Xuly Bët, the Paris-based go-to label for many celebrities, including Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill and Neneh Cherry, will be opening this year's event. The award-winning label recently made global headlines with the 'Obama' dress at New York Fashion Week.
Established South African fashion-world heavyweights including Marianne Fassler, Errol Arendz, Stoned Cherrie and David Tlale will show alongside global talents like Deola Sagoe, current celebrity favourite LaQuan Smith and Mimi Plange, who has worked with designer Rachel Roy and Patricia Field, the famed Sex and the City stylist. Bunmi Koko, a British-based label that has been garnering UK press attention over the past year, Alesha Dixon, Alex Curran, Sadie Frost and Kate Middleton will also be showcasing on African soil.
Fassler, who has not shown for two years, will be showcasing a collection entitled Global Gathering. The collection, a multi-layered extravaganza will focus on the idea of beginning: Africa as the birthplace of humanity and children as the original designers - her show will open with a small capsule collection designed under her direction by two children Adam (7) and Sibella (9), before continuing on a journey that pays homage to Africa's polyglot nations. Joining her on the schedule is New York-based label Mataano. The Somali sisters Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim who have been likened to the Olsen twins of Africa and have featured on CNN and Oprah, design the soft, feminine line.
"The world continues its love affair with all things African, as a point of reference, not as a cliché and it's very important we here in Africa continue to support that," says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, chairperson of African Fashion International.
For more information, full show schedules and highlights from previous collections go to www.africanfashioninternational.com. Tickets available from Computicket from 7 June.