Madiba and the fashionista

2013-12-08 06:00

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Designer Marianne Fassler tells Charl Blignaut how Mandela smiled when he saw his image on her clothes – and how he influenced global fashion trends

By 1976 Marianne Fassler was so outraged by the violence that greeted the Soweto Uprising that she did not hesitate to use the catwalk to make a political statement. She staged a controversial show using only black models. It’s something international couturiers would only emulate decades later – like her famous use of leopard-print fabric.

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