The South African Fashion industry has really come a long way and has grown tremendously – from the design, manufacturing, retail, recruitment and to the media – it currently generates an income of several billion rands which is very impressive for our economy, and is currently the fifth largest employment sector in the country today. This country prides itself and has a bold new vision for the fashion industry which is critical for its growth. Giants of the industry and local clothing stores are engaging local designers to give them the support they need and to bring their beautiful work to the public’s eye by supporting the South African Fashion Week and by having some of their clothing collection in-stores.
We all know that in the past few years fashion design in South Africa has grown at a remarkable rate. What we now know as Icons of South African design, such as Darryl Jagga, Kara Janx, Abigail Keats, Hendrik Vermeulen, Nkhensani Manganyi, Lana Marks, Victor Stiebel and Gavin Rajah are making important statements both locally and on an international scale, about what it means to be a local fashion designer and fashionably being South African – the aim is to redefine the African identity through the use of bold, urban, and undeniably proudly South African designs.
A bold statement that says “we are here and here to stay” has been made loud and clear by this industry and it has opened many doors for emerging fashion designers. We now see young designers such as Thula Sindi and Atang Tshikare who are determined to acquire success on the local and on the global scale. South Africans need to support local fashion design talent.