When you think of South African fashion and its creative design community, there is only one brand synonymous with both: SA Fashion Week. With a celebrated 21 year history, SA Fashion Week continues to tell designer stories nationally and internationally, on and off the runway.


The South African Fashion Week is the driving force behind structuring, strengthening and growing a consciousness of the enormous socio-economic value of a vibrant South African fashion design culture.


SAFW, the only Business to Business platform in Africa, markets the designer collections to the buyers, media, celebrities and the designer bespoke clients. This season, SAFW will open its doors to 34 designers showing their Spring/Summer Collections on the runway, and 50 labels trading wholesale at the SAFW Trade Show which runs parallel to the runway collections.


The core of SS19, The Luxury Collections, is to redefine and highlight the meaning of luxury in African fashion.


In celebration of its official coming of age, the South African Fashion Week twenty-one years book looks back over 21 years of fostering the development of a vigorous local designer culture.


This is more than a story about the audacious, stylish and smart coming of age of a glamourous platform called South African Fashion Week. It’s about spooling back to 1997, revisiting the development and growth of an indigenous fashion design culture and capturing the journey of SA’s dynamic fashion evolution.
The book, a permanent record that shares 21 years of fashion, celebrates the fashion design talent we have in South Africa. Starting with Spring Summer 2018, it takes you back to our beginnings in 1997. We have included the front rows, social moments, our media, celebrities and audiences that have played such a vital role through the years.

This was more than a story about the audacious, stylish and smart coming of age of a glamourous platform called South African Fashion Week.



Johannesburg is the leading city in designer ladies fashion in Africa, followed by Cape Town and Durban. Our designer businesses are growing from strength to strength, despite all the challenges, like manufacturing, availability of textiles and lack of financial support.


With the focus on research through the different retail streams created by SA Fashion Week, designers are getting to know their market and their consumers.

Twenty ladies wear labels are showing their collections at the SS19 Collections.


The growth spurt of menswear over the past five years suggests men in South Africa have become increasingly more fashion conscious. Men are willing to invest more in what they wear each season, and, realising that self-presentation is an important tool in business and in leisure, they are becoming increasingly conscious of sending out the right signals in their business


This year marks the seventh year of two days devoted to men’s dress. Seventeen luxury labels are showing their menswear collections this season.


The Woolworths Style By SA showcase will open the 34th season of SA Fashion Week. In a fitting finale to this ground‐breaking collaboration that has built a significant retail presence for local design over the past 3 years, the show will include internationally acclaimed Thebe Magugu as well as Mmusomaxwell and Wanda Lephoto.

The broad‐based consumer exposure that this initiative gave to South African design will have a major and ongoing positive impact on the industry despite coming to an end this season. We salute Woolworths for their bold vision and continued support.
Since its inception in April 2017, 17 designers have supplied selected Woolworths stores.
Both Thebe and 2018 SAFW New Talent Search winners, MMUSOMAXWELL, are currently stocked in luxury boutique, Luminance.


In line with the South African Wool Industry’s strategy to promote the exquisite luxury of sustainably-produced wool as a highly desirable designer fibre, Cape Wool SA will once again join forces with womenswear brand Erre and Carlo Gibson’s menswear brand Klipa.
This collaboration affords established luxury designers the opportunity to show two fully sponsored collections at SA Fashion Week. It celebrates outstanding talent, recognises design excellence and gives credit to designers who are successful in business.

SA Fashion Week’s competitions are an undeniable springboard for young designers. The aim of SA Fashion Week competitions is to assist talented designers, with the potential for commercial growth, to start making the transition from a developing creative business to a sustainable business that can play a role in the Creative Fashion Industry, create jobs, wealth and contribute to the GDP of the country.

Since its initiation, in 2012, the Scouting Menswear Competition set out to select the best of the best in a large pool of young menswear design talent. It raises the profile of emerging menswear designers, introduces them to the buyers and media as well as supports them in their breakthrough into the retail market.


Today, young designers are expected to show a comprehensive collection within a few years. They are expected to be active on social media, have a strong industry and media presence and simultaneously cope with the business of fashion.
The MINI Scouting Menswear competition assists the designers in coping with the demand to establish their brand soon after they have launched.
Six young stars are entering the market, showing their first collections at SS19.


Competitions, with the excitement and publicity potential they offer, have proven to be an enormously valuable for the designers to fast forward their


The New Talent search, launched in 1998 catapulted labels like David Tlale, Black Coffee, Cleo Droomer, Annamari Honiball and recently Mmusomaxwell into the limelight.
This season The New Talent Search offers the collections of 8 young stars that will make an impact on the future of fashion.


It is not only about winning the prize. Competitions play a key role in motivating students to develop their ideas and skills.


It gives them a chance to gain substantial experience and the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the outcomes and uncover personal aptitude.


With the SAFW Student Competition we call upon the students from 32 fashion institutions it is an entry point, the first contact that designers have with the media, consumers and buyers. Spotlighting the designers at such an early stage of their career gives SAFW the opportunity to nurture the talent we have, making sure that they stay connected.


The brief:
LEADING THE SLOW DOWN OF FAST FASHION IN SOUTH AFRICA we’re asking final year fashion students to look beyond the ‘immediate’ in Fashion Design as the theme for the ‘Look beyond the short term’ 2018 SAFW Student Competition.

SA FASHION TRADE SHOW – a must visit for all media

It has been an integral part of our vision to build a trade show that would offer improved business-to-business opportunities for our creative fashion industry, similar to that of our international counterparts.

The SA Fashion Week’s Trade Show is the premier fashion event, exhibiting ladies and menswear contemporary designer collections, jewellery, footwear and accessories.


Now, more than ever, buyers are looking for something new and fresh to attract their customers. The Trade Show is designed to be an intimate, networking-friendly and neutral trading ground for all designers in Africa. It offers a broad spectrum of the various designers’ pricing, optimising the buyers’ purchasing power and boutique owners’ attendance.


The exhibiting brands are carefully curated and are retail ready with sound business processes in place, which will enable them to deliver according to order. The Trade Show provides visibility, a credibility boost, networking time, opportunity to form new relationships with clients and vendors, a chance to generate leads, and a soft entry to the media.


The Trade Show, in October 2017, showed an encouraging escalation in buyers and boutique owners visiting from all over the country.


This season welcomes 50 designed and made in SA labels, on the trade floor.