There’s long been the argument that for the African fashion industry as whole to make the moves necessary for it to become a global force, it must divest itself of the need to compete and demean other brands in the same space and openly collaborate.
It must become a single cohesive organism as much of Europe’s ‘competing’ brands (many of them are owned by single consortiums providing high and low end alternatives and furthering the public image of competition and brand loyalty to boost sales). South African brands are proving this really is the way forward and right now no brand is doing more towards collaborative fashion than Orange Culture and Rich Mnisi.
Mnisi, the South African wunderkind has a ridiculous amount of balls up in the air. Since he graduated from the prestigious LISOF in 2014 he has quickly gained international repute, helping lead a new wave of agendered South African designers willing to challenge all the preconceived conventions. But this year he has changed tack, expanding his vision through collaborations with other designers. First off was his collaboration with Theba Magugu,shown at the South Africa Menswear Week.
At the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg Spring 17 showcase he debuted his a diffusion line R by Rich Mnisi in collaboration with South African model and actor Maps Maponyane. The collection is obviously inspired by the French art and culture scene and Mnisi translates this excellently through high waisted dress slacks, with give at the hips. Sheer turtlenecks in blue and saffron are tied delicately at the waist with silk scarves. Berets slung low at the back of the head, iridescent pants and blouson style duster jackets.
This collection is less adventurous that the Rich Mnisi parent line, but then again it takes into consideration the personal aesthetic of Maponyane who has made a name of himself as an alternative sex symbol. It is rack ready.
Simon Deiner/SDR Photo