Joburg influencing global fashion trends

Published Jan 16, 2017


Currently, Joburg sets the benchmark for many trends and the fashion street style scene influences fashion trends around South Africa, Africa and the world. Joburg remains the leading hub of creativity for me. I turn to it as a source of inspiration for fashion, art and to feed off the creative energy that hangs in the air everywhere you go.

There is the Maboneng precinct, which is my favourite hangout spot when I visit. Situated in the heart of the city, here you will find colourful and intriguing public art that breathes life into old buildings. There are also a number of contemporary eateries and bars to choose from, offering anything from traditional African cuisine to fine dining. These spots are frequented by young and old, a combination of locals and visitors.

When it comes to dress code, there is no common thread individuality is celebrated. There are fashion thrifters, who take pride in their vintage finds. There are the satorialists who, come rain or shine, are always suited up, and then there is a kaleidoscope of individuals whose style you can’t box. Some will be dressed in clashing colours and patterns, with equally interesting hairstyles, while others are void of any colour, their styles changinge like the weather. The are mostly influenced by the trends they see on social media influencers that vary from style bloggers to street style photographers from here and around the world.

On social media networks, mainly Instagram, fashion influencers, stylists and bloggers such as Trevor Stuurman,

Simply Palesa and the Prime Obsession duo Keneilwe Mothoa and Shelley Mokoena have set a high benchmark that has a worldwide following.

There are also rising stars in the fashion creative scene who stand out for their sense of style.

I asked two Joburg-based young creatives, fashion entrepreneur Wendy Ntinezo and creative style influencer Siya Fonds, to share their views on the current Joburg street style.

Wendy Ntinezo on her style: “My style is laid-back and I love the tomboy look because it’s so comfortable and easy to achieve. What influences my style is everyday experiences and the people I see. I take away what I like from different individuals, but mostly I look at what men are wearing and I am inspired by how they choose to dress and present themselves to the world.

“It’s more than putting on ‘dope’ outfits or clothes for me, but I find it quite fascinating what people choose to wear every day. I believe that your choice as an individual reflects your experiences in life and your clothes tells your story - as an individual we narrate our own stories subconsciously,” she says.

Her take on the current Joburg street style scene: “At the moment the fashion scene on the streets is very interesting because people are starting to realise their individualism and they are staying true to who they are and what they like, which is quite fascinating

to see.

“People are still following

trends which is good because it informs us where the world is and where it’s going, but it’s now all about being comfortable. I love fashion and style because it’s a different form of communication.

Siya Fonds says: “The hustle and bustle of Joburg doesn’t only entail working hard and living large. In the process of trying to make ends meet we see Joburg street style scene growing immensely and rapidly and has reached a state where it influences global trends.

“Not too long ago the dressing in vintage styles was big thing. However, next it was not just a trend anymore but it became a new movement and love for fashion that rose in the city of Joburg.

“We saw people taking to the streets rocking ‘brave’ looks or rather looks that people are not familiar with. Those people went on to be major influencers for the current trends at the moment.

“The love of fashion comes from different areas in Joburg, mostly the townships and the influence is mostly taken from the guys who are always dressed up and living their best lives. There are certain areas that influence Joburg street style the most such as, Braamfontein, affectionately known as Braam.

“This is one of the places that played a crucial role then and now.

“Braam has played a pivotal role in the streets of Joburg with style influencers living in and around Braam, meeting up in Braam for coffee or just catching up on the streets lifestyle,” Fonds said.

This dates to 2012 when the first market called Grove Market was opened in Braamfontein. Frequented by the “cool kids”, it become the IT place for hooking up, they had open clothing stalls which contributed to the now street life movement.

“Braam became the place to be for the hip and happening young crowds. People from all walks of life gathered here to share their style and their eccentric way of life. This all happened when word of mouth was more prominent than social media.

“Currentlyw the Joburg street style scene influences fashion trends around South Africa, Africa and the world. This has been validated by international bloggers such as The Satorialist and Art Comes First visiting Braam and Soweto in search of street style influencers to document and showcase worldwide, putting us on an international platform.

“Today you do not need to be in a group or dress up like everyone else to be considered cool or stylish be you, be unique.”

* Connect with Wendy on Instagram @wendy_ntinezo; and Siya on Instagram @siyafonds

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