Cape Town will be abuzz with all the fashion frenzy taking place as designers from around the country will be showcasing their creations at the South African Menswear Week hosted at Cape Town’s City Hall from February 8th – 11th.
South African Menswear Week is Africa’s only stand-alone platform dedicated to the development and promotion of menswear within the African continent, and on the show schedule you will find 3 Durban Fashion Fair designers showcasing their creations amongst the best of the best on Friday, February 9th at 8pm.
Making the Durban Fashion Fair proud will be Mxolisi Luke Mkhize, Sandile Duke Mngadi and Athenkosi Mfungula.
Mxolisi reached the semi-finals and Top 9 in the first ever South African Menswear Competition at SA Fashion Week. He won Best Menswear Collection at the 2015 and 2017 Durban Fashion Fair. In 2016, his work was featured in GQ Magazine and made it to the top 6 Menswear Designers in South Africa in the GQ Scouting Menswear Competition.
For the 2018 SAMW, House of Saint Luke’s collection is entitled “Outlands” and is influenced by the Namibian Desert/ the dunes / the ghost towns and Windhoek.
Apart from being inspired by the Namibian landscape and the symbolism of the desert, he takes into consideration functionality and comfortability with his predominantly earth tone heavy palette, which features metallic bedrock grey and burnt rouge.
Sandile Duke Mngadi, who is known for blending ready to wear street wear with cutting edge tailoring, is no stranger to the catwalk after officially launching his brand Duke “Clothe Your Soul” in 2012, of which he is the founder and chief designer.
Mngadi has participated in two prestigious internship programmes – and the DFF International Fashion Internship Programme in 2011; David Tlale’s “The Intern” Programme in 2014.
Mngadi has showcased at MTN’s Durban Fashion Week ’08, East Meets West Fashion, Fashion By The Sea, Durban Fashion Fair, Vodacom Durban July, Cape Town J&B Met, David Tlale’s KZN Fashion Extravaganza and Joburg Fashion Week 2011 and Joburg Fashion Week 2014. Duke “Clothe Your Soul” also participated in the South African Cultural Festival in London in September 2014 and was invited to showcase at the SA Fashion Week 2015 for Fall Winter ‘16 Collection.
His theme for the 2018 SAMW is inspired by the 70’s. “Just like our brand, 70’s fashion was all about individuality. There are no rules in the fashion game this season,” Mngadi said. The collection features Bell-Bottoms, Flared-Bottoms and Skinny fit come to play in the same scene. Denim and Leopard Print PVC are the main materials used with an accent of cotton blends and knitted jersey materials. The inspiration behind the collection is a combination of the festival scene and futuristic design.
Wrapping up this dynamic fashion threesome is Athenkosi Mfungula, who was one of the three recipients to be awarded the 2017 Durban Fashion Fair rising stars award from the Mentorship Programme.
Mfungula’s love for fashion began during his high school years when he spent a great deal of his time entering drawing competitions. He graduated from the School of Fashion Design in 2015 and went onto begin developing his own label, LeMFUX.
When asked about his style he says, “Everywhere I go I try to see the world in a fashion kind of way. My style is swag versus class. What I like to do is to combine the two into day/evening wear. The transformation is easy because this brings together formal and casual.”
Mfungula’s theme for the SAMW is military transition inspired by the types of movies he watches, with his collection being inspired by three factors – Liberty, Equality and Freedom.
He added in his opinion, that the Military look is transcending from the past to a now more modern look and that each of his story factors will have a different theme and colour pallet, with camo themes, bright colours – from Sleeveless shirts to elongated waistcoats and pleated cuffs and necklines, and for originality, gold trimmings and gold chains will be added. It is going to be a movie told in 12 looks. He stated proudly and that he was excited to be showcasing for the first time at the SAMW.
All three designers mutually agree, that they appreciate the opportunity that the eThekwini Municipality has given them to represent Durban and show South Africa that Durban designers have the creativity, skill and the know how to compete on a global level. Lastly, both Mfungula & Mngadi support Mkhize’s comment about moving towards supporting our own designers and buying locally produced garments!
The annual Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) presented by the eThekwini Municipality has, over the past seven years, wowed designers – both locally and from the African continent – media, fashion buyers and the public, and has brought out the very best in Durban’s existing and aspiring creatives.
The Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit (BSTMU) that manages this programme on behalf of the City, is an initiative developed by the eThekwini Municipality to grow the fashion industry in Durban and to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young designers and assist them with skills relating to the business of fashion!
The BSTMU programme manager, Sindi Shangase, has made the Durban Fashion Fair a much anticipated annual event on the eThekwini calendar, through her vision and hard work.
Shangase points out that fashion goes way beyond “glitz and glamour” and it is all about hard work, dedication and understanding “the Business of fashion”. She added that the most satisfying thing of all has been welcoming junior designers back to the catwalk through the years to show collections as respected members of their professions.
Lending his support and ensuring that all three designers are ready for the upcoming SAMW is one of the DFF Programme mentor’s and founder of G & D Apparel, Greg Wallis.
Wallis has a “passion for fashion” and over the years he has guided the designer interns on various topics from orientation and textile selection, provides valuable information on manufacturing, brand management, costing and entering the world of retail.
Wallis not only lends his support during the various mentorship programmes, he also makes himself accessible for past programme mentees as the “Proud Fashion Father”, overlooking their respective progress and success within the industry!