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OOver the years, contemporary fashion design in South Africa has simply exploded. Rather than following overseas trends, local designers are looking inward and making important creative statements about what it means to be fashionably South African with their take on affordable, local and trendy design.

More than ever before, designers are emerging onto the scene and offering more choice than ever when it comes to affordable, local and trendy design. Contemporary fashion designers in South Africa have a sense of pride and with that comes a renaissance of creativity.

Did You Know?
LLoxion Kulca is street slang for “Location Culture” – a reference to the apartheid government's designation of townships as “locations”.

SSuch creativity spans from choice of fabric used, selection of colours implemented into the designs, beads and other cultural aspects used as inspiration in making unique South African pieces and so much more. When you think of unique and cultural South African attire, it varies from culture to culture.

FFor a fashionable ethnic look, dashikis, traditional garbs embellished in beads, brightly coloured materials made from nwenda fabric and paired with trousers are the perfect examples.

In the Indian culture, saris and sherwanis are quite common for special occasions such as weddings, but that hasn’t stopped this unique sense of Indian couture to hit the runways at fashion shows and land up in exclusive boutiques. In the Muslim community, wearing hijabs or scarfs is quite common and quite the “in” thing too.

Of course it’s hard to forget the icons of South African fashion design including Lucilla Booyzen, who has done so much to help transform South African fashion from the simply frivolous into a successful business. Another notable fashion icon is the legendary Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the brain behind the African Fashion International (AFI) group. Moloi-Motsepe established Africa Fashion Week, a platform for emerging designers from all over Africa, with the aim getting them on the international fashion map.

To add to these iconic designers, each year, LISOF, South Africa’s leading fashion design school, produces more talented people to contribute to the ever-growing and exciting fashion design landscape in South Africa.

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