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The world of fashion is in a constant state of evolution, and nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of local brands banding together to create a supportive and collaborative community. What better place to showcase the spirit of this ever-growing evolution than at SAMW AW 23?
For us at ASA, one brand that truly shook the runway was the iconic INFLUHKS. This house of brands is nestled in the heart of Cape Town and has become a hotbed of creativity, a space for designers to share ideas, and inspire each other to reach new heights. How could we not have high expectations?
The impressive showcase demonstrated the brand’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, featuring a lineup of iconic brands such as Flux, Lazy Stacks, King on Horses, Bigtynsonly, and the newest addition since last year’s showcase, Daniel Dujaxco. The fashion industry has taken note of INFLUHKS’ rise, redefining what it means to be part of a supportive and collaborative community through luxurious everyday pieces.
First up on the runway was Flux.
Abrahams launched Flux with the aim of creating a brand that reflects his passion for pushing boundaries and breaking down conventional ideas of fashion.
“We come from a background where we have to fend for ourselves, and that will be the greatest challenge for young, new designers. Don’t let that knock you down”.
Clean lines, minimalist designs, and a focus on functionality characterize Flux’s style. The brand’s collections often feature bold, monochromatic colour palettes and sleek, tailored silhouettes. Their designs are inspired by the fast-paced lifestyle of urban living, as well as a passion for exploring the intersection of fashion, art, and technology.
This year, he is taking it one step further by looking into the past, taking inspiration from 90’s streetwear and artists, such as Kanye and Pharrell Williams.
Given his previous collections, Flux surprised us with some fabric and tailoring choices. His last collection showcased vibrant prints and minimalistic shapes, but this year we are seeing a bold shift into leather-like materials, various puffer pieces and plays on denim.
We’ve seen the current trend and hype around puffer jackets, but the uniqueness steps in with fresh takes on the trends such as puffer shorts and dress-coats in more neutral colours such as camo-green, black, and beige.
Known for his vibrant prints and bold designs, self-taught Jandy Abikwi’s unique style has gained traction both in his home country and internationally. And with his new collection, his winning streak just continues.
“Social media is already at the tip of our fingerprints. It shows us what people in the rest of the world have already accepted as trends, and challenges us as a community to tap into it and challenge it”.
The brand’s style is characterized by bold prints, bright colours, and a focus on comfort. Their collections feature a range of pieces, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tracksuits, all designed with a laid-back, streetwear-inspired feel. Bigtynsonly also incorporates sustainable materials and production methods into its designs, using recycled fabrics and minimizing waste wherever possible.
His new collection continues to explore bold print and bright colours, while still presenting itself as easy-to-wear and comfortable. This collection has people locked in, presenting statement pieces that could be dressed up or dressed down.
While the fusion of streetwear and luxury tailoring is still present, the contrast to his previous collection (which presented more browns, beiges and baggy finishes) was surprising and captivating.
One of the pieces that had the whole room moving in slow motion was the bright canary yellow coat, paired with a denim two-piece. A statement and exciting colour shift from some of his usual work.
“I am a do-er, I am a lion, I want to get the job done… We don’t need to follow trends, we need to find something unique”.
Daniel Dujaxco is a rising brand that has been making waves in the fashion industry. Founded by designer Daniel Du Jaxco, we know the brand for its edgy and avant-garde aesthetic that blends streetwear and high fashion.
This year his collection featured bold prints, unique cuts, and unexpected combinations of textures and fabrics. Each piece is a statement piece that embodies the brand’s ethos of individuality and non-conformity.
Daniel may have presented us with clean lines, impeccable tailoring, and quality craftsmanship, but traditional is not on that list. His limited edition pieces mix unexpected materials and fabrics – redefining what luxury stands for. From horse-print woven fabric all the way to soft-toy tops and clear (see-through) sets, his pieces played on curiosity and confidence.
Daniel understands that fashion is not for one man only, his collection is cohesive but speaks to different definitions of luxury within a man’s wardrobe.
King on Horses is equally renowned for its classic tailoring as it is for its contemporary streetwear. Their signature style combines traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics, creating a unique look that has won them fans both locally and internationally. The new collection continued to showcase its intricate detailing, immaculate tailoring, and unconventional design choices.
King On Horses’ style is characterized by a fusion of traditional African textiles and contemporary streetwear silhouettes. Their collections feature bold prints, bright colours, and a mix of textures and fabrics, resulting in a unique and eye-catching aesthetic.
The brand continues to challenge fashion, combining traditional cuts and prints with unexpected fabrics and styling. For example, the reversed hoodie, where the model wore the hood over his mouth like a mask.
The collection has a futuristic feel of clean white fabrics, various silver textures and glossy puffer jackets. The pieces were cohesive, yet played with different styling to give you something for any occasion. Overall, the look and feel was on-brand, fresh, and just what we wanted.
Our favourite looks had to be the duo metallic looks. They featured a silver dress for women, and a metallic shirt and face piece paired with a glossy puffer jacket for the men.
The brand’s style is characterized by oversized silhouettes, bold graphics, and a focus on comfort. Their collections feature a range of pieces, including hoodies, sweatpants, t-shirts, and jackets, all designed with a laid-back, effortless feel. Lazy Stacks also uses high-quality materials and pays attention to detail, ensuring that their pieces are not only stylish but also built to last.
Samson Ajibade, the designer of Lazy Stacks, is a self-taught designer who started the brand out of a desire to create something that reflected his own personal style and his passion for streetwear.
This year, his collection continues to embrace that laid-back feel with the title “Too lazy to quit”, suggesting that once you have put in all the time and effort, it’s too late to quit.
From printing his own currency on fabric, mixing unusual fabrics and playing with character prints, Lazy Stacks made bold choices to look effortless and laid-back. Perfect for anyone too lazy to quit.
The standout pieces of the show were the black puffer jumpsuit, matching silk sets and the opening denim two-piece.
“I want to express myself in the best way I can, and that doesn’t necessarily follow a particular road to success. I set milestones and achieving those is a success on their own. Today was one of those successes”.
INFLUHKS welcomes the ladies
While INFLUHKS has been a male dominant space for quite some time, they decided that if they want to be inclusive, they need to open their doors.
The show ended off with a mixed collection and collaboration with two of the new female designers at INFLUHKS. Ladies and gentlemen, Raché, designer of Rocher Armada and Rhema, designer of KODE by RHEMA. Raché and Rhema showcased beautiful warm and rich tones amongst their collaborators at INFLUHKS, playing on inspiration from classic early 2000’s cartoons and playing with movement of light and colour on fabric.
“Be kind to yourself, if you are ready and your collection is ready, go for it. That was the biggest lesson I have learnt from this experience” – Rhema.
As the fashion industry continues to evolve, it is clear that brands like INFLUHKS will play a crucial role in shaping its future.
By emphasizing community and collaboration, they have set a new standard for fashion brands, one that values individuality, diversity, and inclusivity above all else. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this innovative and inspiring house of brands.
Words | Wilke-Marie Hamman
Editor | Shayna Van As
Images | Simon Deiner / Group of Creatives / SDR Photo