In years gone by South Africa may have been accused of assimilating overseas trends into our local fashion scene, but of late it’s more the other way around.
Our local designers are grabbing the attention of many around the world, and the story of Pietermaritzburg- born designer Siyethemba Duma is a classic example of that.
Duma was recently listed in the top five fashion designers to being watched globally in 2017 by a Milan magazine, and has shot to local prominence as well.
According to News24, he has also been featured in magazines like ElleMagazine SA, Cosmopolitan South Africa, and True Love.
Another headline-grabber is local fashion enthusiast and online influencer, Aisha Baker [below left], most well-known for her blog ‘Baked Online’.
Barker recently received a personal invite from fashion icon Michael Kors to attend his show at New York Fashion Week, making her the first ever South African fashion blogger to receive such an honour.
You can’t talk about local fashion influencers without mentioning MerweMode, a local label that mixes the best of European street style with the creativity, independence and unique flair of South African design.
The brainchild of local fashionista Deeva van der Merwe, the brand has become famous for producing classic, clean cut androgynous looks with unique detailing from the use of original acid prints to quirky tailoring flair.
Here’s van der Merwe showing off her Lexux South African Menswear Week Autumn/Winter 2017 collection:
With MerweMode sourcing and producing their garments locally, they are an ideal fit as part of the WearSA family.
The same can be said for 2BOP, who draw their inspiration from games that were popular in South Africa at corner shops and arcades in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The old school games, which usually cost twenty cents (a ‘2Bop’) to play at the corner shop, exposed the crew to intuitive and engaging interface design, game design, and graphic design primarily from Japan and North America, which they have then fused with their own local influences.
This image from Neobaepi on Tumblr, where the brand was also showcased at the Lexux South African Menswear Week Autumn/Winter 2017:
It’s so good to see local enterprise back the talent we have here at home, the likes of MerweMode and 2BOP shining examples of that, which is why Wear SA are proving to be such a popular movement.
Tasked with empowering local creative talent, with the vision and commitment to develop authentic South African fashion brands as a real competitive alternative to our international counterparts, WearSA are proving that with a bit of love they can help design a better South Africa.
Here’s hoping in the years to come, as consumers place greater awareness on exactly who they buy and how their garments are produced, local brands reap the rewards for putting a premium on sustainable and ethical methods of production.
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