Rising admirably to the challenge, these young fashion game-changers, using 100% textile ‘waste’, contribute nobly to a circular fashion system with their commendable collections created with the conviction that will inspire and motivate the South African consumer.
Fresh off the ramp at SAFW AW22, ASA Magazine produced a showcase of the talented finalists on the steps of the spectacular Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl; designers you need to know, and more importantly support, as we strive toward a kinder, greener fashion industry.
Saint Vuyo was founded, by Thulani Vuyo Mlambo, in 2020. Vuyo studied for his undergraduate degree in Fashion Design at the Design School Southern Africa and completed his Honours degree from LISOF in 2019.
Inspired by dismantling or deconstructing hegemonic gender codes of society, the unisex luxury brand tells a truly authentic African tale of an African Clan, a suburban boy and his direct ancestors.
Titling his collection ‘Boytjie’, Vuyo drew his inspiration from a melancholic nostalgia of school bullying, his firsthand experience of it, and more recently being deeply saddened and impacted by the tragic suicide of 15-year-old Limpopo school girl Lufunu Mayhungu, as a direct result of school bullying. Repurposing school uniforms, this collection reflects the journey of a bullied private school boy making his mark on society. ‘Boytjie’ (meaning “small boy”) is a befitting title for Vuyo’s first menswear collection. We look forward to watching this brand as it grows from a boy into a man.
With a number of highly acclaimed accolades already under her (sustainably-made) belt, 23-year-old BTech Fashion and Textile Designer, Alexandra van Heerden, graduated from the Durban University of Technology in 2021, where she received Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award for Academic Excellence as the top achieving student for both her National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology in Fashion and Textile Design. Vanklan, the name an amalgamation of Alexandra’s surname and the word ‘klan’ meaning organisation, was founded in 2020.
Having drawn inspiration from the expression; “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Vanklan’s menswear collection is aptly labeled ‘Breezeblocks & Pawn Shops.’ Incorporating a vast range of thrifted, second-hand items from local non-profit organisations, this collection features absurd pieces, not necessarily ‘typically fashion,’ that were once deemed ‘trash’ by someone who no longer had value for it and repurposing them in a random ‘breezeblock’ composition creating a memorable collection that offers “something new from something old”.
Originally from a small township in the east of Johannesburg, young South African fashion designer Mbalenhle Mncube finished her Fashion Degree at Stadio Design (formerly LISOF), in 2019. After winning the Best First Year Designer Award from LISOF, in 2017, she interned at one of South Africa’s retail stores.
Three years later, in 2020, she was shortlisted at the All Fashion Sourcing Young Designer Competition (#YDC20 Top10 Finalist), and her brand, Umswenko, was born. Inspired mostly by African nature, and primarily focusing on young men and women, the brand creates a cross-cultural exchange through design by reinterpreting African traditions with contemporary designs.
The story behind the designs and prints of ‘Contemporary Tailoring’ conveys key messages of the natural landscape of Africa incorporated into fashion and art; its palette of eye-catching colours and unique designs. Creating tailored designs with quality and sustainably- sourced wool and cotton, this collection makes use of leftover or damaged textiles printed in Mncube’s own designs.
Cape Town-based men’s streetwear fashion designer, Marquin Sampson launched his brand in 2015 after graduating from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where he currently lectures. With a key focus on textured fabrics and exemplary attention to detail, the core ethos of the brand is to use fashion design as a vehicle to create awareness of social and environmental issues.
Aptly named ‘The Resilient’, the Marquin Sampson AW22 collection is inspired by the many struggles society faced over the past ‘Pandemic-stricken’ months and represents the current recovery phase; taking the old and creatively reconstructing up-cycled garments from previous collections with sustainability at its heart.
The collection is inspired by South Africa’s hardworking, overall-wearing labour force; construction workers, mechanics, plumbers etc. Epitomising resilience, these men wear their overalls with pride, a symbol of the hardworking family provider. Streetwear with a high-street twist and the unconventional incorporation of detachable metal pieces collected from scrapyards for additional re-purposed design elements, the Marquin Sampson AW22 collection is a noble tribute.
Refuse Clothing Brand
Established in 2016 by Malcolm Mokgope and Minenhle Memela, Refuse Clothing Brand a South African menswear brand successfully intertwines African aesthetic with modern designs. With its typical African foundation, the brand uses conventional textures and prints in a range of ready-to-wear pieces of clothing and has extended from simple graphic branded clothing to a fine-custom-made collection.
The ‘Refuse’ AW|22 Collection symbolises rebellion, rage, and neglect; feeling useless, like waste in a refuse bag, inside a refuse collection vehicle, and then a dumpsite. With thrifting molding the core design identity of this streetwear brand with a conscience, redesigning and upcycling timeless and gender-neutral garments, ethical fashion principles have always been key.
The AW|22 Collection is created from an array of ethically sourced fabrics, garments, and trims from local CMT’s and fabric stores, inter alia denim offcuts, unused garment samples, abandoned trims, zips, buttons, studs, and tape, fused in a collection that is both eco-conscious statement and eye-catching streetwear.
Watch the Menswear Scouting Competition SAFW AW22 here:
Words | Neil Doveton @mrdoveveton
Editor | Nikki Temkin @NikkiTemkin
Production | ASA Digital Pty Ltd
Creative Director | Reynold Agge
Photographer | Migal Van As @migalvanas
Videographer | William Mulders @2fellasmedia
Models | Scott Fortune Luyanda Mabozo Josh Du Plessis Michael Kwasdsteniet Olivier Ntumba
Stylist | HOD Carissa Bosman
Hair & Makeup | HOD The Makeup Touch Assistant Savina De Nobrega
Assistants | Wilke Hamman Hein Badenhorst
Shot on location in Paarl at the Afrikaans Language Monument