Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
TOP fashion icons Mbo Mahocs and Gilmore Tee are in Cape Town, South Africa where they are attending the South African Menswear Week (SAMW).
The fashion gathering that begins today at the Cape Town stadium ending on Saturday, will see South Africa-based Zimbabwe designer Taf the Taylor (real name Tafadzwa Moyo) showcasing his works.
Now in its third year, SAMW, Africa’s only stand-alone platform dedicated to the development and promotion of menswear within the continent, will feature over 30 designers. Among those participating are established designers and labels such as Craig Port, CSquared, Paledi Segapo and Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs which have been scheduled alongside emerging talents Mzukisi Mbane, Augustine Siviwe James and Neo Serati. Continental designers such as Orange Culture, Tokyo James and Mai Atafo from Nigeria will showcase their lines alongside designers from Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Gilmore Tee said attending the fashion gathering would help them learn how to grow the local fashion industry.
“Through my contacts in South Africa, I facilitate for Zimbabwean designers to showcase on such platforms in that country. I’m excited to continue heading our fashion industry while also bringing a business aspect as the designers get to meet potential buyers.
“We need to change the way we look at art in general and such gatherings are a good start for us,” said Gilmore Tee.
Building on the success of the first two seasons, South African Menswear Week is now considered the leading event in terms of innovation and curation in Africa.
Ryan Beswick, co-founder of SAMW, hopes to build on this foundation.
“Not only did we show the world that the depth of design talent in South Africa and Africa is truly amazing, but we now have media from more than a dozen countries wanting to attend and support the platform.
“The event is really about putting the best menswear on one schedule over the four days, providing the world and media with access to the talent,” he said.
Beswick said the selected designers had been through a rigorous curation process in order for their designs to be considered for the South African Menswear Week.
“All designers undergo a strict curation checklist, ranging from design signature through to their ability to produce. We’re flooded with applications, but only the best make it through the 12-member curation panel, and even then, we only have space to accommodate the 35 best who topped all criteria.”
SAMW takes place twice a year in Cape Town.