David Tlale wrapped up the African Fashion International (AFI) Fashion Week Joburg at SkyRink in Carlton Centre, Johannesburg CBD. The show, on Sunday 07 October, was dedicated to the centenary of Nelson Mandela and Mam’Albertina Sisulu.
David’s show, with 100 looks and 100 models, culminated Fashion Week with appearances from singer Vusi Nova and D’Banj. Vusi Nova serenaded the audience with his popular song “Ndikuthandile” and, in the same spirit of honouring the struggle heroes through fashion, designer Tsotesti KL held a display at Constitutional Hill earlier that day. Tsotetsi KL showcased his designs around the theme #UnscriptedWounds, models walked the corridors of the old women’s prison. The show brought painful memories of the past and offered healing. The show ended with a performance by singer Kelly Khumalo.
AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2018 commenced on Thursday 05 October. Designers showed off their spring/ summer collections to an enthusiastic audience of influencers, fashion critics and media. The designers that took the ramp on Thursday, during the Aero sponsored slot, were Nao Seati, D.O.P.E and Mahone. The second show was supported by RwandaAir and included designers Matte Nolim, Khosi Nkosi and Haute Baso. Successfully closing the first day were designers Orapeleng Modutle, Rich Factory, Imgard Mkhabela, Sheria Ngowi from Tanzania and AntiArch from China.
Khosi Nkosi’s show had its usual flare, with popular South African media personalities modelling his clothing. Khanya Mdlangala, Tumi Voster, Zizo Beda and beloved couple Dineo Mokeatsi and Solo charmed the audience. Actress Nomzamo Mbatha also made an appearance, modelling the show stopper dress during Rich Factory’s show.
Friday’s line-up began with a collection from TUT students, showcasing the amazing young design talent on our continent. In the evening, AFI’s Privé, La Art Neviole Emporium, MaXhosa by Laduma, Presidential and 5-Knot from Japan wowed the audience with their diverse ranges. AFI’s Privé’ showed a ready-to-wear collection before MaXhosa’s colourful prints walked the runway. The evening ended with Japanese inspired street style from 5 Knot.
Saturday’s line-up started early with the AFI Masterclass held at Melrose Gallery. The Masterclass covered the topics: Is street wear the new luxury; Fashion media disruption and the new algorithm of influence; and Men’s prepster fashion evolution over the past ten years. The panellists included Pietro Giannuzzi the designer for Presidential, Asanda Sizani the Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine, Hayden Manuel the Sports Style Marketing Manager for Puma, and leaders in the industry. The panels were informative, and the intimate audience was able to engage with one another and the professionals.
The beautiful weather on Saturday complemented the first swimwear show, which took place by the poolside of Fire and Ice Hotel. Cape Town based designers Beach Cult and Gabrielle Swimwear showcased their seaside inspired swimwear ranges, in eye-catching varieties, to appeal to the upcoming summer holidays.
Later in the day CAFÉ (Curated African Fashion Emporium) by David Tlale impressed the crowd, making it evident that their collection was influenced by one of the best designers in the industry. The Botswana Collection, with Mothusi Lesolle, Boitumelo Seboko, Black Trash, Aobakwe Molosiwa, Sharon Taolo and Lesedi Matlapeng propelled the audience into Botswana and their unique take on trendy African fashion.
Bulbulia Threads by Tasleem Bulbulia, Kreyann from Cameroon, Ruff Tung, Kahindo from the DRC, Tuelo Nguyuza Collectiv, Marianne Fassler, Imprint, and Scalo by Sello Medupe delivered an incredible show. Csquared, a menswear brand since its launch 15 years ago, launched their eagerly anticipated women’s wear collection. Csquared Ladies marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the brand. Madagascar born designer Eric Raisina, who is now based in Cambodia, received a standing ovation with his amazing ready-to-wear collection.
The last show on Saturday was staged at the Melrose gallery. Quiteria and George merged their designs with the artwork on exhibition, transforming the gallery into a showcase of masterpieces. The models posed as statues/ mannequins draped in Quiteria and George’s designs.
In attendance at AFI Fashion Week Joburg was Lindiwe Sisulu the minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Zulu the minister of Small Business Development, Rob Davies the Minister of Trade and Industry, Embassy of Japan, Minister Kawaguchi and high-profile business persons. Many media personalities also graced the red carpet including Lalla Hirayama, Siyabonga Ngwekazi, Musa Ngema, Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Nambitha Mpumulwana.
The Afro Asia theme is the start of a partnership between AFI and Tokyo Fashion Week. A designer from this year’s Fashion Week Joburg will showcase a collection in Tokyo next year. The theme was meant to inspire local designers to think globally in their endeavours and collaborative initiatives. This partnership is part of AFI’s continuous efforts to place African designers on world stages, giving them a platform to showcase their designs to extend their market, and network to exchange knowledge and ideas.
AFI CEO, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, believes collaborations are the best way to achieve AFI’s goal, and to assist designers in becoming self-sustaining and independent.
“Fashion week is not just about showcasing beautiful designs, it is also about developing small businesses and exposing the designers to larger markets. AFI will continue to support and be the bridge for designers to reach world stages,” Dr Moloi-Motsepe said.
This year AFI Fashion Week Joburg was sponsored by MAC, Wella, Melrose Arch, Fire & Ice Hotel, Mirari Gin, Generosity Water, Bidvest, Melrose Gallery, Plascon and Pureau Coffee.
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