There has been some debate about whether there is still a need for fashion weeks especially from a “What value does it add” perspective, where the industry can and does grow. In the age of social media where everyone is a fashion / style / design critic or the latest favourite person who is the most stylish and is labelled a “trendsetter”, one must ask where the real growth of the industry is. The business of fashion, the unique parts of it that make designers stand out and be noticed for their creativity which is not a carbon copy of what has been done internationally.
This year’s theme for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ) is #RootedinStyle, which is meant to encourage individuals to embrace and celebrate their unique style and their African identity within fashion, whether it’s the designers or attendees. It is only fitting that the theme be about Africa and its influence on fashion as well as the role it has played in fashion. As African’s we need to appreciate and celebrate our own work first, before the rest of the world does.
The Xperience AFI lounge will be driving the theme of this year’s fashion week as way of encouraging the new generation of fashion lover to not only celebrate our own creatives but also to discuss the state of the industry and where it’s headed, Africa’s growth and influence on global trends including those of the cinema.
The front rows be filled with the Instagram famous fashionistas, along with fashion writers who are looking for the new trends that they will highlight in their various publications and the buyers for their stores – however, there will also be the individuals who will be looking at where South African fashion and designers are taking the industry as a business, where it stands on the continent and how it contributes to the rest of the world.
Words By Phumeza Langa
Curated by Tiffany Lekuku
Images courtesy of AFI & The Threaded Man