AFI Boutique Designers
Mzukisi Mbane, a self-taught fashion designer was born and raised in Cape Town. He is inspired by all things African – “Our roots, who we are as Africans, where we are from and where we going – through the avenues of our music, our people and the places we dwell in throughout our beautiful, mysterious and complex continent.”
Mzukisi holds a Bachelor of Accounting Sciences and a BCompt in Business management and Entrepreneurship, Product Design and development. He is a skilled fashion stylist and fashion photographer.
He won numerous entrepreneurship awards and has interned for various AFI Fashion Weeks. Mzukisi sits on the panel of curators for Cape College of fashion and design.
Why “Sober”? ‘“Sober” is the best way to describe my state of mind at the point when I decided to start my own brand after working in corporate.’
Tshepo Mafokwane is the gifted woman with the astute business intellect behind the Sober brand. She holds a B-tech in Fashion Design and manufacturing. Tshepo created the Sober in-house production plant in 2006 and produces each garment under her quality-conscious watchful eye.
“Sober” ready-to-wear, women’s dresses that are inspired by an African mosaic of interests stem primarily from a colourful South African background. Sober is for the woman who enjoy their femininity and beauty. Tshepo sits on the advisory board for TUT’s Faculty of Fashion.
A contemporary South African Accessories brand, Zinhle Designs is globally inspired, maintaining an African aesthetic, and an African Edge. An expert eclectic signature use of colour in the combined use of wax printed fabrics, leather attachments and metal fastenings that are all 100% handcrafted in South Africa is a proud expression of well-designed, modern products.
Zinhle Designs was founded by Christina Gianniosis, Maria Roussous and Liza Skiathos. The designers saw a gap in the market for beautiful, contemporary accessories; hence the Xhosa name Zinhle. The range consisting of an eye-catching, well-considered women’s functional backpacks, satchels, waist-bags, handbags, tote bags and clutches.
Marie KIPRE is the founder of the brand Nadrey Laurent. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Loyola University, Chicago. She worked as a finance administrator for a couple of years. Yet, her dream was to create a clothing brand that would connect and unify people and cultures throughout the world while promoting her beautiful African heritage.
Her father’s effortlessly chic style and her love for fashion pushed her to venture into the fashion industry by launching her brand. With her two sisters, they created Totally Ethnik at the end of 2013, which is now NADREY LAURENT
Adele Dejak’s designs integrate locally sourced materials and traditional designs with a modern European style. Adele’s Nigerian roots merge easily with her European influences and with time the two styles have produced several celebrated collections that make up the current brand aesthetic. Adele is inspired by materials.
Adele studied in London and lived in Rome for seven years where she was a creative director for a music magazine.
A trained photographer, graphic designer and typographic designer, Adele has used her formal training to develop a compelling brand identity resulting in a brand with an immediately recognisable, professional image that positions the brand for success.
Amen by Brad and Abiah
Founded in 2012 by Abiah Mahlase and Bradley Mutitt, AMEN reflects the moods of those who dare to remain unique with a permissive approach to life. AMEN specialises in customised haute couture classics in attractive prints and sequences, using intricate materials. Their design ethos is versatile, merging traditional methods and new techniques of design to form exaggerated shapes and daring prints and illustrations that make bold and fearless statements. The AMEN customer is a collector of style stories and experiences, a junkie in search of the curation of fashion elements that explore contemporary African identities. They, just like the brand, look at fashion beyond the way of dressing and with the “So be it” attitude, often tapping into androgyny.
K Moraba & Collective
Established in 2016, the designs focus on the high-end fashion market and are inspired by a variety of things that evoke feminine, wistful and bold silhouettes – it could be the curl of a leaf on the mealie cob or the shape of a cloud on a warm South African summer day or just the lyrics of an Afro-jazz song.
The K.Moraba & Collective brand has been able to achieve extraordinary lengths in a short time. In 2019, Keletso showcased his collection at AFI Joburg Fashion Week as an independent brand.
The Limpopo born Keletso has participated in the Designer Fashion Africa in Lagos, shown in Namibia and Uganda.
Providing Women’s Ready-To-Wear with a strong focus on printed dresses inspired by her faith, a love for the female form and an appreciation for the craft of pattern-making.
A few failed partnerships taught Andiswa that “you learn more from failure than from success.” Failure did not stop her, but built her character; she went on to establish Andiswa Apparel.
Andiswa Apparel was founded in 2008 by Andiswa Mdletye. The colourful designer with over twelve years of experience in the clothing industry hails from the Eastern Cape, South Africa. She moved to Gauteng to study Fashion, obtaining her hard-earned National Diploma from the University of Johannesburg in 2006.
Thabo Motsoane is the enterprising, clever founder and designer of Future Socks. Future socks designs are inspired by all things African. Thabo says, “The Colours of Africa sock, has all the colours from the Pan African flag. The black is continuous from top to bottom and left to right because we are connecting people from all over the world.”
He has gained valuable experience working in the learning and development field, pharmaceutical packaging, and as an entrepreneur.
Thabo has won several awards including First Watch Whiskey top 100 entrepreneurs 2019.
Future Socks tell a story, wear them and be part of that story.
Refiloe Mapitso Thaisi, the founder of Shweshwekini Active Wear says her brand is inspired by the Basotho culture and the seshweshwe patterns. The unavailability of swimwear that fitted and represented the African figure and roots encouraged Refiloe to design the shweshwe swimwear in 2016.
The design launched in May 2017 and has since won several awards and nominations. Some of these are the Foschini Sebenza Girl 2017, Design Indaba Emerging Creative Class 2018, Fairlady Santam Women of the Future and the 2019 Mail & Guardian Women Changing South Africa in Business and Entrepreneurship.
The Shweshwekini Swimwear collection first showcase at AFI CTFW 2020.
Mahone: The Quiet Junkie is a luxury brand that aims to share African stories to the world through each collection they make. The Tembisa-born designer, Sibusiso Mahone is the founder. He studied both Project Management and Fashion Design at Lisof.
Sibusiso interned for AFI for about two years with the dream of showcasing on the main stage with other great local designers, Maxhosa and David Tlale. His dream came true in 2018 when he got a chance to showcase his collection at the AFI Cape Town Fashion Week.
He has been featured in Vogue Italia and Teeth Magazine because of his sustainable approach to fashion where he uses hessian as fabric to make clothes. He has also been on Top Billing, SABC News and The Business Day TV.
The KREYANN style is pure and simple, with a special touch that makes every piece unique. Anna Ngann Yonn the founder uses fabrics that are carefully chosen for their components. The brand’s eclectic clientele is linked by one common thread: an open mind, love for the unique shapes, colours and precise details of the KREYANN signature.
After three years in the Women’s Ready-to-Wear and Haute Couture field, she graduated from ESMOD as a fashion designer. Back home in Cameroon, Anna has an art studio specialising in tailor-made items. 2001 saw Anna open her first boutique in Douala and launch her clothing line: KREYANN. Anna took part in AFI African Fashion Week, and other fashion shows in the African continent.
Khula means “growth”. A name that originates in the desire to give a platform to the views of our artists; local South Africans coming to grips with the contrasts that surround them, in order for society at the large to experience and engage with their work.
Artists’ paintings, illustrations, graffiti and photography are reproduced by digital print or hand-painted directly onto the bags. Each bag tagged with it an insight into the work and background of the artist thereby enabling wearers to engage directly with the artwork and spread the word about the artists involved.
Colours are very important to Eric, he says they make him happy and dream of faraway places. Eric grew up with the vivid flamboyant colours and stunning natural beauty of Madagascar, his biggest inspiration to date. He loves working with natural fibres because of their beautiful textures and organic flexibility. “Silk Fur” made of silk organza and “Raffia Lace” made of natural raffia are just two of Eric’s innovations.
Eric’s designs are completely handmade and he always starts with the fabrics, its colours and textures, and play around with them until he finds the perfect shape created around a story. The 1920s, the golden age of French Haute Couture, is Eric’s top inspiration.
“I always thought and believed by creating my own fabric I would design fashion”-Eric Raisina