Icons of South African fashion design include rule-breakers, visionaries and business entrepreneurs, who, in flexing their creative muscles, have helped create South Africa’s unique design identity. Some have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, while others have shown their designs on catwalks from Cape Town to New York.

Did you know?

Gavin Rajah, the founder of Cape Town Fashion Week, succeeded in getting South African designers to show at Paris Fashion Week.

Icons of South African fashion design include Lucilla Booyzen, who has done so much to help transform South African fashion from the simply frivolous into a successful business. Booyzen is a board member of the World Fashion Council and was the creative force behind the first ever South African Fashion Week in 1997, which she continues to organise each year. SA Fashion Week (SAFW) remains a prestigious event that designers clamour to be part of.

The brain behind the African Fashion International (AFI) group, Dr Moloi-Motsepe is another South African fashion icon who is pushing local fashion forwards. Moloi-Motsepe established Africa Fashion Week, a platform for emerging designers from all over Africa, with the aim getting them on the international fashion map.

Marianne Fassler is an acclaimed and revolutionary South African fashion designer. Sometimes compared to Vivienne Westwood, her Leopard Frock brand continues to reinterpret an African aesthetic in original and innovative ways.

Other doyennes of South African fashion include Jenny le Roux of Habits and Elzbieta Rosenworth, acclaimed for her stylish ready-to-wear couture. Both have been designing their own ranges for many years for multitudes of followers, proving that South African designers can also enjoy commercial success.

Clive Rundle grew up in South Africa and studied fashion design in Johannesburg. An influential designer since the 1980s, Clive is known for his meticulous use of form, line, colour and texture. The controversial but enormously talented Gavin Rajah, and Cape Town-born couturier Errol Arends, are other icons in the history of South African fashion.

Fashion pioneer Nkensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie was one of the first post-democracy designers to prove that it was possible to have a successful home-grown clothing business – and it’s still going strong.

Looking forward, up-and-coming designers like Thulare Monareng, Palesa Mokubang (Montsho), Aniswa Mapungwe (of Loin Cloth & Ashes), Craig Native and Thula Sindi are tipped to become future icons of South African fashion.

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Who to contact

Africa Fashion International
Tel: +27 (0)11 269 6960
Fax: +27 (0)11 269 6980

Elzbieta Rosenwerth
Tel: +27 (0)21 674 2910
Fax: +27 (0)21 683 6725
Email: info@rosenwerth.co.za

Marianne Fassler
Tel: +27 (0)11 646 8387
Email: marianne@leopardfrock.co.za

Clive Rundle
Tel: +27 (0)11 880 3889

Stoned Cherrie
Tel: +27 (0)11 784 7648
Fax: +27 (0)86 624 3853
Email: info@stonedcherrie.co.za

Gavin Rajah
Tel: +27 (0)21 424 7842/9
Email: info@gavinrajah.com

Errol Arendz
Tel: +27 (0)21 461 1385
Fax: +27 (0)21 462 4601
Email: ea@errolarendz.co.za

Africa Fashion International
Tel: +27 (0)11 269 6960
Fax: +27 (0)11 269 6980

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