Exhibitions & Events News South Africa

SAFW 2024 all set on going green

South Africa’s showcase of top local design, South African Fashion Week (SAFW), is set for its most sustainable green season yet since adopting a clean fashion ethos in 2019.

“Seventy-three percent of designers participating in SAFW Spring/Summer 2024 are committed to responsible fashion production in line with our vision for a non-toxic industry,” says director Lucilla Booyzen.

The event, which takes place at its official home, the Mall of Africa, from 18–20 April 2024, will see collections marked by timeless design, innovative modification of locally produced, sustainable fabric, and an emphasis on quality over quantity.

According to Booyzen, local support from powerful retailers such as Mr Price, SAFW’s retail partner, as well as SAFW’s visionary sponsors such as Mr Price, Mall of Africa, Cruz Vodka, Isuzu, and L'Oréal Paris South Africa, is critical to bolster this positive development.

“Their financial contribution as well as a deep grasp of how to leverage and align their brands with the soft power of fashion, have allowed designers to develop a growing understanding of the demands of running a sustainable business as creative entrepreneurs. From our side, we offer support by hosting sale activations linked to our SAFW Pop-Up Shop to eliminate the cost of carrying dead stock.”

On show at this season’s event, will be the 2023 winners of SA Fashion Week’s Face of Fashion model search, female model, Lushe Wilkins, and male model, Keenan Chetty. First introduced in 2018, the Face of Fashion allows prospective young models to break into the fashion industry because of the visibility afforded by this high-profile platform, says Booyzen.

Day 1

As is the tradition, the SAFW summer season opens with the much-anticipated Mr Price New Talent Search. This launch pad of so many industry success stories including Lukhanyo Mdingi, MMuso Maxwell, Jacques Bam, Fikile Sokhulu, Sipho Mbuto, Arto Eksteen, and Munkus, will this year see 2023 winner, Cyla Gonsalves, introduce her first full collection.

Gonsalves will be in the company of a fresh lineup of fledgling entrepreneurs comprising:

  • Belhauzen
  • Heru Shezi
  • James Presents
  • Mother Of Gao
  • Ngingu
  • Nhlanhla Masemola
  • Oddity
  • Reina Majoko
  • The Mr Price New Talent Search Collections will conclude with the Mr Price Dollhouse Collection.

“After last year’s stellar showcase of local design talent, we are so excited to be returning to the runway at SA Fashion Week. This season’s finalists demonstrate a new & fresh perspective within womenswear and we can’t wait for audiences to see them at large this April.” says Kevin Smit, managing director at Mr Price.

SAFW’s longest-standing partner, will again bring The Cruz Collective show, which this year sees the welcome return of Fikile Sokhulu, exciting newcomer, Imprint, and Michael Ludwig, a New Talent Search finalist in 2021.

The Bam Collective, Sipho Mbuto, and award-winning designer, businesswoman, and cultural ambassador, Thabo Makhetha, a household name in fashion, conclude the day.

Day 2

Industry icon, Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee opens the three-signature Isuzu Luxury Collections show on the second day with a tribute to the multiple ways in which pleating may be used to create intricate creations with a commanding presence. His collection is followed by collections from Franc Elis and Thando Ntuli, the 2022 New Talent Search winner, exploring women’s fashion narratives in South Africa in her new season for her Munkus label.

The fourth edition of Fashion Bridges - I Ponti della Moda collaborative project with the Italian Embassy in South Africa, will showcase South African designer, Lezanne Viviers’ earth-conscious, Viviers Collection, and a young Italian designer. Viviers completed a mentorship programme with Polimoda Fashion School in Florence in 2023.

Cape Town-based designer, Helen Gibbs’s 2024 Helon Melon collection will reflect a palette of gentle colours as a reminder that softness is all we need to remember as we change seasons.

She is joined by SAFW stalwarts and industry darlings, menswear designer, Ephraim Molinguana of Ephymol and Hangwani Nengovhela of the Rubicon womenswear label, both epitomising tailored craftsmanship and effortless style.

A flourishing finale closes the second day with leading beauty house, L’Oréal Paris, bringing a stellar cast of thirty celebrities to the SAFW runway for the country’s first “Walk Your Worth" tribute to women’s empowerment with a collection by Birgit Gibbs of Biji la Maison de Couture.

Day 3

The final day opens with a vibrant group of womenswear entrepreneurs. They are Cape Town-based swim and resort wear label, Beach Cult, as well as Isabel de Villiers, and Lesley Witter of Heart and Heritage, who also heads up the collaborative local designer retail space, Convoy.

According to Booyzen, SAFW believes regional and intercontinental collaborations, such as the Fashion Bridges project with the Italian embassy as well as the designer exchange with Mozambique Fashion Week, are critical in working towards a responsible fashion industry.

“These ventures allow us to share skills and insights, open unexplored business opportunities, and ultimately, to extend the sphere of our respective creative visions for a clean fashion future beyond our familiar borders,” she says.

The three Mozambiquan designers that will participate at SAFW this season are Sania Bacar who will show with GugubyGugu, Ezokheto, and E_Mania as well as Shaazia Adam and Omar Adelino who will join South Africa’s Leon Von Solms, and Sun Goddess for the grand finale.

For more, go to https://www.safashionweek.co.za/

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