Sustainability and slow fashion underpinned all of the showings at SAFW SS21 and functionality even more so with menswear.

Ephymol by Ephraim Molingoana kicked things off with a fitting solo show. Molingoana is a pioneer. He debuted at SAFW in 2002 with a collection called Pink Panther that heralded fitted tailoring and popping colour for menswear.

SAFW SS21 Ephymol
SAFW SS21 Day 3 – Ephymol. Images Courtesy of SA Fashion Week.

He is still just as bold and has a knack for re-invention while retaining the essence of what makes Ephymol so iconic. This latest collection boasts high-end streetwear and leisurewear with earthy tones. Working with an eclectic mix of fabrics, Molingoana showed off exceptional and pristine tailoring with wool. His signature patchwork boasted some geometric elements. Ephymol now prints its own fabrics and Molingoana excels at finding a synergy in his experimentation with contrasting prints.

Throwaway Twenty presented a fun and airy collection with cheeky tailoring and happy colours. The colour palette made me think of ice cream on a hot summer day.

SAFW SS21 Throwaway Twenty
SAFW SS21 Day 3 – Throwaway Twenty. Images Courtesy of SA Fashion Week.


The Maklele collection was simple luxe sports and casual wear. With Mikhayla Farouk’s gender-fluid design approach, she puts forward the question: Can sustainability be fast fashion?

SAFW SS21 Maklele
SAFW SS21 Day 3 – Maklele. Images Courtesy of SA Fashion Week.

If functionality is a staple in menswear, then utility, it seems, will always be a recurring feature, as shown overtly in the Richard Hoy collection titled “Field Trip”. It was a nostalgic escape boasting bomber jackets and re-imagined utility details like the hiking rope belt.


SAFW SS21 Richard Hoy
SAFW SS21 Day 3 – Richard Hoy. Images Courtesy of SA Fashion Week.

Michael Reid stood out for his artistic take. With his Xavier Sadan label, he merged art and design for a more creative expression. His conceptual collection contemplated the idea of new money and generational money legacies. It’s a talking point that lends itself to the socio-economic disparities between the haves and have-nots in this country, acutely magnified by the Pandemic.

SAFW SS21 Xavier Sadan
SAFW SS21 Day 3 – Xavier Sadan. Images Courtesy of SA Fashion Week.

Reid however approached his “New Money” conversation in a light and entertaining manner. A t-shirt from one of his looks reads: “Tell the old designers I’m here now”.

He complemented this with inspired shirting and quirky design elements.


It was poignant that the SAFW Loxion Kulca “Tribute” collection designed by Ole Ledimo in memory of Wandi Nzimande started off with a dance crew dancing to a Prokid classic.

The show encapsulated much of what represented Wandi: a love for hip-hop, street culture, food, comics and people. The collection showed off an eclectic range of designs that merged high fashion and streetwear.

SAFW SS21 Loxion Kulcha
SAFW SS21 Day 3 – Loxion Kulcha. Images Courtesy of SA Fashion Week.

The highlight was the monochromatic print which Ledimo dedicated to Wandi. It was somewhat of an optical illusion: It essentially spells Loxion Kulca, but in a way that is not so obvious at first glance.

The print will be available at Pep stores.

Read our coverage of Day 1 here, and our coverage of Day 2 here.

Words   |  Kgomotso Moncho-Maripane  @kgomotsomoncho
Editor   |   Nikki Temkin  @nikkitemkin