SA Fashion Week finds a new home at Mall of Africa for its upcoming digital and live showcases

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Models walk in Isabel de Villiers fashion during the Isabel de Villiers Fashion Show on Day Two of the South Africa Fashion Week 2019 Luxury Collection in Sandton, South Africa. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
Models walk in Isabel de Villiers fashion during the Isabel de Villiers Fashion Show on Day Two of the South Africa Fashion Week 2019 Luxury Collection in Sandton, South Africa. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
  • South African Fashion Week (SAFW) and Mall of Africa will be launching their recently concluded three-year partnership by staging South Africa’s first hybrid designer collections showcase this year.
  • In recognition of the COVID-19 requirements for social distancing, the ground-breaking fashion event will combine a three-day streaming programme of 26 digital runway shows from 22 – 24 October.
  • Tickets for the broadcast are available from Computicket and will be on sale from the 24th September. 

Sandton City has been home to South African Fashion Week for the past few years, and now SAFW looks forward to some changes to their upcoming showcases. 

The SAFW Trade Show will take place in the Crystal Court at the Mall of Africa with more than fifty designers of mens- and womenswear as well as accessories ranging from footwear and handbags to costume jewellery and millinery from 1 – 3 November and the SAFW Pop Up Shop where fashion enthusiasts will be able to interact and buy directly from all the participating designers from 27 – 29 November, also in the mall’s Crystal Court. 

"This hybrid combination of both a digital and live fashion experience allows us to navigate the complexities of trading and doing business effectively whilst simultaneously being highly mindful of the safety aspects associated with the pandemic," says SAFW director, Lucilla Booyzen. 

READ MORE: No bras, no heels, no runways: How the pandemic has changed our relationship with fashion

According to Lucilla, the 2020 SAFW Collections are trans-seasonal in line with international trends toward collections that incorporate both cool and warm weather elements. They are also increasingly representing a move towards a “slow fashion” ethos of timeless design and sustainable production.

"While the move toward cleaner fashion production in South Africa still faces many challenges, there is a very real commitment from many designers to pursue this very necessary transition to a new fashion order.

"The designer community is predominantly SMME’s, they all employ small contingents of artisans such as seamstresses and pattern makers. It has been a superhuman challenge for these businesses to stay afloat and retain jobs in the absence of any trade or cash flows. This opportunity to showcase their collections in preparation for summer is vital," says Lucilla. 

SAFW's director also indicates that sponsorships have become more critical to sustainability than ever before, which is why their partnerships with Mall of Africa, Vodacom Red, Cruz Vodka and Carlton Hair are highly treasured.

"Mall of Africa is the home of South African fashion. Part of our long term strategy is to support African designers and fashion entrepreneurs by providing exposure to a formal retail environment, in a Super Regional mall that assists them with foot fall, marketing and mentorship," she adds.

Katleho Mahloane, who is the Executive Head of Division: Segment Marketing comments; “Vodacom’s flagship Red contract plans have evolved to give much more value and exclusive benefits to those who expect more, much like SAFW which delivers a better show with every year. We are therefore excited to be a partner in what is SA’s first virtual showcase of the finest fashion through the great talent the shows attract."

READ MORE: SA designers including Laduma, Mmuso Maxwell contribute R1 Billion to GDP, according to new study

"This partnership will also allow us to support the industry through our participation and allow our VIP Red customers a front-row experience at what promises to be an exclusive event, and an African first. SAFW is equally committed to this process and is facilitating greater collaboration between designers and downstream value chain through our partnerships with, among others, the SA Mohair cluster and Cape Wools SA as well as weavers and knitters," Lucilla says.

The SAFW Digital Collections will run from 22 - 24 October 2020. Look out for W24's detailed reviews on SAFW shows.

Compiled by Afika Jadezweni

Additional information supplied by SA Fashion Week

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