Pick n Pay Clothing x Matte Nolim launch Inclusive High-End Fashion At Affordable Prices

Internationally acclaimed local designer Matte Nolim brings his skill and love of fashion home in his Pick n Pay Clothing x Matte Nolim range, so that everyday South Africans can wear his colourful yet minimalistic designs.

Nolim, born as Siyethemba Duma, is the latest designer to collaborate with Pick n Pay Clothing as part of its Futurewear initiative – a project in partnership with designer Gavin Rajah that mentors young, talented creatives to create a commercial clothing line.

Nolim quickly made a name for himself in the local and international fashion scene after launching the Matte Nolim brand in 2014 with a modern minimalist aesthetic. “The brand dresses a young mindset more than an age group,” says Nolim.

His designs captured the fashion world’s imagination, and he has showcased his designs on many runways and even styled the likes of Instagram celebrity Elsa Majimbo in a GQ feature. During the pandemic, he stepped out of his comfort zone and began exploring more print and colour.

His latest creative project is the exclusive, limited edition range for Pick n Pay Clothing through its Futurewear initiative. “This project seeks to showcase local designers as well as give them an entry into the commercial segment of the market, thus creating jobs as entrepreneurs expand their operations,” says Hazel Pillay, General Manager for Pick n Pay Clothing.

The inspiration for Nolim’s ‘Bloom SS’ collection, which launched in 40 Pick n Pay Clothing stores nationwide this week, stemmed from his desire to make high-end designs accessible to everyday people. “Through Pick n Pay Clothing, I have been able to create timeless pieces for customers to treasure; youthful energy is my brand ID.”

He applied his same design process to this collection. “Instead of using pen and paper, my ideas are conceptualised in my head before I hit the sewing machine. I don’t like limiting a design to a technical drawing. Ideas and designs are generated in the mind. Improving a real-life sample is better than improving a drawing.”

The limited edition collab capsule uses bright oranges, blacks, gold and floral prints and includes beautiful jumpsuits, dresses, a skirt, shirt and kimono. The items range from R249,99 up to R399.99. The clothing can also be purchased online at www.picknpayclothing.co.za.

“The collection is inspired by bold florals reminiscent of my lush birth town, Pietermaritzburg. The collection’s silhouettes are feminine and flattering to the feminine form, with bright combinations of Hilton daisies and summery poppies,” says Nolim.

Pillay says the collection is a collector’s item due to the exclusivity of the range. “Once it is sold out, it is sold out.” She believes customers looking for something different and unique to wear this Summer will love this range, and it make them feel glamorous.

As Nolim moves into the commercial space, he is living his dream of creating an affordable range for those who want to wear his designs but couldn’t afford it. “Collaborating with Pick n Pay makes this possible. I have learnt so much so far, including how to work with a bigger team. I’ve really enjoyed the experience.”

Pick n Pay Clothing’s Futurewear initiative continues to grow and has successfully collaborated with five local designers to create unique designer items at affordable prices for customers.

Press release and images supplied.

 

 

PnP Clothing brings affordable designer clothing to customers with emerging local talent collab

Pick n Pay Clothing is shaking up the local fashion industry by making designer wear more affordable and accessible to its customers by collaboration with three young emerging South African designers – Zarah Cassim and Julia Buchanan from Cape Town, and Sipho Mbuto from Durban.

This is a continuation of the partnership launched in 2020 between PnP Clothing and award-winning fashion designer, Gavin Rajah, who will mentor the designers, creating exclusive and limited collections for PnP Clothing over the coming months.

“The success of the designer collaborations when first launched last year and the positive response from PnP Clothing customers to the exclusive collections spurred us to build onto what we had achieved and to get them excited once again about updating their wardrobes.

“Pick n Pay Clothing is passionate about supporting local and this project has unlocked an opportunity to elevate local designers and local manufacturing,”

says Hazel Pillay, General Manager for Pick n Pay Clothing.

The exclusive ranges from Zarah, Julia and Sipho, will be available in-store and online in the coming months.

A special 2021 collection by Gavin Rajah Atelier, his second in the collaboration, will also be launched later in the year.

The aim behind the collaborations is to support local talent and make designer clothing more accessible to more South Africans at affordable prices.

“This is an initiative that celebrates and nurtures the incredible design talent we have in South Africa, and with invaluable input from one of South Africa’s veteran designers, allowing them to carve out a niche in the fashion industry and the space to showcase this.

“The pride, at the end of the day, is being able to place these unique and beautiful fashion items in the hands of our shoppers who may not ordinarily have access to designer pieces based on affordability,” says Pillay.

For Gavin, the initiative has been a personal passion point, sharing his years of experience with new and upcoming designers and giving them the freedom to express their unique art while helping to hone this to create exclusive pieces with everyday stand-out appeal.

“Now in its second year, this watershed collaboration has brought to designers a much-needed platform to flex their talent, access support from a technical and entrepreneurial perspective, as well as understand the clothing manufacturing landscape from a mass retail perspective. We are slowly building a community of creatives that can lean on each other for mentorship and direction,” says Rajah.

About the 2021 Collection and Designers:

Zarah Cassim, a 29-year-old fine artist from Claremont, Cape Town, will have her exclusive PnP Clothing collection – Pick n Pay Clothing x ZARAH – land in stores and online mid-year. The collection is inspired by the artistic movement, Romanticism, and focuses on femininity.

Sipho Mbuto is a fashion designer and creative director who launched his own label in 2016 at the age of 26. His Pick n Pay Clothing x SIPHO range takes inspiration from the cultural hub that Durban is and its warm climate.

Julia Buchanan’s 2021 collection is her second collaboration with Pick n Pay Clothing, having designed an exclusive range in 2020, which was inspired by South Africa’s powerful women. The collection proved widely popular with PnP Clothing shopper, selling out in just over a month. Her new collection tis a daring tribute to people across the world who have suffered at the hands of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press release supplied.

How To Look Effortlessly Stylish No Matter Your Budget

The past year and a half has been transformational for everyone. Many of us have had to adjust to working from home – not much of an adjustment for me since I was already working from home pre-pandemic.

But our relationship with clothes have changed.  Whether you’re in your pyjamas all day or you buy clothes you don’t really need online, there’s no denying the change.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have decluttered my makeup collection and have done the same with my clothes. I have come to a less is more phase in my life. At the same time, my taste has become a  bit more refined.  I have also come to realise that I don’t need many things, I just need a few of the right things.

The thing is, you don’t need to wear head-to-toe designer clothing to look stylish or put together. Because style is a personal thing , it is an expression of self.

Personally, I think of real style as quiet. When I think of a stylish person, it’s less about what they’re wearing and more about their overall appearance and how they carry themselves.  To me, style is a quiet confidence. It doesn’t matter whether you only shop at Harrods , shop to the rich and famous, or at Mr Price like the rest of us. A stylish person has a Je ne sais quoi that money can’t buy.

My taste in clothes now is such that I would rather splurge on a quality jacket than have 10 cheap ones. I have learned that just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean I have to buy it.

I often say to my dad. who is the most stylish person I know, that my taste does not match my budget. It can be terribly frustrating when that happens but believe it or not,  it’s a challenge that has helped me. When you don’t have the luxury of buying anything you want, you think twice -maybe three times –  before you buy anything even if is on sale. No matter your budget, here are some of my top 6 tips to help you look effortlessly stylish.

1.  Have a yearly shopping budget

Are you an impulsive shopper? Keep a yearly shopping budget. Depending on what you can afford, allocate a certain amount to shopping for clothes. This budget includes any sudden wedding guest outfit purchase. Having a budget will keep you disciplined and discerning about what you buy. It will prevent you from buying clothes you may only ever wear once. Smart!

2. Create a personal style uniform

What’s an outfit that you can wear to work, out with your friends and maybe to your partner’s parents house? Make sure you have at least 3 of those. In different colours if you like. For me, that would be something like an oversize shirt and jeans or pants. Easy, effortless style.

3. Don’t wear an outfit that’s too tight

When your outfit is too tight, you are uncomfortable. Definitely not a good look. Comfort is always key when it comes to style. When you’re comfortable, you feel confident and that instantly makes you look stylish.

4. Avoid trends

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, avoid trends. I love a good trend just like anyone but since I started to pay attention to my style and after having gotten rid of many trendy pieces in my wardrobe, I came to the realistion that they just aren’t worth it. Opt for classics like blazers, an A-line dress and other pieces that fit your lifestyle and will remain a staple in your wardrobe.

5. Do iron your clothes

I know I said style is about how you carry yourself but unironed clothing is not a good look. Not unless it’s linen, and not everyone can pull it off. Ironed clothes make you look polished and commands a certain level of respect that creased clothing does not.

6. Let your clothes reflect your personality

Dressing like everyone is no bueno. Even if you shop at the same place as everyone, add a touch of your personality. For me, when I wear a monochromatic look like all-black, I tend to add a pop of colour. Because even though I love an all-black look, I also like bright, bold colours. So add your flair to an otherwise simple outfit that gives people a glimpse of who you are.

Remember that your style is people’s first impression of you so dress with confidence and shine sis, shine!

Dress – Mango on Superbalist

Coat – Danielle Frylinck

Beret – Chirpy Chix

Jessica Jane – Vivacious & Vintage Winter Range 2021

Jessica Molebatsi – fashion designer and founder of the JessicaJane label – is taking this winter by storm with her 2021 winter range. Her garments shine brightly in acid yellow and cerise pink and exude a much-needed message of positivity that amplifies the brightness of the women who wear them, expressing their true value and feminine beauty.

Carving a niche for herself in Feminine Couture, Jessica’s passion is helping women feel confident, beautiful, and valued; this ethos shines through every sequin in this energetic collection. Designed specifically with go-getting superwomen in mind, this collection was created to help women easily slip into a comfortable outfit and look meticulously put together, especially where they don’t have the time to fuss.

“The essence of this collection was about enabling women to express their individuality. I wanted to empower the femininity within each of us, not to impose my idea of femininity onto my clients, but for the woman who wears them to remain their beautiful selves – just with an extra confidence boost,” says Jessica.

Influenced by the romanticism of french aesthetics, this collection strikes the perfect balance between vivaciousness and vintage. Inspired primarily by her extraordinary clients and her own life as a working mom, this collection empowers women without having to make them fit a specific mould and be uncomfortable in the process.

This winter range jumped into being when Jessica’s was transfixed by an acid yellow roll of sequin fabric. Jessica’s love for sequins glistens all over her Instagram so it is no surprise she bought the whole roll immediately.

“I thought the colour was so interesting, specifically in a sequin and it all snowballed from there. I loved working with these bright energising colours versus the standard autumnal hues,” she explains.

 

Jessica Jane 2021 Winter Collection

Drawn instinctively to texture, Jessica loves winter fashion and finds it far more interesting and creative because of the textural combinations you can achieve with layers.

Jessica dreams of one day taking this collection internationally and feels like Spain would be a perfect fit.

“As South Africans, we tend to be more timid with our fashion choices. The Spanish on the other hand are wonderfully unafraid to take risks and try things out. And with this collection, I am proud of its boldness and practicality.”

In this range, the acid yellow sequin trench coat exudes happiness and is the item Jessica is most excited and grateful to have made. Its oversized structure and unmissable fabric provide a burst of happiness when you see it. Not to mention being quite warm since it is fully lined and sequins are a great insulator.

When she designs Jessica begins the conceptualising process by shutting everything out and focusing; then allowing all the different pieces of the puzzle to fit together. She is exhilarated by watching as the range comes into being. Really considering the fabric – not just about thinking about what you are going to make in isolation – is essential to her process.

Jessica warns though, that the challenge of balancing being a creative and a business owner is not for the faint of heart: “When you are the business owner you are often so busy working in the business that stepping outside of it, to be this creative for however long it takes, is not easy. With some ranges you can dedicate focus and others you need to work under pressure. And sometimes limitations on your time can actually feed your creativity just as much as taking the time to be meticulous.”

Jessica believes that designers put the initial energy to bring garments into existence from a concept and then the garments take on a life of their own. They change form according to what they interact with, like what stitch and what fabric is used.

Her combination of colour, classicism and clever cuts has JessicaJane really heating things up on the fashion scene this winter. Perfect for the polished professional supermom, it offers a much-needed reprieve from the labour of dressing so that they can go forth and conquer the world in fabulous comfort.

Jessica Jane 2021 Winter Collection

To view her collection visit www.jessicajane.co.za.

Press release and images supplied.

 

5 Ways to Find your Style

When I asked my supporters on Instagram what they struggle with the most when it comes to style, quite a few listed finding their style as a challenge.

And so, today’s post is dedicated to you. If you struggle to find your style and need some help in that department then you are in good company. Because in today’s post, I’m sharing 5 ways to find your style. And by the end of this article, you’ll leave feeling more confident and in tune with your personal style.

But first, what is style?

  • “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn!” – Gore Vidal.
  • “Style is very personal, it has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.” – Ralph Lauren.
  • “Style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

These are just some of my favourite quotes defining style. Style is not about designer labels, it is an expression of self. It is an evolution of self. I dress according to varying factors like my mood, weather, occasion and so much more.

I don’t believe in limiting myself when it comes to my style. Today I may be modestly dressed, covered from head-to-toe and tomorrow I’m wearing the skimpiest outfit you’ve ever seen. I may wear all black today and tomorrow wear all the colours of the rainbow.  My style is just an extension of my personality which is adventurous- within reason – but consistently stylish.

I also want to stress that style does not buy into fashion trends. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good trend. I have in fact disliked some trends when they first came out and grown to like them.

The off-shoulder look, choker necklace and dad sneakers are just a few trends I didn’t initially care for but over time, I bought into these trends. However, trends come and go and it is why you shouldn’t give in to them if you are still trying to find your style.

 

Here are 5 Ways to Find your Style

1. Know your body shape

Are you pear, hourglass, apple, rectangle, athletic shaped or somewhere in between? There are quizzes online that you can take to help you find that out if you don’t know or you can just click here after you finish reading this post.  Knowing your body shape will help you in figuring out what is most flattering for your body type.

2. Identify which colours inspire you

Colour has a huge impact on our mood. It can inspire and uplift or it can do the opposite. Colour can also flatter your figure depending on the colour. Knowing the colours that inspire you can help you to feel empowered, motivated and confident. I love an emerald green colour and I feel beautiful, sexy and confident in it.  It also suits my skin tone. What colour(s) gives you that feeling and is flattering against your skin tone?

3. Define your personality

Are you reserved, outgoing or a little bit of both? Knowing your personality is key to finding your style. I mentioned earlier that I’m adventurous. I don’t like to be tied to a particular style or colour. Which reflects in my style. You may be the opposite, take Anna Wintour for example, she has her own unique style. It’s a uniform look consisting of a printed dress, a necklace and a pair of heels.  It is impossible for you to miss her even if you don’t see her face. Her uniform style tells me her personality is the direct, confident and straight-laced type. A uniform style, although boring to me, saves you a lot of time especially if you’re a very busy woman.

4. Make sure the fit is right

Have you been to the shops and saw something that caught your eye but it’s not in your size. You want it so bad because it’s on sale. You even make a promise to yourself to lose weight to fit into it. Rewind, pause.

Look at yourself in the mirror and look at the item again. Will you really lose weight to fit into it? Do you really want to put that kind of pressure on yourself, sis? Is it really worth it? Save your money, don’t think of the price of the item. If you can’t fit it now, there’s no point. Because even if you do manage to lose weight, it may not fit your curves right. It is important to wear clothes that fit. An ill-fitting item of clothing does not make anyone look stylish. Fit is everything when it comes to style.

5.  Keep a style board

Whose style inspires you? It may be one person or more than one person. Keep a style board of your style inspiration/s. I would even suggest creating categories. So gym, work, dinner etc. When you’re clear about what you like for different occassions, then most of the job is done.

What I love the most about fashion and style is the freedom of expression it allows. Be creative, have fun. If you were meeting someone for the first time, what would you want their first impression of you to be , before you introduce yourself or say anything about who you are and what you do? Now dress the way you would like to be addressed. 🙂 I’m sure I saw that somewhere.

I hope you found this article helpful and you can now go on to create your personal style which is unique to you and you alone. Remember, don’t copy. Be inspired.

Please leave me a comment if you found this post useful. Also, let me know what other style challenges you have so that I can a(d)dress them. See what I did there?

Thanks for reading. See you next week.

5 Places To Buy Vintage Clothing in Cape Town

I love shopping, it’s an actual problem. But being self-employed and now with the COVID-19 situation, things are going to have to change.

My love for clothes and shopping isn’t going to just go away but I intend to make smarter decisions with my shopping and help you do the same.

This year, I promised to choose quality over quantity.

Better to have 5 quality pieces in your wardrobe than 100 cheap, trendy items.

So how am I going to be thrifty yet invest in quality pieces?

Vintage shopping of course!

Some people are very selective about where they shop. I know some women who will only shop at Zara.

I am not so selective. I love clothes and I’m open to shopping in most places – hygiene being a major consideration.

I’ve always loved vintage and second-hand shopping. As much as I love clothes, I never want to feel like I’m spending an arm and a leg for something that if I’m desperate enough I can sew for myself.

I’ve always felt like you get more bang for your buck when you go to second-hand or vintage shops. But for a long time, I didn’t even really know the difference between the two.

What’s the difference between second-hand and vintage shop?

Well, a vintage shop stocks clothing from a certain era, mainly between 20 and 100 years ago while a second-hand shop is a home for previously owned clothing pieces. With second-hand clothing, it’s not about how old it is, it is just clothing that has been preowned.

I give a detailed breakdown of the difference between vintage and second-hand clothing in a previous post here.

So, a vintage shop can be a second-hand shop and you can find vintage pieces in a second-hand store but there is a major difference between the two.

I was once asked where to buy vintage pieces in Cape Town and there are so many of them. I actually did a video on it which was never published.

But today is your lucky day because I am sharing my top 5 places to vintage shop in Cape Town. Now, I don’t know if these places are open during lockdown but might be worth checking post lockdown.

5 Places To Buy Vintage Clothing in Cape Town

  1. Maids of Honour

Situated on 40 Lower Main Road, Observatory Cape Town, Maids of Honour is home to some vintage clothes and accessories. They also have an in-house tailor who has his own line of jackets. Or, if you buy something from the store that you want to be altered, you can also have it done there. Pretty clever, huh?

2. Duke and The Dolls

On 90 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town, this store sells clothing,  furniture pieces, poetry books, posters and all sorts of big and small vintage items.

3. Babette Clothing

Located on 41 Church Street, just off Long Street. Here you’ll find one-of-a-kind clothing items, imported vintage bags, jewellery, local artisan shoes and accessories.

4. Grandfunk Vintage

Sister to Retro Collectables Quirk, Grandfunk Vintage is on 26 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town. They stock old and new clothing and accessories with old movies and comic books plastered on the walls, the store is quirky. And upstairs they have an array men’s clothing.

5. The Changing Room

A bit more high-end than the others, this store can be found at 6 Cavendish Street in Cavendish and online here. From vintage Chanel bags and belts to beautiful, unique clothing pieces, The Changing Room will have you drooling and channelling your inner rich aunty vibes.

Will you be popping into any of these stores post lockdown? Leave a comment to let me know.

Or maybe you just want to drop me a note to say you enjoyed the article, I would also love that. x

5 Fashion Films To Watch Right Now

Life is definitely very dark and depressing right now. I left my house today- for the first time since the lockdown – to buy groceries and I damn near cried. Everything I saw seemed pretty apocalyptic. Everyone wearing masks, barely any cars or people on the streets, it was sobering and a little depressing.

It’s good to keep abreast of the news, stay informed, practice good hygiene and stay home. But it’s also good to escape from reality every now and again. I love watching movies and that definitely helps to take my mind off heavy things like the current Corona virus pandemic.

I’ve always found movies to be a great source of relief, entertainment and inspiration. Fashion, beauty, comedy and meditation are just some of the ways people are amusing and entertaining themselves during this difficult time. If you’re a movie lover like me and need a fashion fix, here are 5 fashion films to watch right now:

The Devil Wears Prada

Ah, The Devil Wears Prada. The character, Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep is rumoured to have been mirrored after Anna Wintour’s own slave driver-like treatment of her subordinates. Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion magazine editor, and Andrea “Andy” Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway is a college graduate who goes to New York City and lands a job as Priestly’s co-assistant. Sure the clothes worn in the movie are no longer on-trend (that’s what happens with fashion) but it is the most memed and emulated movie of its time. Definitely a fashionista favourite.

The Great Gatsby

This movie is everything that I love. It has romance, the handsome Leo DiCaprio and the fashion is outstanding. Set in the 1920s, The Great Gatsby is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel of the same name. It conveys the glamour and decadence of the 1920s and is a must-watch for any period loving fashionista.

The Holiday

The Holiday, another one of my all-time favourite romantic films. Released in 2006, it stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black (to name a few). The movie is about two women from the UK and US who swap their homes and inadvertently meet and fall in love with two local guys. This is not a typical fashion movie but the character, Amanda Woods played by Cameron Diaz owns a successful movie trailer making business and her style is just phenomenal. It’s modern, stylish and sophisticated and I just want to own just about everything she wears.

Zoolander

A satire on the fashion industry, Zoolander certainly poked fun at the billion-dollar industry. The movie starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell is a 2001 action-comedy film. It follows Zoolander played by Ben Stiller becoming the pawn of corrupt fashion executives who are plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Sex and The City 2

Every fashionista’s favourite, Sex and The City 2 is the sequel to Sex and The City and showcases the lives of four female friends (Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda) living their best lives in Manhattan, US. These four women are a sartorial delight with each having their own unique style. From Samantha’s raunchy sex appeal to Charlotte’s modest, politician’s wife like appearance, these ladies explore fashion in their own way.

Will you be watching any of these fashion films this weekend? Any you’ve seen but would like to watch again? Do leave a comment and let me know.

Stay home, stay strong.
With love.

Why Fashion Matters – Celebrity Inspired Looks for Autumn

Why Fashion Matters

Okay so maybe fashion is the last thing on your mind during this global crisis but a little retail therapy might be just the thing to lift your spirits.

We need a whole of positivity and some inspiration right now. Our president, Cyril Ramaphosa just announced mere hours ago that the number of people infected with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has doubled. It went up to 116 confirmed cases!

But we all need to live our lives – in isolation or not – and what better way to do that than through fashion, beauty and/or art? Can our love of fashion be just as inspiring during the bad times as it is in the good? I sure hope so.

With autumn fast approaching, I say it’s time for a little retail therapy. Upgrade your wardrobe with a few celebrity-inspired looks for autumn from Superbalist’s newly launched occasion-wear brands. Velvet exudes red-carpet class, with runway-worthy, head-turning party pieces.  Blake lets you show up and ‘own’ any room you enter, with daring season must-haves while Milla is a glamorous, flirty brand with the perfect, polished piece for every special occasion.

So whether you’re going to the office or are just doing it for the gram, you will feel and look like a celebrity- literally – in these pieces.

Shop & Style the Looks

 

Kiara Kittner’s muted dress is giving me understated elegance. Perfect for a dinner date or a day at the office (for those that still have to work from the office).

Get the look in this black, satin maxi dress by Milla here. You can dress it up or down to suit any occasion.

Miniskirts are always au courant – whatever the season. Minnie Dlamini pairs a sequin mini skirt with a statement wrap top. Get a similar look by pairing a Velvet wrap blouse and Blake Pu Zip mini skirt for an African take on Sex and the City.

Ayanda Thabethe knows how to steal the show. She looks stunning in this little black cocktail dress – a must-have in any woman’s closet.  So whether you’ve got a small birthday party coming up – with no more than 10 people – or you just want a picture-worthy glam moment for the gram, this classic fashion item is just what you need.

Shop a similar look in this Blake Bardot mini dress here.

These looks are versatile and can be worn in different seasons depending on how you style them.

Tip: It is more important now than ever before to be a prudent shopper. Choose pieces that are versatile, quality and classic so that you can style them in different ways and still be able to wear it years down the line.

 

Images – Supplied and sourced from Superbalist.com.

Developing Sustainable Fashion Businesses at AFI Fashion Week 2020

Developing Sustainable Fashion Businesses at AFI  Fashion Week 2020

This year’s AFI Fashion Week is about developing sustainable fashion businesses.

Did you know that the global apparel market is valued at over 3 trillion dollars?! Yup, it accounts for 2 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Sadly, it also generates 4% of the world’s waste each year. About 92 million tons to be exact.

Sustainability is very important to me. It is why as a fashion blogger, I feel that it is my responsibility to show you more than 1 way to wear an item of clothing. Because let’s be honest, we don’t need as many clothes as we buy and or own.

This is why I am looking forward to attending this year’s AFI Fashion Week to learn more about AFI’s plans on sustainability in Africa.

The two-day event is taking place from 12 to 14 March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and from the schedule, it looks like one not to miss.

Can the fashion Industry minimise fashion wastage?

At the show, AFI will use its Masterclass platform to delve deep and look into how the fashion industry can curb fashion wastage, particularly in Africa.

The Masterclasses is aimed at encouraging collaborations and developing sustainable businesses, technology upskilling and innovation. AFI will host three Masterclass sessions; Fashion and Sustainability on the 12th, Creatives Corner on the 13th and Fashion and Technology on the 14th of March. I am particularly excited about the Fashion and Sustainability Masterclass.

Acclaimed speakers like Dr Erica de Greef, Laduma Ngxokolo, Vere Shaba, Tracey Chamber, Paul Currie and Dr Esther Mahlangu will be leading the talks.

The conversation will focus on sustainability in fashion within the African context.

Fashion and Sustainability

This session will discuss the economical influence of the industry and its vital role to preserve history and culture. Loyiso Mkize, Kitty Phetla and Sbusiso Mahone will be part of this hot solution-oriented discussion.

 Creatives Corner

This will tackle the pressing issue in the creative industry, that has seen many of our artists taking to social media to voice out the lack of support from government and private businesses.

Fashion and Technology

The final day of the masterclass will look at technology and how it has changed the landscape and share insights on how the creative industry can take advantage of this new era, to grow businesses and restructure business models to reach global markets.

About AFI

AFI Fashion Week aims to redesign Africa’s future by positioning African creatives as leaders in narrating African stories.

It was awarded the coveted Franca Sozzani Award for developing and promoting African Fashion designers globally. AFI’s new strategy AFI4.0 has embarked on offering designers trade opportunities through the pop-up AFI Designer Marketplace.

To find out more follow:

Facebook: @africanfashioninternational

Twitter: @afi_sa

Instagram: @afi_sa

#AFIFashionWeek

For a blog post on how to build a sustainable wardrobe, click here 

Attending My First SA Menswear Fashion Week 2020

Who knew SA Menswear Week isn’t just for men?! I sure didn’t.

Although it is a platform dedicated to the development and promotion of menswear within the African continent, it is open to everyone. This two-day fashion show took place at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on 6 February and ended on 8 February 2020.

I must admit, even though I’m a fashion blogger, I don’t always know about some of these local fashion shows. And I wouldn’t have known about this one if not for a friend telling me about it. She’s the owner and creative director of unisex fashion label, Fashionsilueta, and was showcasing her collection on one of the days.

She invited me and not one to say no to a friend or to a free fashion show, I applied for media accreditation and my application was approved. The entry is free for all but there are perks to media passes like a backstage pass, VIP access, free drinks and entry to the after-party that you wouldn’t get from a normal entry ticket.

Sadly, I missed her show because I was late trying to find parking. Finding parking was a real pain, it was so frustrating I damn near cried. I drove around for close to 40 mins and still did not find parking. Eventually, some security guard at a hotel nearby took pity on me and let me use the hotel parking. It was all very covert and probably against company policy but hey, I won’t tell if you won’t.

I made a mental note to uber to my next fashion show.

Parking space secured, makeup melting with beads of sweat on my face, I still had to walk about 7 minutes – in heels – to the venue where the fashion show was taking place. I wore comfortable mules so walking in them wasn’t so much a problem as was the fact that it was a miserably hot day.

It was about 32 degrees Celsius and I was wearing an oversized blazer which I borrowed from my dad. Even though I was wearing a bandeau top underneath and could have taken off the jacket, I chose not to. The jacket made the look. Without it, I would have looked like I was running errands and not dressed for a fashion show. So I chose to suffer for fashion and remain uncomfortably hot. I am sure I’m not the only one who’s done this and I won’t be the last.

At the SA Menswear Week

I got to the venue, immediately spotted my friend and made a heartfelt apology for missing her show. Thankfully she didn’t give me a hard time about it. Feeling icky from sweat and an oily face, I looked around and was shocked to notice that there were just about as many women as there were men.

It looked like any other fashion show – there were men and women of all races and sizes stylishly dressed.

The one thing I most enjoy about fashion shows is the street style and beautiful people. I enjoy making connections, seeing some of your favourite influencers act ‘too cool for school’.

I took some pictures, drank 2 complimentary glasses of white wine, people watched and in the end, I only got to see one show by Red Thread Apparel before I had to leave.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. I enjoyed myself and got to meet some awesome people.

I wish the organisers would have allocated ample parking space.  It would also have been a good idea to have visible signs directing you to the show venue. But maybe that’s asking too much of a free event. It was very well organised except for those two things.

The next SAMW for Spring/Summer is in July – 09 to 12 July 2020.

For more information, visit http://www.menswearweek.co.za/.