Five South African designers to watch

August 7, 2020

South African culture and fashion have, in recent years, been popularised for its unique prints. Amongst these is the Ndebele pattern, which has influenced the global fashion industry as far as Asia. These talented emerging creatives listed below should definitely be on your radar as they are representing and preserving African excellence.

1.    Palesa Mokubung – Mantsho 

Thanks to her distinguished style, Mokubung’s brand Mantsho is fast becoming a notable and in-demand brand in the industry. Creating chic ready-to-wear items, Montsho’s pieces have been embraced on the continent and beyond. It has come into its own with a recent collaboration with Swedish retail chain H&M. Mokubung’s collection incorporates a striking array of electrifying fabrics that bring out the African feminine beauty and is a monument to her integrity and commitment.

2. Refiloe Mapitso Thaisi – ShweShweKini 

A University of Cape Town graduate, Thaisi expresses her creativity with her proudly South African brand ShweShweKini. Inspired by her culture and heritage, Thaisi focuses her swimwear and activewear range at embracing the Basotho people. Through diverse and vibrant pieces, she is able to celebrate traditional African aesthetic. Her collection combines her unique style and creativity with geometric shapes. ShweShweKini includes pieces for both men and women of all shapes and sizes. 

3. Refentse Mokale – Marabou Essentials

Mokale is an accessory designer who has catapulted accessorising to a whole new level. Her brand, Marabou Essentials, produces a range of handmade detailed jewellery adornments. Marabou Essentials‘ pieces are constructed out of beads, sash rope and fabric fusing contemporary with traditional. A multidisciplinary designer, Refentse also creates stunning bold visual installations from her pieces.

4. Balini Naidoo – Balini

Naidoo is a creative designer who believes in expression through fashion – literally. The Durban University of Technology graduate designed her fashion label to assist visually impaired individuals. Her clothing helps them choose clothing items via a braille identification system. Balini aids in identifying the clothing items they want to wear. 

5. Thebe Magugu

Magugu has reached heights for success as winner of the highly esteemed #LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. Chosen among over 1700 designers from across the globe, Magugu’s designs were scrutinized by a judging panel consisting of the fashion industry’s largest creators – namely Marc Jacobs, Dior and Louis Vuitton. Here’s to putting South Africa on the map!

South African designers are trendsetters in the world of fashion. Showcasing their work on world stages including the Cape Town Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and New York Fashion week to mention a few. All these achievements highlight the results of hard work and passion for art and creativity.

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