An eye on South African Fashion Week

Johannesburg: South African Fashion Week (SAFW) opened its doors to guests, media and buyers in spectacular style at a new rooftop venue in Africa’s most prestigious shopping mall Sandton City. 

With the aim to celebrate design talent who are the future of fashion in South Africa, the opening slot started with solo shows by the multi-talented Rich Mnisi along with another emerging designer Thebe Magugu, who have both previously been showcased on Vogue Talents.

While Mnisi stuck largely with black and white with a pop of bold color and a simplified Afro infused abstract print, Magugu played with a blue, yellow and red variations in his classic style pulling on many of his established silhouettes from previous collections.

 Always exciting is the conceptual creativity that appears on the runway from final year students at Durban University of Technology who get an opportunity to showcase. It’s refreshing in the youthfulness displayed and captivating to the curious eye in its uniqueness. It’s a small yet interesting glimpse into the future.

The designer-duo Mmuso-Maxwell, also featured on Vogue talents, showed a growing maturity putting in a solid, well-tailored, more commercial ready to wear collection as a follow up to winning the new talent search award last year at SAFW. The woman wear label is inspired by African heritage and contemporary culture to complement the modern woman. 

Whilst this years menswear designer scouting competition winner who created a bold, geometric print collection fit for ‘African Kings’, will see designer Sandile Mlabo attend the highly anticipated Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence later this year. 

As a new highlight on the fashion week stage, Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung is one to keep an eye on. The indigo-adire inspired collection shows a fresh, well balanced mix of African modernity. It offers another dimension to the fashion landscape and expands the field of expression which is much needed. 

Because of the stylish, paired down, modern simplicity the eye was easily drawn to the entire collection of Durban based designer Amanda Laird Cherry. Mostly characterized by stripes each look was cleverly punctuated by increasingly exaggerated shapes, layering or unique details. 

Lastly, its hard to ignore the particular fashion sensibility of designer Black Coffee, who creates sharp structural designs characterized by layered shapes and geometric patterns.  

Completing the SAFW fashion offering and running parallel to the fashion shows is the trade event which allows designers a powerful platform to exhibit to buyers, stylists and media directly. 

Find more highlights from the 21st edition of SAFW in the image gallery. 

written by: Leanne Tlhagoane



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