Entrepreneur duo give SA men fashion platform

Cape Town - Africa’s men’s only fashion platform kicks off its second season at the Cape Town Stadium on Thursday, showing 28 menswear brands’ SS16 collections over three days.  

This event is just two weeks ahead of New York’s first menswear fashion week to be launched by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) later in July.  

Two South African entrepreneurs, Ryan Beswick and Simon Deiner, recognised South Africa’s world-class menswear design talent and the absence of a men’s fashion platform, prompting the introduction of SA Menswear Week (SAMW) in February 2015.  

Developing an industry

These mediums provide a platform to showcase local fashion talent, with the entrepreneur duo taking designer’s supply chain support and manufacturing capabilities into account when granting slots to show at the fashion week. 

Cognisant of South Africa’s fashion value chain weakness, only vetted designers have been allowed to show, with no “padded” designers showing at SAMW this season, Deiner says.  

The entrepreneur duo believe fashion weeks create an opportunity for designers to collaborate and leverage their collective buying power. Through collaboration, local designers are closer to affording technologies and lower rates buying raw materials such as fabrics and trim.  

Deiner said that while these projects stimulates the top of the food chain, it drives local design talent forward and eventually trickles down, thereby developing South Africa’s fashion industry at large.  

Men’s fashion and grooming products

Global business intelligence firm Euromonitor said the global men’s apparel market size $40bn and could be the start of a Menaissance, with the industry reportedly growing at 9.9% per annum.  

Men’s beauty products reportedly contribute 15% of Mac Cosmetics’ sales credited to an increased interest in men’s grooming products, particularly moisturisers and select make-up products.  

South African menswear hot to trot

Local design talent MaXhosa by Laduma will show at SAMW's opening night on Thursday.

The brand’s designer, Laduma Ngxokolo, just returned from Florence, having shown at Pitti Uomo, arguably the world’s most important international men’s fashion event. 

MaXhosa’s modern interpretation of traditional Xhosa aesthetic has received great international recognition, with his new range believed to extend beyond his signature knitwear, now including wovens, board shorts and socks. 

Deiner recommended that the fashion world should keep an eye out for local emerging design talent Rich Mnisi and Nigeria’s Orange Culture.  

Tickets for SA Menswear is available through Webtickets.  

The line-up:

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