SOUTH AFRICA FASHION WEEKAutumn/Winter 2023 Part 1

SOUTH AFRICA FASHION WEEKAutumn/Winter 2023 Part 1

Image Credit Amanda Laird Cherry on Instagram
The Spice Route reimagined in cloth – at Amanda Laird Cherry


All Image Credit South Africa Fashion Week and South Africa Fashion Week on Instagram, Designers on Instagram


An extravaganza where bold African vibrancy rubbed shoulders with extraordinary design acumen took place at the uber-glamorous Mall of Africa in Sandton, Johannesburg towards the end of October 2022. Here 27 of the top local design talents showcased their new collections on the runway, after which 40 designers exhibited at a prestigious Trade Show in the Crystal Court. Celebrating 41 seasons of spectacular fashion this October, legendary South Africa Fashion Week creative director Lucilla Booyzen is as committed today to nurturing and supporting designer entrepreneurs and giving them a platform to access the local and global fashion industry as she was at the conception of this incredible initiative.

As ever the shows were characterized by a re-imagining of African themes and unique cultural references in a very contemporary way. The unashamed use of bold primary colours has always been a trademark of SAFW, and this season was no different. Similarly, the extraordinary display of pattern and print make these collections unmistakably African – joyous and cheery beyond belief! From exquisite tailoring to avant-garde ready-to-wear ensembles and inspired accessories – hats, headpieces, scarves, shawls, jewellery, bags and footwear that speak of ease, glamour and sophistication – were marvel-worthy! The shows weren’t only a visual feast for the eyes, they were also fully committed to slow and sustainable fashion and gender and body inclusivity, in other words beauty with the full satisfaction that our environment was at the forefront of all the planning, design, manufacture and display!

Sit back and enjoy a snippet of African sunshine, where colours on offer will never be too bright or exotic for those long, beautiful summer (and winters) days and balmy evenings … (Oh, and do get in touch with the individual designers for your own piece of African magic.)

Image Credit Helon Melon on Instagram helonmelonct 📷 @emp_cyclone


But first, let’s have a sneaky peek BEHIND THE SCENES …


Image Credit Bam Collective on Instagram @conniemore_official @pierre.tography @safashionweek
Bam Collection backstage

Image Credit The Bam Collection on Instagram @conniemore_official @pierre.tography




Always aiming to reference her cultural roots, Amanda Laird Cherry draws inspiration from Durban’s iconic spice market and the vivid structural patterns created by the pyramid-like mounds of spice displays. This is translated into the collection’s exaggerated woven cut-outs as well its vibrant colours mixed with traditional and iconic South African isiShweshwe cloth.



Feminine and organic aesthetics that appeal to an ageless contemporary market are Durban-based Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu’s fingerprint. We particularly adore the romantic and opulent bold gold frills!


MICHAEL LUDWIG STUDIOS @michaelludwigstudio

Michael Ludwig Studios’ Self-Sapien range for Autumn/ Winter 2023 works within its signature East meets Africa sensibility, with the collection aiming to replace binary stereotypes & gender roles, using bright colours and abstract printing techniques to great effect.

Worn by @christelene.celestino ,Captured by @eunicedriverphotography. Modeled by @caley.nkosi
Azure beauty! At Michael Ludwig Studio on Instagram


ARTCLUB AND FRIENDS @artclubandfriends

Designer Robyn Keyser’s Artclub & Friends presented a trans-seasonal and timeless collection using future-orientated materials and construction techniques. Their conceptual pieces “tell stories of a future we are dreaming of creating and of the cities we can expect to live in”. Looking at this collection, we’re more than convinced the future is bright!




Part of the ‘Fashion Bridges’ collaboration between Italy and South Africa, DROMe’s sophisticated minimalist avant-garde leather and denim compositions transported us into a fantasy future of oversized shoulders and low-slung trousers that looked oh-so contemporary.


RUBICON @rubiconclothing

Rubicon’s AW ’23 Collection taps into their Venda cultural heritage and physical landscape to express the resilience, power and strength of women who, like water, adapt to challenges by discovering new paths to flow smoothly. We adore the yellow marbled textile prints juxtaposed by the black leather patchwork.


MUNKUS @munkus_

Designer Thando Ntuli pays homage to her mother in her AW 23 collection called My Mother. She says, “women are a kaleidoscope of colours. From darkness and cold, women bring light and warmth. Women bring life to any room entered.” She goes on to say, “I combine various weights of cotton fabric, from light and airy to heavier such as bull denim, to convey each persona (masculine and feminine). There is a focus on technical detail and pops of conceptual print imagery of my mother.” We love the oversized lavender imagery on the skirts!


BLACK COFFEE @blackcoffeefashionza

Black Coffee’s AW23 collection reimagines closet staples and combines them with vegan bags and accessories. The collection includes utilitarian shapes as well as floaty, exaggerated silhouettes. The sculptural ‘wings’/ sleeves and collars on many pieces make us want to take off and soar high above the clouds … We adore the cobalt blue pops of blue sky and white ‘clouds’ too!


HELON MELON @helonmelonct

Helon Melon’s AW 23 is all about the brightness of Cape Town, executed in lightweight, compostable fabrics that allow the palette to express movement and joy. We adore the crisp whites, pastels, textured bags and snazzy sunshades! All very ‘must-have’-able!


BELHAUZEN @belhauzen

Celebrating freedom and femininity (and in particular audacious women!) Behauzen’s AW 2023 collection uses natural and recycled fabrics and seasonless styling that can be dressed up or down and worn throughout the year. These designs are elegant, visually powerful and above all, sustainable, timeless and luxurious. This season Belhauzen collaborated with like-minded Italian sneaker brand, Culture of Brave.


THE BAM COLLECTION @bamcollective

A luxury brand that always aims to push the boundaries of quirky glamour, The Bam Collective explores the commercial and conceptual boundaries that clothes hold, inspired by the liveliness of the South Africans it surrounds itself with and the emotional connection we have with the clothes we wear. We particularly adore the subtle sky blue and charcoal printed textiles!

Image Credit Bam Collection on Instagram, model: @osue_suzy @eunicedriverphotography @lrphotographysa

Image Credit Bam Collective on Instagram


ERRE @errefashion

Known for their bold use of monochromatic colour, Erre creates powerful silhouettes in classic, figure-flattering styles. Effortlessly meeting the needs of a multifaceted lifestyle, with a flexible, inclusively sized range, these pieces are beyond glamorous and oh-so wearable!




Enhle Mbali’s AW 23 Essie collection takes its cue from the edgy globetrotter and international jetsetter. Simple, exciting fashion-forward silhouettes imagine new frontiers and are infused with the designer’s ethos of “keep moving forward to push boundaries, never stop.”




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