Monday, October 10, 2022


Press Release


Photos courtesy of SA Fashion Week

SA Fashion Week (SAFW) will stage the Autumn/Winter 23 Collections at Mall of Africa, its home of the past three years, in October. Twenty-seven designers will launch their new collections on the runway from Thursday 20th October to Saturday 22nd October and forty will exhibit at the Trade Show on the 23rd and 24th October in the Crystal Court.

According to director, Lucilla Booyzen, this year marks 41 seasons since the inception of SAFW in 1997. “We remain committed to the business of fashion, of marketing and supporting our designer entrepreneurs, creatively and commercially, and most importantly, to provide a platform which gives the visibility required to access the local, and global, fashion industry.”

According to Booyzen many of the distinctive tropes that have emerged within the local fashion culture – a fascination with re-imagining our unique cultural references in a modern way, a commitment to slow and sustainable fashion, gender and body inclusivity - are increasingly coalescing into a vibrant ethos with immense marketability. The commercial support received by trendsetting brands such as mobile phone Oppo, Cruz Vodka and Mall of Africa, with the vision to associate with this emerging fashion identity, is critical to maintain momentum.

Leemisa Tsolo, head of Asset and Property Management - Retail of Attacq Limited, the owners of Mall of Africa, believes the association with the SAFW is one of the reasons why young South Africans have selected it as the Coolest Mall for five consecutive years in the Sunday Times Generation Next Awards.

“They resonate with our vision of associating with these creative entrepreneurs who are in effect visualising South Africa’s contribution to the world of fashion.”

Cruz Vodka, too, believes that fashion reflects the culture of a country and that it’s about more than clothing. “Fashion becomes the attitude the collective wears” says Maisha Mamabolo, Brand Manager of Cruz Vodka.

According to Booyzen, the SAFW will again be a hybrid event combining runway shows at Mall of Africa as well as an online release. “We are ever grateful for the recognition and support of our partners that make this show case possible. They are:

· Mall of Africa, the official home of SAFW;

· Cruz Vodka, the official alcohol partner and launch party sponsor;

· Mobile phone maker OPPO whose Reno 8 will take visual content-making to a new height.

· Carlton Hair who sets the hair trends in South Africa;

· M.A.C Cosmetics for giving us the next season’s beauty looks.”

The AW 23 collections are detailed below. Comprehensive information and detailed biographies, on each designer, may be found on their respective pages on

Day One


This year’s Cruz Collective will introduce MICHAEL LUDWIG STUDIO’s Self-Sapien range. Working within its signature East meets Africa sensibility, the collection imagines replacing binary stereotypes & gender roles with self and unique expression using bright colours and abstract printing techniques.

Michael Ludwig Studio (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week)

Robyn Keyser’s Artclub and Friends will present another trans-seasonal and timeless collection using future-orientated materials and construction techniques. This season will see the introduction of more conceptual pieces that “tell stories of a future we are dreaming of creating and of the cities we can expect to live in” as well as a return to the official “Artclub Blue” first introduced at SAFW 2020, blended with earthier tones and new neutrals.

Artclub and Friends (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week)


Fikile Sokhulu (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week)


The Creative director of the Italian brand DROMe, Marianna Rosati, will introduce her current collection to mark the second edition of the I Ponti della Moda/Fashion Bridges collaboration between the Italian Embassy and SAFW. The project was launched in 2021 to foster collaborative partnerships between the fashion systems in South Africa and Italy.

Characteristic of her fascination with referencing her South African cultural roots, Amanda Laird Cherry returns to Durban’s iconic Victoria Street spice market, formerly known as The Indian Market, to draw inspiration from the vivid structural patterns created by the pyramid-like mounds of the spice displays for the collection’s exaggerated woven cut-outs as well for the vibrant colours mixed with traditional isiShweshwe cloth.

Amanda Laird Cherry Apparel (Photo by Eunice Driver Photography)

Still waters run deep. Hangwani Nengovhela ’s Rubicion AW ’23 Collection taps into her Venda heritage and its natural features of the landscape such as the Phiphidi Waterfall, to express the resilience, power and strength of women who, like water, adapt to challenges by discovering new paths to flow smoothly.

Rubicon Clothing (Photo by Eunice Driver Photography)

Day Two


In her first collection after winning the SAFW New Talent competition in 2022, Thando Ntuli pays homage to her mother in her AW 23 Munkus collection called Umama Wami or My Mother. Using her mother as a metaphor she explores the feminine capacity to adopt a multitude of personas to remain the nurturing centre despite restrictions and challenges.

“Women are a kaleidoscope of colours. From darkness and cold, women bring light and warmth. Women bring life to any room entered. This collection aims to do show the multifaceted feminine which also includes masculine qualities. I combine various weights of cotton fabric, from light and airy to heavier such as bull denim, to convey each persona. There is a focus on technical detail and pops of conceptual print imagery of my mother.”

munkus_ (Photo by Pierre.tography)

NTANDO XV – Johannesburg based designer

Flight - the air between layers. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel every collection, Jacques van der Watt takes an evolutionary approach to design, building on what came before. Black Coffee AW23, reimagines the most basic of closet staples and combines them with bags and accessories free of any animal products. The collection metamorphosises from more utilitarian shapes at the offset to floating exaggerated silhouettes at its completion. Underpinning everything is a larger dialogue about the re-evaluation of norms confined to male and female form.

Black Coffee (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week) Click to enlarge

Black Coffee (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week)

Black Coffee (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week) 

Colour, Colour, Colour. Helon Melon AW 23 is all about the happy colours of Cape Town, executed in lightweight, compostable fabrics that allow the palette to express movement and joy. Helen Gibbs’ signature brand has grown from being a local supplier to being sold in many countries including Italy, Germany, and England at stores such as Selfridges and Beales of Manchester.

THE BAM COLLECTIVE – Pretoria based designer

The BAM Collective (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week) 

Another designer celebrating the brave feminine, Belinda Venter’s Belhauzen AW 23 collection, The Audacity, draws inspiration from those women who helped create a better world by being audacious - Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, Malala Yousafzai, Emmeline Park and Harriet Tubman inter alia.

Using natural and recycled fabrics and season-less styling that can be dressed up or down and worn throughout the year, designs are elegant, visually powerful and above all, sustainable, timeless luxury. This season Belhauzen collaborates with like-minded Italian sneaker brand, Culture of Brave. Together they wish to share their message of audacity and freedom.

ERRE – Pretoria based Designers

ERRE (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week)

Enhle Mbali’s AW 23 Essie collection takes its cue from the edgy globetrotter and international jetsetter. Simple, yet exciting, fashion-forward silhouettes imagine new frontiers and are infused with her ethos of “keep moving forward to push boundaries, never stop.”

Day Three

Laduma Ngxokolo’s Xhosa-inspired, modern design continues to propel the Maxhosa signature’s widening impact on the local and international fashion world. AW 23 will reveal yet another exciting edition of this uniquely African, contemporary identity. Leemisa Tsolo, Head of Asset and Property Management, Retail, Attacq Limited, the co-owners of Mall of Africa, says that its consumers are increasingly wanting to express a contemporary, yet uniquely African, fashion identity. “The Maxhosa success story bears testimony to this. Within a year of opening a small store on the lower level in 2018, the brand expanded to occupy its current large premise on the upper level of Mall of Africa.

“We look forward to welcoming many more designer success stories of the MaXhosa calibre in our retail offering.”


SAFW’s Scouting Menswear line-up has grown into one of the most anticipated showcases of the best emerging creative talents.

Jesmine Davids of sustainable streetwear brand Rebirth SA experiments with natural resources and digging into archive designs to “rebirth” styles, techniques, and designs. The AW 23 Coffee collection draws inspiration from her cultural roots to re-imagine the paisley pattern of her Greek lineage and the curlicues of the Koran on her Muslim side, in a palette of cream, white, Chino sand and black. Silhouettes are inspired “by the streets for the streets.” Clean T shirts and jeans feature unexpected, detailed patterns which give each garment a distinctive story.

Calvin Lunga Cebekhulu introduces a crafted collection called Wear Me with Kindness, I am Your Armor. The brand was launched in 2018 and recently became of the new additions to the Africa Rise store in Sandton City.

A graduate of Nelson Mandela University’s department of textile design, Thandazani Nofingxana combines his textile design consultancy, CHAPstudios and work as principal creative textile collaborator for IVILI Loboya, the first cashmere plant on the African continent, with developing the Abantu by Thandazani luxury brand. “I am intentional about telling the South African Xhosa culture nuances to the world”. Collections like Sithi Aba which dealt with identity and belonging in the diaspora placed him among the forty Emerging Creatives at the Design Indaba and has also seen him scoop the Mohair South Africa student competition.

ABANTU (Photo courtesy of SA Fashion Week)

Established in 2016 by Tebogo Malcolm Mokgope and Minenhle Memela, menswear brand, Refuse Clothingintertwines an African aesthetic with modern design. Committed to sustainable fashion, the signature fuses conventional textures and all-over prints with minimalist design to produce timeless classics in environmentally friendly fabrication.

Refuse Clothing BRAND (Photo courtesy of South African Fashion Week)

Gugu Peteni is another alumni of the fashion and textile design department of Nelson Mandela university, where she earned a post-graduate degree Cum Laude in 2017. Following a career as designer and retail manager for Mohair SA, she launched her GugubyGugu Afrimodern and genderless brand in 2019 with her unapologetically bold, colourful love of experimenting with knits in natural fibers such as mohair. Previous accolades include being selected as one of the top forty South African emerging creatives of 2018 at Design Indaba as well as being one of three designers to represent South Africa at the biggest fashion platform in Africa, Lagos Fashion Week. The English translation for gugu is “to be proud of” and epitomizes her vision of creating a fashion business that will take African fashion to the world

Kagiso Matlaisane is a streetwear designer who launched her Foy Bear brand in May 2022 to explore alternative methods of developing sustainable fashion. Her AW 2023 collection will interpret “spinning”, a South African motorsport sub-culture which is a township-born version of “drifting” with sustainable garments that can be worn in multiple ways.

A collaboration between Kabelo Legodi and Sthembiso Mchunu which fuses the Ipantsula style from 1990s with its distinctive baggy silhouettes and iconic use of brands such as Florsheim and Samson with current sports luxe streetwear tropes such as street soccer and incorporating sustainable design principles such as appliqué to enhance base cloth as well as eco-friendly fabrication. “We want to recapture some of the allure of that Ipantsula era and those styles we grew up with - wanting to belong in the hood.”

Presley Jacobs and Azaria Khosa are both Fashion Design and Technology graduates from Tshwane University of Technology, who have joined forces to create this traditional knitwear with a modern twist collection for men and women.

This season’s collection is called The Street Prix taking inspiration from A1 GRAND PRIX motorsport racing. The feminine side of the alpha male biker is softened using knits while the use of off-cuts to create elaborate embroidery references the vision to align with a sustainable fashion ethos.

Inspired by the vulgar excesses of the Bullingdon Club, this collection taps into the aesthetic of “the lad”presenting a modern take on the boys’ club and updating staples associated with this style, from pinstriped tailcoats, button-ups and bow ties to cardigans, varsity bombers and rugby jerseys.

FRANC ELIS – Johannesburg based Designer collaborating with John Drake a footwear company based in KZN.

The AW 23 Ephymol collection sees Ephraim Molingoana express the confidence to create a playful, eclectic and gender fluid collection that discovers the feminine polarity of the masculine. Timeless, bespoke and luxurious remain the hallmarks of one of Jozi’s best loved designer signatures. This season Ephymol is collaborating with Hopewell Footwear based in KZN, developing shoes for his Collection.

Ephymol (Photo courtesy of South African Fashion Week)

Deeply rooted in Soweto street culture, resident creative director Ole Ledimo says “we finally came back to our senses to take ownership of what belongs to us, our God-given space in the fashion sphere” with an expressive and disruptive AW 23 collection offering opinion, statements, short stories and perspectives on the essence of streetwear.

The new collection represents a lifestyle that was born in the early 1980s in Africa and includes influences such as skateboarding, graffiti, travel, punk, hardcore, kwaito, reggae, hip hop, the emerging amapiano and club culture as well as the art scene in downtown city centre areas. The collection will be available at selected Dunn stores together with the newly launched Loxion drink that is available throughout the continent.

Loxion Kulca (Photo courtesy of South African Fashion Week)

This season SA Fashion Week is collaboration with Poland’s Next Top Model Polska. Poland's Next Top Model Polska is a reality competition program, where boys and girls who dream of becoming models have a chance to enter the fashion world. It is based on America's Next Top Model format run by the legendary Tyra Banks. For the past 10 seasons Poland's Next Top Model has been one of the most popular prime time shows in Poland. Every year 14 aspiring models fight for the grand prize and recognition in modelling. In the course of the show the best girls and boys attend one of the most coveted fashion weeks in the world. This year the top 7 will compete in castings with experienced models for an opportunity to walk the runways of South African Fashion Week.

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