Designers to look out for at SAMW Week of Fashion

Imprint’s Spring Summer 2023 collection. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR

Imprint’s Spring Summer 2023 collection. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR

Published Mar 25, 2023


“South African Menswear Week” (SAMW) enters its 17th season building on two successful post-pandemic seasons under the “Week of Fashion” umbrella.

More than 50 designers and 28 graduate designers will showcase their collections over two days of back-to-back runway shows.

This season continues with the biggest and strongest womenswear line-up in South Africa, followed by the traditional “SA Menswear Week” men’s and gender-fluid collections.

Building on the “Week of Fashion” womenswear collections, the line-up has been expanded to include some of South Africa’s biggest names and see old favourites make their way back to the catwalk with full collections and experiential shows.

This continues for “SA Menswear Week” where all our favourites are back for this season, and some new and returning designers round out a full schedule.

We reached out to a few of our favourite designers who will be showcasing their AW23 collections to find out what we can expect to see from them over the weekend.

Sustainable fashion designer Lara Klawikowski says that her collection is truly zero-waste, made from re-fabricated fabric waste and recycled materials.

Lara Klawikowski. Picture: Instagram/Lara Klawikowski

“The patterns were also cut to avoid any further off-cuts ending up in landfills. It’s a tactile collection with an unusual colour palette, inspired by the colours of local fynbos. The proportions are unpredictable but flattering. I’m thrilled to be showcasing some of my runway looks on plus-size/curvy models this season,” Klawikowski says.

Imprint’s AW23 collection is titled “Buyel’ekhaya – The Homecoming” and is a follow-up to their spring/summer collection which was called “Postcards from Africa”.

Imprint’s Spring Summer 2023 collection. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

“The collection tells the story of different African characters in different parts of the world, at different times, from different tribes. All inspired by the idea of coming home. This idea was inspired by what I wanted to communicate with ‘Postcards from Africa’”, says Imprint founder and creative Mzukisi Mbane.

“A collection which was driven by a need for all of us to reconnect with each other, and reconnect with our African roots. Coming from the belief that we all at one point, were together, that Africa gave birth to us all.”

“These collections call for us all to remember who we are. Remember that we exist together for the greater good. And in that energy inspire us to go back home or whatever home is for us. To go back to space where we can be us, be pure and know we have everything we need.”

“You will see us revisit some of our classic silhouettes as a reference to ‘going home’. Expressed in some of the pieces you will feel the energy of the traveller, with specific silhouettes and how we have chosen to style and drape certain pieces. One will also notice in some of our suits and gowns that we didn’t abandon most of the influence the continent has, which has led to a very diverse picture of what Africa is. This collection has a very warm energy, very comforting and very inclusive. A true definition of home,” Mbane says.

“Don’t let winter stop you from dressing up this season” says Ruff Tung designer Bridget Pickering.

“Our AW23 collection celebrates wearable shimmer and shine, easy silhouettes and bold prints. In our Ruff Tung world, winter doesn’t equate to sombre colour palettes,” Pickering says.

Ruff Tung designer Bridget Pickering. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

She says with a fashion nod to non-seasonal dressing, day sequins and bold slouchy kimono coats, the Ruff Tung woman will be stepping confidently into the winter chill.

“This collection features an exquisite range of ready-to-wear sequined garments and unstructured blazers, exemplifying the brand’s commitment to both style and comfort. These versatile pieces are designed to make a statement and accentuate the beauty and confidence of every woman who dons them,” Pickering says.

Her vision for Ruff Tung is deeply rooted in inclusivity, enabling her to create a brand that resonates with women across the globe.

Designers Mawande Mbawuli and Xolani Magadla from the label Xolani Mawande share what we can expect to see from their collection.

Designers Mawande Mbawuli and Xolani Magadla. Picture: Simon Deiner/SDR Photo

“What you can expect from our collection is a celebration of colour, a mixture of patterns and prints and a few solids. As you’ve noticed most of our collections consist of two pieces so this time around we tried to experiment in terms of mixing patterns and prints.

“Making unique outfits as usual and also in seeing that colour is really trending right now. It made us happy as a brand that celebrates colour simply because we live in a very colourful country.”

Other designers showing over the two days include Jacques La Grange, Masa Mara, Stefania Morland, Habits, Ruald Rheeder and Nao Serati.

“South African Menswear Week” is taking place at place at the Wonderland Film Studios in Cape Town, on March 31 and April 1.