Last night Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2017 kicked off at Mall of Africa in Johannesburg and day 1 has set a good pace for the rest of the days. Fellow fashionistas and I braved the cold and windy Joburg weather for the love of fashion.
AFI Prive which is an African Fashion International inhouse fashion brand made a return last night on the runway and I must say that I was impressed with the collection. “Under the African Sun” is what the collection embodied and the garments were made of soft and comfortable fabrics. The kind of clothes that one wears in an African summer next to the pool, river or beach; whatever floats your boat. The cute thin waist belts were significant in giving the best view of the outfits. My absolute favourite outfit was the off the shoulder crop top with multi-layered sleeves and the matching pants which give off a relaxed look.
All the looks from the AFI Prive collection can be shopped at the AFI Prive store at the crystal court at Mall of Africa and soon on the website http://afiprive.com/
Thula Sindi is showcasing again and I couldn’t be any happier. Before the show, everyone who follows Thula Sindi on Twitter and I got to see a sneak peek of what to expect at his show and true to his word; his collection reflected his obsession with hard edged details on soft fabrics.
My favourite dresses from Thula Sindi’s collection are the dresses above whose details are hard to miss, I definitely paid so much attention here and I could not help but see a peacock in its glory as its covert feathers are displayed during the courtship ritual.
The collection also featured some of the best embroidery I have ever seen. Everything was just so precise, in the right colour and paired with best pieces. I love that you can switch up the TS garments and you can wear them for any occasion.
Other designers who showcased included Gavin Rajah and Spero Villioti. Even Though their collection were nice, I would have loved to see something different because I feel like we always see the same collections from them. Spero Villioti had models wear fake colourful locks which did nothing for the collection and we have seen this before in international designers. I honestly did not see the point of the fake locks as they added nothing to the story.
Photo Credits: SDR Photo
For the second time this year Intern By David Tlale had a show at Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Joburg and as always the six interns did not disappoint. Comparing their show in March to their show yesterday there was significant improvements and we all expected nothing but the best from them seeing that they are being taught by David Tlale one of Africa’s best designers. One designer who stood out for me was Ntando Ngwenya whose collection was inspired by what he sees as AfroFuturism taking African fashion to the future.
This collection is the highlight of my creativity, staying away from the norm of basic clothing to architectural lines. – Ntando
Ntando says he is taking African fashion to the future and there is a new approach to pattern engineering that he has discovered and that is the seamless front cut. He used sports luxe to put the message accross. The use of lipstick on the male models was simply to re-enforce that in the near future men will be more comfortable with wearing make-up and the beauty industry is also now making beauty products for men. After his internship Ntando plans to go back in to business and improving his brand . With what he has learnt he believes that he stands a chance to stand out in the fashion scene In South Africa.
All photos by AFI
“It all starts with an idea, right?” I believe that this is exactly the statement that sparked the creation of the Ideas Expo 5 years ago founded by young Africans from Botswana Calvin and Tumiso. When opening the expo Tumiso highlighted that they wanted to use creativity to provide solutions. The world has become so connected, but are the ideas? Gabriel Mothibedi one of the speaker’s presentation focused more on design and he highlighted that Design is a driver of innovation and that nowadays it is difficult to make money off people’s ignorance because the world is so connected.
Kelvin Twissa the HOD of Branding and Communications at Vodacom Tanzania also attested to that wherever there is a problem there is always an opportunity. He took us on a journey of how Mobile Money is succeeding where the banks are failing in Tanzania. To solve the cumbersome distribution of music for Tanzanian musicians an app called www.mkito.com was created and it has been a booming success as users joined plus 99% of the downloads are free.
In order for an idea to be effective communication must be kept simple.- Kelvin Twissa
Dr Carla Enslin National Academic Head at Vega School of Brand Leadership highlighted the importance of branding and leadership. As business people in Africa we need to build businesses that will always matter to the people so much so that should your business disappear then care should be aroused in your consumers. It should be clear what a brand stands for, the sense of being, the value it brings and decisions taken.
Understand why you matter- employ people who matter.- Dr Carla
As creatives it is very important to invest. Bakang Sereste from Afena Capital touched on the importance of collaborations and investments. His advice was for creatives to setup an innovation fund and develop an Index to measure brands and businesses.
Get professional advice and buy a lot of shares- Bakang
Khaya Dlanga’s presentation was on the importance of borderless ideas that not only transcends borders but cultures, individuals, differences and time. Borderless ideas have an impact globally even thought they are intended for a local market and they work on single, strong, powerful and emotive insight. It is important for us as creatives to be what we say we are and to the things that we say we do.
Africa needs to create, control, own and export borderless ideas.- Khaya Dlanga
Didier the Co-founder and Creative Director of Magents Lifestyle Apparel told the story of Magents, where it started, where it went and why it had to regroup. He emphasized the importance of staying true to yourself and your brand.
Learn from the East and the West but make sure that your DNA is Afrikan.-Didier
Pretty much all the speakers agreed on a number of issues including that we can use ideas to solve problems and that greatness is born from very bad situations. Most of us are starting businesses because we couldn’t find jobs or because we were not happy at our jobs. We can start business but we also need to know the importance of investing and finding the right investors.
Nothing drives anything like purpose- Pepe Marais
Musa Kalenga’s presentation was based on change, we need to accept that things change and be able to adapt to it. America and Asia have plans for Africa, but what is Africa’s plan for Africa?. Young Africans need to start taking charge of Africa and devise clear plans for Africa.
Learn. Unlearn and relearn- Musa Kalenga
Words that were left ringing in my head till this day are: What is YOUR plan for Africa? Even now as I type this I can hear Musa Kalenga’s voice. So I ask myself: What is MY plan for Africa? Hyping each other at these type of gatherings is great but we need to start doing instead of just talking about changing things.
More from the Exhibition shot by Elvis Dambe- @LordElvo on Twitter
Hailing from Windhoek, Namibia Cameron Kat is a youngster who is always pushing boundaries and as such started his own Marketing and Design company in 2014. His company focused predominantly in logo design, graphic design for print and brand activation. As a young African who is always thinking better and bigger, he started another company called Krazz International which also incorporated apparel, media and business to the already existing services offered.
I was born and bred here in Africa to me it is more than just my home but, a place that influences many of my choices. Not that the western education I received does not effect me, rather it helps me appreciate the raw wisdom passed, to us by generations of man who have come and gone.
First on the list of his beliefs, Cameron believes that as a people we have the ability to invent and become innovative and he hopes that we do so and we stop outsourcing our African resources.
To build on the African Dream, we need to understand it first. So what is it, this dream? the dream of developing Africa and industrializing it but allowing us to make a mark. That is my African Dream, How we as youth can help build on it? i strongly believe we need to educate our self.