, and techno mesh with voluminous, dramatic, and powerful silhouettes.

Lara Klawikowski exuded elegant grace with her Inflorescence collection that boasts botanical hues and organic shapes resembling tarot tulips. Big on sustainability, her romantic looks were achieved from rewoven plastics and offcuts. See our recent story on Lara here.

Chiefs of Angels presented a rebellious edge with their punk rock-themed collection.

With Oscar Ncube’s fabric ripping and distressing, he showed a more punky expression than the technical design.

Jacques van der Watt closed off the night with a show that goes back to the very essence of what has made Black Coffee a formidable force in the design world.

The geometric prints and architectural structures were recognizable. It is the collection’s military and laid-back mood that brings it back to now as we fight for survival in this Covid19 pandemic. As poet Lebo Mashile says, “Style is in the survival of my people.”

Content courtesy of ASA Online Magazine & Nairobi fashion hub 

South African Fashion Week Kicks Off

South African Fashion Week (SAFW) begins its three-day schedule of shows today, with 28 designers, including LVMH prize finalist Lukhanyo Mdingi and finalists of SAFW’s 2021 new talent search competition, showcasing their collections digitally.

According to Lucilla Booyzen, director of SAFW, the trans-seasonal collections on the schedule were shot at the beginning of April at South Africa’s Mall of Africa and viewers will be able to purchase tickets on the SAFW website to view the collections via streaming platform Quicket.

While the digital format remains a necessity due to continued government restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, Booyzen also said broadcasting the shows digitally has the benefit of increasing the platform’s reach beyond South Africa.

This year’s main focus for SAFW is slow fashion, Booyzen told BoF. In practice, this focus takes different forms for different designers, with upcycling and working with natural fabrics like cotton, mohair, and wool being commonly utilised slow fashion tools among those showing at SAFW.

”South African Fashion Week’s goal of facilitating a slow fashion culture steeped in ecological sustainability by 2025 is supported by the majority of designers who are aligned with the platform,” Booyzen said.

This edition of SAFW also features a tribute to Wandi Nzimande, the co-founder of popular streetwear and lifestyle brand Loxion Kulca, who died earlier this year. The Loxion Kulca collection to be shown on the SAFW schedule was designed by House of Ole founder, Ole Ledimo.

Content courtesy of Business Of Fashion & Nairobi fashion hub 

SA Fashion Week Goes Digital

In the wake of #CoronaVirus and being confined at home, all prospects of enjoying the glitz and glam that is SA Fashion Week soon became a dream more than a reality.

It is the event on my calendar that I anxiously await, relishing in the fashion from both new-comers and well known designers.  For the last 3 years, I managed to have the perfect Birdseye view of the best in the business, and I was sure that 2020 wouldn’t disappoint.

That was until Covid-19 hit our shores, harder than the new Versace release or a sale at Louis Vuitton (another pipe dream).

All prospects of the event, which will be celebrating it’s 21st year flew out of my social calendar, because you know, social distancing and no gatherings bigger than 100.  And let’s be honest, not even the hottest fashion is worth the risk of this pandemic.

Fashion Week is going ahead, but just a little differently this year.

In the words of Lucille Booyzen, the CEO of Fashion Week: Change, change, change. The thing we embrace and fear with equal measure.

The press release shed light on the recent speech by our President, and with that in mind the team at SAFW made a Plan B for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 showcase. And boy is it a plan. A climate-friendly, green-friendly, COVID-19 respectful, digital-only SA Fashion Week.  This will be the first of its kind, and it is both smart and bold.  Everything we expect from SAFW.

She went further to say, that this state of disaster has in fact paved the way for something unique and beautiful to happen. she goes on saying that it was the push they needed, as they have wanted to push change and the agenda.

Refreshing and relevant new stories from the designers will be told and the sponsors and other stakeholders will all be part of the bigger, global audience.

As the 23rd SAFW, this will indeed be the most important one, taking place 22 – 25 April 2020.

And just like that my excitement is restored.  I may not get the chance to dress-up and photo-op, but I can watch it digitally.

Content courtesy of Bloss & Nairobi fashion hub

SA Fashion Week hosts first digital collections

Thursday’s opening night of South African Fashion Week (SA Fashion Week) Twenty Twenty Digital Collections, which was the first virtual showcase, was unique and organised.

Even the way the models strutted their stuff on the ramp, which was set up in the parking lot of Mall of Africa, you could see that they were at ease.

Gert-Johan Coetzee was the first to exhibit his latest work titled “Kraal Couture”, a collection inspired by the farms.

With blue and black being the dominant colours, the collection consists of beaded cowl skirts, smart pants with cow prints, a peplum tulle skirt, and ball gowns, some made of plastic.

Under the Diamond Fibre Collections, Mmuso Maxwell, Judith Atelier and Lukhanyo Mdingi brought nostalgia to the runway.

Maxwell presented their “Imbokodo” collection, a range that seeks to challenge the narrative of a woman’s place in society, especially in the African culture.

Some of our favourite pieces from the collection include the forest green side pleat jacket, the asymmetrical olive wrap jacket and matching pants, wool-side mustard pleat dress and the spiral knitted dress made of kid mohair.

Atelier introduced the brand to the luxurious world of mohair, which plays a big part in this collection.

Titled “ I am because we are”, the range includes appliqué skirts and dresses, with red and blue being the dominant colours and sometimes fused to create purple pieces.

In collaboration with Ginger Maggie, they also presented their SS21 jewellery collection using fine details such as macrame tassels, copper rings, polymer clay and copper rods that have been combined to create a unique new range.

Lukhanyo Mdingi presented a monochrome collection, rich in brown. His statement pieces include a sleeveless bike jacket made of felted kid mohair and pure merino wool blend gilet. Titled “Relic”, the collection is an extension from his previous works.

“The collection is an extension from what we’ve created in the past. The true provenance of what we do is that we’re always looking at the essentials and we’re always looking at our archives and that stems from really trying to execute what good design means to us because that’s what inspired us,” said Mdingi.

The Research Unit followed with their “Transformative” collection. As a brand that usually focuses on handbags, they collaborated with handweavers and the beaders from Kids Positive to push boundaries.

About the collection that had lots of coding, Erin-Lee Peterson, the founder of the brand, said: “We tried to push the boundaries as much as we could. Not just make it look African or beaded, or weaved, but we created shorts out of the handwoven scarf. We took our beadwork and created morse-code out of it. The smiley face on one of the tops was made through thinking about African masks, such as the one that has the six eyes”.

The range also included micro sling bags, travelling bags, as well as beach bags.

Paying homage to the Indian culture, Etka Kalan of Ekta played with colour and geometric shapes to create unique patterns.

On the inspiration behind the collection, she said: “My latest collection is called ‘Who am I’? It’s an exploration of identity and how we see ourselves. If you look at each person, their environments, their family life, their ethnicity, as well as the country where they live in, all plays a specific role in how they see themselves.

“I looked at my life and upbringing, taking being a South African Indian, loving being South African, but also deep-rooted into Indian culture. My collection looks at formlessness, as well as form. I took a sari, which is 5 metres of fabric, once wrapped into the wearer, takes shape and a form. Then taking this complete structured shirt and structured clothes such as a shirt and trousers, which is a complete western concept and fusing the two cultures to create a new collection and a new form.”

Closing the show was Helon Melon with a subtle, collection of white dresses. Titled “All Dressed Down and Everywhere To Go”, she had the lockdown in mind when creating the collection. To add some colour, she defined it with neon stitches and some art inspiration from Mary Sibande.

When asked why she called in “All Dressed Down and Everwhere To Go”, Melon said: “During the lockdown, we all dressed down. And the most exciting thing is that it is a dress downrange, but you can dress it up however you like. There are lots of whites, I’ve done everything in white cotton and added a few accent colours to the range. Lots of dresses, I’ve done a very chick cashmere suit, and I had to put it in because of what we’ve been through. It’s comfortable with South African influences in it, from the house that I saw in the Transkei over 20 years ago to our fabulous SA artists like your Mary Sibande.”

Content courtesy Independent Online, EWN & Nairobi fashion hub 

SA Fashion Week shows Will go on Despite CoronaVirus

Models walk the ramp in an empty auditorium as AFI Fashion Week moved its last day of runway shows online in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. South Africa Fashion Week has also announced that it will take its Spring/Summer 2020 runway shows online.

Africa Fashion International ( AFI ) Fashion Week to continue without guests due to coronavirus outbreak

Following hot on the heels of Africa Fashion International (AFI), South African Fashion Week South Africa Fashion Week ( SAFW ) has announced that it’ll be taking its Spring/Summer 2020 runway shows online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 14, AFI cancelled the third and final day of live presentations at Fashion Week Cape Town. Ticket holders were refunded and the scheduled runway shows went ahead without an audience. Instead they were streamed via social media.

That’s partially because Booyzen was concerned that fashion weeks were becoming less about the designers’ collections and more about who was in attendance at the shows.

“Rather than spending lots of money and having big venues, we were looking at new ways of showing collections.”

She’d also been keeping a close eye on developments around the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since January we’ve been developing a plan B. With the backing of our sponsors, Sandton City, Cruz and Carlton Hair, we are going to shoot the collections in isolation because the designers have already started designing their sample collections.”

Along with having no audiences, Booyzen confirmed that South Africa Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2020 runway shows would involve less models, make-up artists and production people than past years in light of the current pandemic. Health specialists will also be consulted to ensure that a safe working environment is created.

The wasteful nature of fashion weeks has been called into question around the globe by environmental groups such as Extinction Rebellion. Beyond being “Covid-19 respectful”, a recent South Africa Fashion Week statement boasts that the upcoming runway shows will be “climate-friendly”.

“It is important for designers to reinvent themselves and think about how they do not have to spend so much money, how to use more natural fabrics and how to be sustainable,” said Booyzen.​

Presenting this season’s collections digitally has also made some designers rethink the relevance of Fashion Week entirely.

Neo Serati Mofammere, the young mastermind behind Joburg-based label Nao Serati, explained that while past generations of designers relied heavily on such events to promote their brands, newcomers to the industry have found “a whole lot of different ways” to do so.

“Right now Instagram is the strongest way to market [yourself] and some people are using influencers. It doesn’t work for everybody but some designers would rather have an influencer wear their garments and some use good old word of mouth.”

South Africa Fashion Week is set to take place in late April.


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