SAFW A/W 18 – From The Sideline

What’s the big deal?

This piece is basically inspired by what i was tweeting about after Day 1 of fashion week:

I’d like to start off by saying, fashion week IS a big deal. There are jobs and careers on the line, designers spend thousands of Rands to showcase a collection and show it to key media and the general public. How accessible it is, is a story for another day.

Shot by Thabiso Molatlhwa
Shot by Thabiso Molatlhwa

This year saw all walks of life gathering at the Sandton City rooftop, the “new home of SAFW” – which I still don’t get. A better venue than Hyde Park Corner nonetheless.  Here’s the main frustration without beating around the bush; seating. Media is there to generate real-time content showing runway looks by said designers and give great, quality images. Are they expecting people do that from the back of a marquee?

This frustrates me!

Fine. Whatever. General South Africans have come down to a point where they just do not care about fashion weeks. Day 1 shows followed by outcries by some popular influencers, bloggers, and a few people in media could only mean one thing.

Just a few examples…

Followed by some of this:

We only deal with #FAX – S/O to Nicola Cooper.

The highlight and buzz of that day were purely because of Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu. While I got to see the show on social media, I did however get to enjoy the AKJP installation earlier during the day at SMAC Gallery, Keyes Art Mile in Rosebank. Stunning. They served champagne, darling.

During the course of fashion week, I encountered and got connected with a few creatives such as my new faves Ricci-Lee Kalish (AKA Big Bad Wolf), Luyanda Madonia and Ayanda Nhlapo just to name a few – who all had the same chat about how problematic fashion week can be, how it can be fixed, and how no one ever really listens to what we have to say.

The girls served looks, nonetheless.

We also cannot be talking about the same thing each year. On a positive note though, SAFW actually gives designers great exposure and better opportunities, given the sponsorships it has. Still. The bar needs to be raised each year to make it an experience for those attending – media, and the general public. We’ve been on the same pace, going nowhere, slowly.

The vibe was anything but exciting. Menswear saved that entire week – designers ranging from Floyd Avenue, Roman Handt, Tailor Me, Vintage Zionist x AFROPUNK and Urban Outlaw 69 just to name a few.

Will it get better? We will never know. Is the industry growing? Girl, i guess.


Here are some of my favourite looks!

Thebe Magugu
Thebe Magugu
Urban Outlaw 69
Rich Mnisi
Rich Mnisi
Vintage x Afropunk
Vintage x Afropunk
Roman Handt
Tailor Me

Credit: Eunice Driver, Eunice Driver Photography

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