South African Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022 collections kicked off on Thursday, April 28 at the Mall of Africa in Midrand.
It has been three years since most fashionistas attended the fashion week live shows, and many were interested to see what the designers have been working on, especially the ones showcasing for the first time.
As per tradition, emerging designers who entered the New Talent Search competition were the first to showcase their collections under the theme “Show Us Your Print”.
The top five finalists were Munkus, Ipikoko, MeKay Designs, Czene.24 and Sixx6.
They all did their best and presented amazing collections to a panel of judges consisting of industry experts like designer Thula Sindi, fashion editor Sahil Harilal, fashion buyer Sumendra Chetty, buying manager Bonolo Moleme and brand consultant Eddie Marquez.
The designers went big on sustainability, using offcuts, hand-painted prints and crotchet bags. There was a lot going on that runway, and it was beautiful to watch. Unfortunately, there could only be one winner, Thando Ntuli of Munkus.
And I must say, as much as I liked all the other designers, I was secretly hoping for Munkus to win and was happy when she did.
After the show, I quickly rushed backstage to chat with her, but she was already outside doing interviews, and when it was my turn, I couldn’t help but notice how overwhelmed she was. You could tell that she was going through emotions but kept her cool because all cameras were on her.
For a person whose brand is only three years old, Ntuli is doing amazing. It was her second time entering the competition. She tried her luck last year but didn’t make it to the finals, but that didn’t stop her from trying. If anything, it pushed her to work even harder.
“I entered again this year because I wanted to push myself and get my name out there in the industry. I found that Munkus could use the platform. Munkus is big on print and colour, and I felt that the brief this year was really a part of what my brand was,” she says.
The winning collection that she presented is titled “Sisendleleni”, which is about exploring the journey to self.
“The whole collection is based on finding who you are, the best version of yourself and being able to express that through clothing, whether it’s layering up or taking it down. It’s an escape from the reality norms that allows you to be the person you want,” Ntuli explains.
As the winner of the New Talent Search 2022, Ntuli wants to focus on growing her brand and continue to tell her stories using fashion. She says her brand was inspired by the important women in her life.
“Munkus was inspired by the generational line of women in my life. I always had a space where women allowed me to express myself, to be loved, to be proud, and I felt like Munkus was an escape in terms of what I wore, having bright colours. An escape where I could feel the way I feel being at home and being my most natural, comfortable self,” she says.
Ntuli walks away with a total prize value of R45 500 and will be part of next year’s New Talent Search. All the other finalists will receive a free stand at the SS22 Trade Show, where they can do market research and sell to boutiques, departmental stores, and online stores.