3-6 February 2016, over 35 designers will take to the runway in a display of incredible menswear fashion from across Africa on the South African Menswear Week (SAMW) platform, showcasing their Autumn Winter 2016 (AW16) collections at the internationally acclaimed Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa.
Over these four days, 10 African luxury menswear brands from South Africa to Tanzania will put their best foot(wear) forward with showcases of creative flair, attention to detail and high quality standards with their collections. From South Africa, African Fashion International Fastrack Finalists Siviwe James of Pilgrim Clothing and Neo Serati Mofammere of Nao Serati whose collection is titled ‘Transit’ and inspired by ‘the experience of growing from a boy and into a man’.
Creative Director and Fashion Designer of Pilgrim Clothing, Siviwe James muses, “As an emerging menswear designer, showcasing at SAMW is the most prestigious opportunity one can get. I would equate it to showing at our very own London Collections: Men (LCM). This opportunity means global exposure and I am overwhelmed by the experience – It’s truly a blessing.”
Returning South African designers include Mo’Ko Elosa by Belgium-born Congolese and now Cape Town-based designer, Julia M’Poko. Her collection, inspired by nuances of the Berber people in Morocco looks at a intertwining split narrative is titled ‘Heikö Narashi’. Mzukisi Mbane of Imprint will be bringing forth a collection mused by one young woman who has inspired him to keep ‘Harbouring Hope’, as the collection is titled, that his dreams to forever leave an impression will come true with hard work and inspired determination.
“SAMW provides what’s said to be the biggest platform dedicated to showcasing and promoting menswear in not only just SA but Africa as a whole”, cites Designer & Creative Director of Imprint, Mzukisi Mbane. “From my first showcase last year I saw how it just changed how people see and value the brand and me as a designer. So yes I’m super excited: more growth and greater brand visibility.”
Zimbabwean brand, Taf The Taylor by Fashion Designer, Tafadzwa Moyo, Maxivive Couture from Nigeria by Lagos-based Creative Director, Papa Oyeyemi and Martin Kadinda from Tanzania open the first day of men’s fashion at the stadium venue. Kadinda’s collection is set to showcase the richness of Tanzanian resources, celebrate the peaceful elections of 2015 and also illustration a stepping out of his comfort zone by designing a winter collection from a country that only experiences summer throughout.
Tafadzwa Moyo says, “Being such a huge platform that it is and having showcased last year at the same event and having an incredible experience networking with some of the continent’s industry leaders – getting the opportunity to show the world what I do, I would be abnormal if I were not excited about being back at SAMW.”
Closing off the week will be a trilogy of Nigerian designer labels, namely: Orange Culture by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennesy (LMVH) Prize Finalist Creative Director and Fashion Designer, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Kola Kuddus Couture by Philosophy Graduate from University of Lagos and Alumni of London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, Creative Director and Fashion Designer, Kola Kuddus and last but most certainly not the least, Tokyo James from the British Nigerian Designer who has worked with the likes of Issey Miyake, Puma Black Label and Director of the digital publication Rough UK, Tokyo James.
“SAMW is an opportunity to join many other amazing menswear talents to expose the global industry to the amazing beauty of our African culture and talents,” explains Creative Director and Fashion Designer of Orange Culture, Adebayo Oke-Lawal. “As a group we can impact the world a lot more.”
These designers are here to set the bar higher for African fashion; to further develop the uniquely African aesthetic that has grown tremendously in gaining international appeal and flair. Culture, a wealth of traditional, colour, flavour and innovative print designs can be expected from this set of African Luxury menswear designers.