Average read time: 7 minutes.
Be there or be square! After a prolonged period of forced abstinence, fashionistas and front-row lovers can attend in person once again as SAFW Autumn/Winter 2021 takes to the runway from 28th to the 30th of October at the Mall of Africa.
The shows will then be broadcast to a wider audience from 4th November so if you don’t score a live ticket, you don’t have to miss out. In fact, the 2020 SAFW digital shows were viewed by over 73545 people worldwide! “These shows have become a key new addition to the amplification of SA fashion marketing,” affirms SAFW director Lucilla Booyzen.
The 29 esteemed designers who will feature in SAFW AW 21 are increasingly transitioning towards a more sustainable and cleaner, fashion order. “This is evident throughout all the collections be it the new seasonal ranges by established designers or the entries for our New Talent or Scouting Menswear competitions with feature principles such as waste reduction, low impact materials, longevity, and recyclability, as well as a greater emphasis on higher quality and timeless design,” says Booyzen.
South Africa has a strong presence in the production of mohair and wool and this is a key driver of future sustainability. “Representing approximately 50% of the world’s mohair producers, we welcome the opportunity to introduce this luxurious and sustainable South African fiber to a wider audience through the Fashion Bridges – I Ponti Della Moda project,” says Marco Coetzee, General Manager, Mohair South Africa.
An exciting South African and Italian designer-led initiative between SAFW, the Italian embassy, Polimoda in Florence, and the Milan Fashion Week, supported by textile company Da Gama as well as Wool SA, Cotton SA and Mohair SA, Fashion Bridges – I Ponti Della Moda allowed Italian designers Julian Cerro, Llaria Bellomo, Domico Orefice and Alessia Dovero and South Africans Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu, Sipho Mbuto, The Bam Collective and Xavier Sadan to stage an exhibition at the Milan Fashion Week in September and again on the first day of SAFW on 28th October at SAFW. Watch out for our upcoming Fashion Bridges story.
On Day 1, SAFW stages the OPPO Collections, featuring a stellar cast of Thabo Kopele (winner of the 2020 Scouting Menswear Competition) the structurally interesting brand NEO, superlative Maklele and World Fashion Award winner, the iconic Amanda Laird Cherry (watch out for our upcoming feature on this designer). All will unveil their seasonal ranges produced exclusively in sustainable fabrics.
Day 2 on the 29th of October will see the Satiskin Rise and Shine Collections of designers luxury knitwear brand Romaria, Ezokhetho, and power dressers Erre (watch out for our upcoming feature on this designer). The next show will feature stalwarts, edgy Mantsho (read our previous feature here), elegant Franc Ellis, Sober, and the sophisticated Rubicon (read our previous feature here).
Day 3 on the 30th of October, presents the Scouting Menswear Competition with the designs of Marquin Simpson, Refuse Clothing Brand, Saint Vuyo, Umsweko, Vanklan and Boyde. These fresh talents will reveal how they have responded to the creative challenge to transform 100% textile “waste” into desirable, scalable, and commercially viable garments for South African consumers. Watch out for our exclusive shoot and interview with the entrants.
A trio of bright young designer talents – Artho Eksteen (2021’s New Talent winner—see our shoot with this designer here) The Bam Collective and 2021 New Talent finalist Michael Ludwig collaborate on a joint show no season no sex, followed by the new collection from sophisticated Judith Atelier.
The final show of SAFW offers up the latest designs from collections from The Watermelon Social Club in collaboration with XT, a graduate of the 21 Steps designer development program and previous Scouting Menswear finalists, Ntando XV and Richard Hoy, ending off with Adam Chancellor-Maddison.
According to Booyzen, the online presence that SAFW has developed over the past year is set to grow in response to the interest from fashion followers. Don’t miss this forecast of looks for next season so you can start planning your wardrobe now!
The SAFW trade show can be visited in the Crystal Court at the Mall of Africa showcasing 40 designers of men’s and womenswear as well as accessories ranging from footwear and handbags to costume jewellery and millinery from 31st October until November 1st.
The SAFW Pop Up Shop gives local fashion fans the opportunity to interact with and buy directly from the participating designers from 3rd-5th December.
Words | Nikki Temkin/SAFW
Editor | Nikki Temkin @NikkiTemkin
Images | Courtesy of SAFW