Contemporary South African fashion design
Did you know?
Loxion Kulca is street slang for ‘Location Culture’ - a reference to the apartheid government's designation of townships as ‘locations’.
More than ever before, designers are emerging onto the scene and offering more choice than ever when it comes to affordable, local and trendy design.
During the apartheid era, South African fashion design lagged behind trends in the rest of the world. In a way, this was beneficial as it forced local designers to create their own aesthetics without being overly influenced by what was happening in the rest of the world.
Since becoming a democratic nation in 1994, contemporary fashion designers in South Africa have regained a sense of pride. With that has come a renaissance of creativity.
There was a time when South Africans had very little to choose from when it came to contemporary South African fashion design. Chain stores seemed to offer sedate and rather bland clothing and didn’t offer many opportunities for local fashion designers.
Eventually fashion retailers like Woolworths grasped that local consumers wanted more choice that was affordable, fashionable and locally made. This led to Woolworths introducing ranges from Craig Native, Stoned Cherrie and Maya Prass into its shops, putting its support behind local design.
Since YDE (Young Designers Emporium) opened its doors 1995, paving the way for fashion designers to showcase and sell their wares, many others have followed suit.
Soweto-based fashionistas Wandi Nzimande and Sechaba Mogale started Loxion Kulca (LK) in 1999. They were arguably the first local fashion designers to bring the fashion style of South Africa’s townships to the mass market.
Franchises like The Space sell only contemporary local fashion from designers as diverse as Leigh Schubert, Tart, Sway, Michelle Ludek, Coppelia and Amanda Laird Cherry. Big Blue is another contemporary fashion design retailer that sells fun and affordable South Africa fashion.
Boutiques Just, Me Me Me, and Mungo and Jemima also stock only local fashion designers. Many designers such as Marion and Lindie, Hermanna Rush, Hip Hop, David Tlale and Black Coffee have their own standalone shops and studios.
Each year, LISOF, South Africa’s leading fashion design school, produces more talented people to contribute to the ever-growing and exciting fashion design landscape in South Africa.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)11 788 4432 / 6617
Fax: +27 (0)11 447 4087
Craig Native/Native Clothing
Maya Prass Clothing
Tel: +27 (0)21 465 5499
Tel: +27 (0)11 784 7648
Fax: +27 (0)86 624 3853
Young Designers Emporium
Tel: +27 (0)21 460 7001
Tel: +27 (0)11 327 2610
Mobile: +27 (0)83 583 2635