AFI’s triumphs at the Hollywoodbets Durban July
African Fashion International left the 2023’s Hollywoodbets Durban July drenched in accolades.
By Ranji Mangcu
African Fashion International presented an Out of this World selection of looks at the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Taking to the Greyville Racecourse by storm, the AFI Fashion Experience started with an impressive display of fashion, with looks from House of Nala by AFI and the AFI Fastrack 2023 finalists.
Heads turned as the nine looks sported by models, descended to the galaxy-inspired mainstage for the judging of the Durban July Raceday Fashion Awards. As they took group pictures, photographers arrived en masse, snapping away at the unique fashion on display.
The judges also could not get enough of the looks.
As the hundreds of models present preened and prawned, attracting the attention of the judges, it was not surprising when six looks earned spots in the finals of the Raceday Fashion Awards.
The competition was judged in four categories: “Classic Racewear Female,” “Classic Racewear Male,” “Exceptional Raceday Hat/Fascinator,” and “Most Striking Couple.” The designers hedged their bets and were pleasantly rewarded.
Kgotsofalo Monyamate was the winner of the Classic Racewear Male category at the Durban July Raceday Competition. Click here to explore more about his design.
Kgotsofalo Monyamate’s “Articles from MARS” look, brought home the prize for “Classic Racewear Male.” Through a denim two-piece set that doubled as a manifesto. Monyamate put sustainable production into practice, using fashion as a forum for his anti-poverty manifesto. The manifesto was stitched in bright yellow, into the indigo-denim of a jacket with detachable sleeves, and pants. Monyamate animated the cuffs with embroidered food items, imagining a food-secure world unlike our own.
Lo’Ice by Loice Dube came second Exceptional Raceday Hat/Fascinator at the Durban July Raceday Competition. Click here to explore more about his design.
Loice Dube of “Lo ’Ice” came in as the first runner-up for “Exceptional Raceday Hat/Fascinator” with her piece “The Jockey & Her Horse Mercury.” The ensemble levelled Lo’Ice’s dynamic signature streetwear elements, honouring the occasion in slick silvers and blues as an homage to the fast-moving element also known as quicksilver, and the smallest and fastest-orbiting planet in our Solar System, Mercury. Dube put a contemporary spin on the traditional horse-jockey’s cap in a pale purple, producing a look that was as cool as it was elevated.
Sixx 6 by Mimangaliso Ndiko and XHVNTI by Xhanti Mpu were selected as finalists in the Durban July Raceday Competition. Click here to explore more about his design.
Rounding out the AFI Fastrack Finalists rewarded for their fashion brilliance were Mimangaliso Ndiko and Xhanti Xabiso Mpu of the brands, Sixx 6 and XHVNTI, respectively. In a clever move, the designers collaborated and entered their haunting all-black looks that placed them as finalists in their category.
House of Nala came third in the Classic Racewear Female category at the Durban July Raceday Competition.
House of Nala by AFI’s womenswear product developer, Keneuoe Mhletswa entered the “Classic Raceday Female” category. Mhletswa’s show-stopping emerald-green, “alien-queen” gown named awarded Second Runner-Up. This win was no surprise – the feathered-detail on its collar, and its meticulous corsetry had elicited stares and gasps across the Durban July long before the judges had finished deliberating.
House of Nala was a finalist in the Classic Racewear Male category at the Durban July Raceday Competition.
House of Nala by AFI’s menswear product developer Thulani Mlambo was named a finalist in the “Classic Raceday Male” category.
His navy-and-gold two-piece suit with gold-plate detailing look not only demonstrated Mlambo’s design prowess, but his desire to push the conservative male consumer into more adventurous territory.
As we return to reality following AFI’s second venture to Durban July, the team has been abuzz all day with the news of our wins. We could not be prouder of the 2023 Fastrack Finalists and our in-house designers.
VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE AFI FASTRACK LOOK: https://africanfashioninternational.com/pages/ootw-fastrack-poll