South African men’s fashion designers
From a less educated perspective, the South African men’s fashion scene might seem about as burgeoning as our clothing manufacturing industry: for the most part we’re content with other people just doing the work for us (proudly British! Wait…).
But good attempts there are. Let this post guide you through the designers that are bravely tackling the country’s fashion backlog to propel us out of the nationalist era shirt-matches-the-ceiling-fan mindset and into the 21st century!
Amanda Laird Cherry
This designer hasn’t done any men’s pieces since 2008-09, but I wish she would start again. She includes interesting elements such as:
A ghostly floral pattern. Very nice.
A doily cape! No one incorporates fusty tableware into fashion with so much style.
A basic but elegant shirt with an enlarged collar.
Fantastic use of Shweshwe! Usually this white-on-blue Three Cats logo is found at the back of Three Cats Shweshwe, but here it’s part of an outfit. This gets us Shweshwe fiends at Saccaggi all hot under the collar (in the good sense).
Amanda, be responsible. Do more men’s items.
Ephymol (S/S 2014)
Ephraim Molingoane’s Ephymol is one of the more prominent labels in South African men’s fashion, consistently delivering well-constructed Afro-dandyist pieces.
In this collection, he couples asymmetrical paneling and a great choice of materials and prints with traditional patterns from the ‘50s and ‘70s.
Paledi Segapo founded Palse in 2010, so is somewhat of a newcomer to the local scene. Admittedly, it was difficult for me to find something I liked among the blaring prints and chromed fabrics, but I’ll be fascinated with whoever could wear this with the correct measure of tongue-in-cheek.
From his Autumn Winter 2014 collection:
JD by Shaldon Kopman (S/S 2014)
Shaldon Kopman has a very international, urban style. While I personally wouldn’t wear any of his looks as they are presented on the runway, he shows some rather nice individual pieces that are, from what I hear, priced to be accessible as well.
Loxion Kulca by Wandi Nzimande was one of the first, if not the first, contemporary South African fashion brands. Loxion is unashamedly Afro-punk.
MaXhosa by Laduma
Laduma Ngxokolo’s knitwear was created with Xhosa initiates in mind, who are supposed to wear new and dignified clothing for six months after their initiation. With MaXhosa, they can do just that while still keeping in touch with their heritage. The prints are amazing and all articles are woven in South Africa from merino wool and mohair. Seriously incredible.
Last, but not in the bit least, is Skorzch – the latest addition to the South African menswear scene. It was founded by Zano Sithetho with one objective in mind: to deliver well-constructed, classic cuts that appeal to the modern South African man looking for a bit of swank.
Hmm. Perhaps the menswear market is burgeoning. The market may not be as varied for men as it is for the ladies, but it’s certainly lively. I’m seeing more shiny suiting than I’d like, but hopefully as fashion houses mature and new designers start appearing we’ll soon start to see some more world-class stuff!
Now, I hear you thinking ‘but where’s Stiaan Louw?’. Well, Stiaan’s been very naughty. While he frequently does interesting conceptional pieces (ahem:
he hasn’t put out a consistent, wearable men’s collection in a while. Not that I would mind wearing anything from his ‘Homme Boy’ collection (above), but still.
If there are any designers that you think ought to be on here, do point out which.
Amanda Laird Cherry: http://www.amandalairdcherry.com
Ephymol to Loxion; Skorzch: http://www.safashionweek.co.za
Stiaan Louw: http://www.renaissancemensa.blogspot.com
Entry by Christiaan Naudé