Models presenting Loice Dube's collection for Lo'Ice at Joburg Fashion Week 2023.

Lo'Ice Blends Streetwear, Sustainability, and African Heritage at Joburg Fashion Week

Ranji Mangcu 

Since the 1980’s, South Africa has held onto an enduring, ever-evolving culture of streetwear. This makes it one of the very few things that connects the style philosophies and investment patterns of the economically mobile Millennial and the budding-professional Gen-Z. 

Through her ready-to-wear label, Lo’Ice, AFI Fastrack 2023 finalist Loice Dube presents an exciting adaptation to the longstanding tradition of streetwear. 


This label serves the bracket of the fashion market that may not be immersed in the world of fashion but want to move through their busy lives with ease, efficiency and a sense of culture and style.  

Dube frequently references African studies and tradition in her work. Titled Thomba, the Lo’Ice Joburg Fashion Week capsule collection for the AFI Fastrack showcase referenced IsiZulu customs around coming of age, tying them in visually through prints.  

Loice Dube Joburg Fashion Week 2023

A vibrant red line-print dances across the blue nylon bodysuit, fabric, mapping the stages of ukuthomba like a fiery ember. The matte organza dress with ruching cascades over the jumpsuit, its gentle ruching adjustable via a delicate drawstring cord.

When building her buyer profile, Dube was well-versed enough in her brand to know that she didn’t have to build her customer from scratch – she already existed.  

She chose the African-American, professional tennis player Coco Gauff: a trailblazing woman, sure of one fundamental truth – that she will come out on top. According to Dube, Gauff’s decorated career represents the next wave – a woman who is aspirational, yet relatable in her drive to achieve perfection and champion status.   

Loice Dube Joburg Fashion Week 2023 

Channeling 90s graffiti murals, this loose-fitting Bull-Denim two-piece explodes with neon spray paint prints. Knee-length trucker shorts and a matching bomber jacket embrace a printed mesh jumpsuit for a clash of textures and eras. 

In approaching the sustainability requirements of this collection, Dube sourced fabrics from suppliers who regularly recycle and repurpose textile waste and used end-of-the-roll fabrics.  

But Dube made sure to take the conversation a little further, highlighting the importance of cultural sustainability – a people-focused approach to sustainability discourse, that prioritizes the preservation of African heritage, customs and storytelling. With Gauff as her muse, Dube fulfils her brand’s goal of telling African stories to a global audience. 

Lo'Ice reimagines evening wear with this daring fusion of sport and luxury. The sleek scuba top sculpts the form, cascading into a full skirt, while the Lo'Ice bodysuit adds a touch of graphic edge. A trucker cap, adorned with a veil, completes the look with unexpected elegance.

Throughout the AFI Fastrack programme, what has stood out about the Lo’Ice brand, is its potential to test the bounds of South Africa’s ready-to-wear imagination through Dube’s skillful remixing of classic, sports-inspired silhouettes.  

Dube's designs resonate deeply with the style aspirations of millennials and Gen Z, effortlessly blending form and function to empower the dynamic, go-getter spirit and active lifestyles of young, ambitious professionals.  

Lo'Ice weaves it all together in a unifying brand narrative, fostering community through a brand that anyone can connect to.   

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