- South Africa is rich with talent across a variety of platforms. Our locally-bred designers are no different
- From Mzukisi Mbane to Linda Gale, Jacques van der Watt to David Tlale, and let’s not forget the ever lovely Amanda Laird Cherry, our SA designers are wowing on international shores
- The world has been impressed by SA designs as our local talent showcases their own designs and not international copies
It’s always refreshing to see a local sector taking on the international big leagues, the small fish wowing a big pond so to speak and our local fashion designers are no different. Brave and bold, our local talent is growing up realising they have much to offer the rest of the world.
5 Designers taking the world by storm
1. Amanda Laird Cherry
An established South African designer, Amanda graduated in 1983 after studying clothing design. She was appointed as Design Director for the internationally known Instinct brand and she stayed with the company for 10 years. She has exhibited work at the London Fashion Week Expo as well as the local Design Indaba Conference and Expo in Cape Town.
2. Mzukisi Mbane
Based in Cape Town, Mzukisi’s first stab at fashion design was with his mother’s sewing machine. He has come a long way and is now considered a rising star in the fashion industry. He is a self-taught designer who grew up in Khayelitsha and who qualified as an accountant. He launched his own brand Swagger Diariez in 2011 and this brand grew into the well-known Imprint ZA. He is one of six creatives selected to participate in a business incubator programme by the National Department of Arts and Culture and SABS Design Institute. What inspires us the most about this young designer is his passion to give back to communities like the one he came from. His vision is to have his brand based in a township, with a factory there that can employ people from the community.
3. Linda Gale
Johannesburg businesswoman Linda was born in Mpumalanga and is a business owner, mother, wife and fashion designer. Owner of Stitch & Steele, Linda makes use of hand-selected fabrics made by local artisans in an attempt to support local talent. Her line is appealing to women of all races and backgrounds. Her use of bold colours, patterns and prints custom-made into outfits, with some locally made jewellery added to create a winning ensemble for any lady local, or international. The bespoke African wax cloth ladies wear, with an urban edge is a winning combination.
4. Jacques van der Watt
Black Coffee’s Jacques van der Watt has been impressing SA since 1999. At the end of 2017, he won the Cape Wool SA designer Challenge. When talking about his collection, he said he was inspired by ancient labyrinths. Items in the collection include the pom pom parker and bell-sleeve laser-cut jacket. He comments that, when designing, he enjoys playing with African themes and is proud that Black Coffee is rooted in being an SA brand.
5. Thula Sindi
Last but not least is Thula Sindi. Thula has been on the SA design scene since 2005. He was named Fashion Designer of the Year in 201. Based in Johannesburg, Thula’s vision is to “find simple ways to make things beautiful and beautiful ways to make things simple. His work has been showcased in fashion weeks all over the world.
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The SA fashion world is definitely on the go and the creatives keep impressing. These are only five of our proudly SA designers, but there are plenty more. Briefly.co.za recently featured an article on Mum's the last word in style: David Tlale's mother is the best. In this article, we looked at another designer, David Tale who has come a very long way since starting and becoming a semi-finalist in SA Fashion week’s Elle New Talent Show Competition in 2002
- Changing direction in during his tertiary education to fashion, after initially beginning business studies, he has flourished and shown the fashion world is his home
- He has now been running his own label for 15 years is showcased in fashion weeks around the globe as well as designing collections for major local retailers
Today he is a homegrown fashion world superstar, creating ranges of clothing that stand out from the predictable clichés so prevalent in an industry where everything is about image and emulation. As his website describes his style, he creates, “couture that embodies beauty without pretence and shuns harshness for poise, answering the call today’s men and women for a design that is young, bold, and elegant.” One thing is certain. David Tlale is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most interesting clothing labels.
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