2 World-Class South African Fashion Designers Whose Names You Should Know

The South African fashion industry is growing at a rapid pace, with South African designers making waves with their detailed craftsmanship that hint at traditional, bold prints and electric textured fabrics. After an action-packed 4-days of couturiers showcasing their latest collections at AFI Fashion Week in Sandton, South Africa’s emerging creatives have proven to be at the cutting edge of global fashion trends.

A mecca for fashion, South Africa is bringing style to the world with varied ethnic styles that boast traditional and contemporary Pan-African prints, florals, and woven fabrics to millennial streetwear collections that express sustainability, climate awareness, and diversity. While South Africa has many talented designers, here are two designers you should know about.

David Tlale – South Africa’s King of Fashion

Renowned as the King of Couture, and South Africa’s Karl Lagerfeld, David Tlale is a South African designer whose work has been showcased at New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and South Africa Fashion Week. Made for elegant, proud, and bold women, David Tlale’s collections consist of eye-catching dresses, coats, and blouses that boast bold designs, showmanship, and drama. Always pushing boundaries with his daring approach and focus on dramatic, striking silhouettes, South Africa’s beloved style icon received a standing ovation for his latest SS20 collection themed “JOYCE” – a tribute to his late mother.

Thebe Magugu – The First African to Win an LVMH Fashion Award

South Africa certainly has no shortage of creative talent with Thebe Magugu claiming his rightful seat at the table of couture. Scooping a major international accolade at the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum in Paris and crowned the winner of the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2019 at London Fashion Week, we can only describe Thebe Magugu as a leader of his generation. Reshaping kitsch and retro with new elements of grandeur, Magugu focuses on ready-to-wear women’s couture that is deeply embedded with South Africa’s cultural diversity. A creative who has rubbed elbows with Anna Wintour and Gigi Hadid, and thanked Bernard Arnault for admiring the quality of his tailoring, Magugu is snapping up accolades and stockists as he expands globally.

At AFI, we believe that fashion is not just a word, but an industry and a platform for creatives. And, with the world looking for more diverse creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation – African talent is rising, inspiring, and exciting the global world of couture.