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Soweto Fashion Week is back ... brighter and bolder Print E-mail
25 May 2017


If the teasers seen on the ramp of the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani on Wednesday night were anything to go by, this year’s Soweto Fashion Week is going to be a blast.

A number of designers gave a taste of what to expect at this year’s three-day African fashion extravaganza, which runs from Thursday May 25 to Saturday May 27.

After a media briefing, almost two dozen models gave a sneak preview of some of the amazing designs that will be on show – from Sophiatown-inspired outfits to bright, bold African prints.

The organisers also used the opportunity to demonstrate their utmost disgust and condemnation of the abuse of women and children in the wake of the murder of Karabo Mokoena and other women over the past few weeks.

At the end of the mini-showcase, models and designers stood in silence, shoulder-to-shoulder, holding placards denouncing the scourge.

“The Soweto Fashion Week stands against women and children abuse. It is about inspiration and empowerment,” said its founder Stephen Manzini.

Manzini’s dream of bringing together designers and fashionistas from around the continent is becoming a reality.

Twenty-four designers from South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland will see 60 models showcasing their creatons at the festival, which is growing in leaps and bounds.

Last year 15 designers and 45 models took part in the show, according to the Soweto Fashion Week Creative Director and Producer Velly Vere.

“In the past we have had designers from Ghana, Nigeria, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Although designers from Nigeria and Ivory Coast did the casting this year, they haven’t confirmed their participation,” Vere said. “But still that’s a lot of designers showcasing this year. Our goal is to empower as many people as we can.”

Designers such as Loyiso Dyantyi and Tsholofelo Moitsheki, whose children’s lines will be showcased for the first time on Friday May 26, were full of optimism.

Dyantyi said he was plucked from obscurity by the organisers of the Soweto Fashion Week while selling his designs at a market. Some of his creations have since received rave reviews in cities such as Vancouver in Canada. “Thank you Soweto Fashion Week for giving us such opportunities,” said Dyantyi.

Moitsheki of Classy Couture said she drew inspiration from her 12-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter. “This has been three years in the making. I’m excited to introduce the youngsters to African prints, to showcase the hip-hop-inspired teen range for boys and the African princess for girls,” she said.

Her future plans include taking the brand overseas. “I’m already in talk with Urban Zulu and some people in France,” she said.

All shows start at 7pm.

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