The Woolworths initiative acknowledges the notable strides made by designers in the local fashion industry and provides a platform for more local stories to be told through fashion. It also helps to make South African designers and brands more accessible and recognisable to consumers.
Thebe Magugu is a multi-talented designer, photographer and stylist from Kimberley, South Africa. His designs are strongly influenced by the prominent female figures in his life. His creativity thrives in dualities, designing garments that beautifully balance unexpected juxtapositions. Sleek, forward looking-design intersects with motifs from Africa’s richly storied past to create sophisticated, multifaceted garments that are as valuable and interesting as the women wearing them.
MmusoMaxwell is the vibrant brand by duo Maxwell Buko and Mmuso Potsane. The pair joined forces in 2016 and have been regular features at fashion weeks throughout South Africa. Their bold, unconventional use of colour and patterns has awarded them international acclaim, leading to a feature in Vogue Italia.
The autumn/winter collection from MmusoMaxwell marries contemporary culture with African heritage. This is achieved through the use of interesting cuts and shapes paired with fabrications like cotton poplin, crepes and melton. The collection draws inspiration from the women in central Johannesburg who sell fruit and veg at the intersections in the city, particularly their distinct style.
The Wanda Lephoto label, a part of the multidisciplinary creative collective The Sartists is spearheaded by two designers: Wanda Lephoto, its namesake, and Kabelo Kungwane. The two have infused the brand with a strong sense of storytelling. There are strong narratives in the brand’s style which is derived from their modern observation of traditional culture.
This blend of past and present is especially prevalent in the t-shirts featuring barber and salon themed artwork created by a local Johannesburg street artist.
Sthembiso Mchunu and Siyabonga Ngcamu founded The Watermelon Social Club in 2016. The brand is heavily guided by the streetwear movement. Bold prints combine with unisex silhouettes to form a style that is on trend with a timeless effortlessness.
The autumn/winter collection is a modern twist on Zulu culture with strong influences from both their heritage and present-day experiences shining through, similarly to Masikandi, a South African new age music genre which mixes Zulu folk music with a digital sound.
The Style by SA AW18 collection will be available online on the evening of Tuesday, 23 October 2018 and in select Woolworths stores (Cavendish, Mall of Africa and Sandton) from Wednesday 24 October 2018.