African and Italian cultures came to life through unique fabrics, prints and timeless pieces of clothing made to accentuate a woman’s figure.
African fashion label Kisua launched their "fusionic" collection on Wednesday night at their new pop-up store in Menlyn Mall in Pretoria.
This style offering was made possible through a groundbreaking collaboration with luxury Italian online retailer Yoox.
Through this partnership, the bold and bright collection was able to transcend borders and integrate elements from both those parts of the world into one single line.
It also allowed African fashion, which was on a steady rise, to be showcased across the world - as not only did the online platform give people worldwide access, it offered distribution centres in most major international cities.
Kisua chief executive Samuel Mansah Jr said the collection was a marriage between the two different cultures.
“It's called the fusionic collection because it’s a fusion of African print with classic Italian silhouettes.”
He told The Star during the collection’s South African launch, following a successful one in New York City last week, that some of his favourite pieces were the maxi-dresses.
One was a creative contrast on a full-length black and white dress paired with splashes of deep blue and orange.
The fabric for this frock was from Ghana.
His other favourite was a sleeveless three-quarter dress with the brown, black and orange fabric being sourced from the Ivory Coast.
“Both of these dresses are inspired by traditional Ndebele paintings,” he enthused.
“The signature of the Kisua brand is African prints in very modern and classic shapes.”
Other pieces at the launch of the store in Menlyn, which Mansah said was opened due to popular demands from shoppers, included a range of other dresses, skirts, pants, blouses and blazers.
While a monochromatic theme prevailed in the collection, another element which united the pieces was the injection of colour, mainly through the African prints.
The fit of the items were also tailored and structured with occasional unexpected detail.
The collection was brought to light by models who posed as live mannequins in the store’s window.
Mansah couldn’t contain his excitement as he urged the invited guests at the launch to enjoy the pieces, which were made in South Africa and created employment for thousands of people in the country.
“I hope you enjoy the collection, these fabrics came a long, long way to meet you,” he said.
The proudly-African fashion label’s journey began back in 2013 when Kisua teamed up with Yoox to make fashion inspired by the continent available to people across the world.
Since then, their pieces have been worn by Beyoncé as well as acclaimed-Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
“We are really happy with our followers and our concept of contemporary fashion,” added Mansah.
With Kisua’s growth since opening its doors, the store now boasts distribution centres on three continents in South Africa, the US and the UK, while Yoox have even more capacity to dispense the products with an even bigger footprint in the global fashion scene.
Mansah was hoping to expand the brand even further and to have a store in every country in Africa as well as all major international cities as he takes the fashion the continent has to offer to the world.
“Africa has 1.2billion people, however, we do not have a single global, international fashion brand from the continent, and that’s what we are working to fix.”
His style advice to women is quite simply: be yourself and enjoy what you are wearing.
“It’s amazing how sexy you look when you are happy,” Mansah was quick to add.