South Africa is following the vanguard of international fashion weeks and dedicating a special week to mens fashion. They are inviting five of our best menswear designers to show. Starting from the 3rd of February down to the 7th, the the four day showcase and exhibition will feature twenty five designers from across Africa. Before the shows begin, let’s get you acquainted.
Mai Atafo recently brought a Saville Row tailor to retrain his team after just a year of training. With that kind of preparation, Africa’s self professed best bespoke tailor knows exactly what is at stake at this inaugural SA Mens. He will bring it just like he always does.
Bayo Oke-Lawal’s label has expanded to include a licensed street wear line and a diffusion line so Orange Culture has a lot riding on this opportunity to properly introduce both brands to the international market. Oke-Lawal’s experiments with volume and androgyny will definitely continue with his next collection.
Kola Kuddus is known for his interpretation of Kaftans, agbadas and other traditional Nigerian menswear silhouettes. He showed his Autumn 15 collection at the Joburg International Fashion Week and is making a triumphant return at this year’s SA Mens. He got invited back so he must be doing something right.
Papa Oyeyemi’s Maxivive is known for its flashes of brilliance usually interspersed with run of the mill clothing. His last collection ‘Arodan’ saw him play with deconstruction of the basic man’s trouser, using belt holes as embellishments on pants and shirts. He also returned to PVC with much better results. As he shows his A/W 16 look, we hope he stops hesitating and dive all the way in with his ideas.
Tokyo is the real green ear of the this group, only having one collection to his name. His Spring 2015 catalogue featured wool knits and plush white fringed jackets (which seemed somewhat hard to comprehend given the season it seemed targeted for) but considering the brand’s creative director Tokyo James is a seasoned stylist and the editor of Nigerian magazine, Made, his future collections will shed the need to surprise and solely work on impressing. His AW 16 collection will be strongly watched out for.
South African Menswear fashion has evolved to a point where the market sustains the designers, hopefully this trip will allow our designers tap into that market.