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Mixing it up...Soweto-Style

Fashion
Soweto Fashion week is on again this month, bringing you the Autumn/Winter collection. Long-standing designers will be presenting new faces on the ramp, while new designers will be showing off some of their best work.

“You can expect the talents of our new and long-standing designers and new faces/models on the ramp, with some performances in-between without overshadowing the fashion showcased,” said Mpumi Ngwenga, one of SFW’s creative directors.

On new designers, look forward to the likes of Tsholo Moitsheki, Shaina Diana and Sibu FDB just to name a few, who will be showcasing for the first time. Tsholo from Alberton is the founder of Classy Couture, a label she started three years ago by making clothes for herself and friends, but this time, she's mainly focusing on kids.

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Shaina Washe, one of the designers who will be showcasing at the SFW. Picture: Supplied.

"I will be showcasing trendy outfits for kids. My collection ranges from torn jeans, spray painted and a mix of African print. However, my African print is not your usual one where kids match to look like their mothers, but an alternative exclusively for kids," said Moisheki.

Sibu FDB of Rockville in Soweto is also one of the designers showcasing for the first time. He will be showcasing his bright winter collection, "Vie en couleur" (live in colour).

Sibu said his collection will bring more life to this year's winter range, unlike the usual "dark and dull" colours people normally wear in winter.

Another newcomer Diana Washe, promises the industry fantastic accessories.

The Zimbabwe-born designer, who has been in the industry for four years says she's ready to change the fashion game using African fabrics.

”What makes us different is that we are here to change the fashion narrative about African fabrics. Expect a whole lot of contemporary African accessories and affordable luxury pieces. I am very excited to be showcasing at the prestigious SFW and I believe this is a stepping stone to more fashion shows to come. So excited to be mixing and mingling with other designers,” said Washe.

Sneak-peek, kid's dress by Tsholo Moitsheki using African prints.


There will be new models on the ramp as well. Keitumetse Nonyana from Soweto and Mary Majola from Leonadale both aim to create names for themselves in the industry.

Majola, who has only been a model for four months is very excited and hopes to inspire more fuller- figured girls to get into modelling.

“I’m super excited because I've always wanted to be a model but didn’t have the means because I am big and growing up; there’s always been a perception that beauty is thin.

"It has been packaged for so many years that in order to be a model you have to look a certain way, and I think it’s about time we become comfortable in our own skin,” she said.

"I’ve been going to the gym but not to lose weight, just to stay healthy.

Mary Majola, one of the new models who will be on the ramp. Picture: Supplied

"I’ve always been big, I don’t know myself in any other way. Being granted the opportunity to be on SFW will definitely open more doors for me, and I hope it will also inspire other big girls who wish to be models as well,”added Nonyana.

From the veterans who have been in the game for more than five years, FreshWear and Dejavu will be showcasing kids' range. Collen Monnakgotla of FreshWear will be showcasing a kid’s range in three different looks: casual, semi-formal and formal. And Funeka Angel Sukazi of Dejavu will be presenting kids' range covered in fur.

Founded in 2011, Soweto Fashion Week has been a platform for upcoming and established designers in South Africa to showcase their craft. One of its aims is to "introduce a change in the face of modeling and Fashion Week runways in South Africa".

Funeka Sukuzi, a designer for seven years now is one of the people who grew and benefited from the SFW movement.

Funeka Sukazi. Picture: Supplied.

“Soweto Fashion Week has really helped me grow; it opened my eyes and I’ve traveled a lot with them. They’ve also been very helpful with marketing,” said Sukazi.

The Soweto Fashion Week will take place at the Soweto Theatre from May 24-28.

On the last day, designers will get an opportunity to sell their garments, engage and create some clientele. Tickets cost R80 and are available at Computicket and Webtickets. For more information, visit sowetofashionweek.com

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