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Innovation at African Fashion Spaces Exhibition

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On the 27th of April, National Freedom Day in South Africa, ‘The African Fashion Spaces Exhibition’ unfolded at Beachwood Gardens in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. The event featured some of South Africa’s great fashion creatives and models, aimed to showcase the diversity and richness of African fashion and heritage within the culture. The serene setting conceptually drew out the essence of each designer by showcasing each brand in their own respective curated runway stage settings as well as creatives to match the brand’s aesthetics.

‘There’s No Running Away In South Africa’ by Long Season. Picture: Supplied
‘There’s No Running Away In South Africa’ by Long Season Image courtesy of IOL Lifestyle

Opening the show, Long Season’s apparel delivered a breath-taking offering that took place at the venue’s tennis court. A clothing brand known for its dedication to family, experimental construction, and comfort – the guests were in for a treat under the electric environment. Creative director of the brand, Kgomotso Kiggy, prepared a modern, slick black matt as a runway for the models with orange, bright beams to create wonder and suspense.

Long Season presented a continuation of ‘There’s No Running Away In South Africa’, a collection dedicated to Kiggy’s late grandmother Tokozile Jane Ndaba, which first run in September 2022. Named after a saying Kiggy’s grandmother would repeat growing up, the show is themed around celebrating the memory of our loved ones and all round reflects the inevitable responsibility we all have towards ourselves and one another, and the needed courage towards progress.

Unveiling A New Era Of Fashion With African Fashion Spaces
‘There’s No Running Away In South Africa’ by Long Season Image courtesy of SA Creatives

The second exhibition by the garden walkway was by OffMankind, a brand that represents the rebellious, non-conformist spirit of South Africa’s inner-city kids. The collection was urban street wear infused with traditional African elements, creating a unique and bold fashion statement. The OffMankind collection reflected the brand’s philosophy of embracing individuality and breaking away from the norm.

The event’s creative director, Jay Kayembe, declared that they wanted to create an experience that was more than just a fashion show, an exhibition platform that would empower the greater creator economy. Further this helps showcase African fashion in a unique and dynamic approach. In future, the show will be held in other African countries. Overall, one of the attributes about the show is that it was not on the traditional runway but was held in a unique space that truly highlighted the creativity and diversity of fashion creatives.

‘OMK SS23 BTS’ by Offmankind Image courtesy of Offmankind’s Instagram

Lelethu Sobekwa was born in Gqeberha, South Africa. She holds a BA Honours in English and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Rhodes University. Lelethu currently writes for Art News Africa.

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