Every year the country’s fashion industry descends upon the City of Joburg to indulge in 5 days of pure, unadulterated African Fashion! This year was no exception. Having been to fashion weeks over the last couple of years,  I must say this year was bigger and better. The theme was “Celebrating a Decade of African Excellence” and the theme was carried through the entire experience.

My dream life has me attending fashion weeks around the world in the world’s fashion capitals (New York, Milan, Paris)

To kick off MBFW, I had the privilege of meeting with Laduma Ngxokolo who is one of Africa’s finest knitwear designers and innovator of the isiXhosa (one of the South Africa’s dominant ethnic groups) inspired knitwear brand MAXHOSA BY LADUMA.

Laduma established the brand 2011 with a desire to explore knitwear design solutions that would be suitable for the amakrwala (Xhosa initiates) traditional dress. As a person who has undergone the ritual, he felt that he needed to develop a premium knitwear range that celebrates traditional Xhosa beadwork easthetics, using South African mohair and wool.

Needless to say, being Xhosa myself, I am absolutely obsessed with the brand and I am collecting some of his pieces so it was a no brainer that he’d dress me for fashion week.

Always great seeing one of my favorite and most beautiful South Africans, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, founder and CEO of Africa Fashion International brand. She has done a lot of amazing work with profiling African designers and empowering women from disadvantaged communities and this has earned her Fashion 4 Development’s inaugural Franca Sozzani Award at the United Nations which was presented to her in New York. She is an inspiration.

Interview with SABC 3

One of my favorite shows over the few days had to be the” We should all be feminists” show featuring Thuli Madonsela, Boity Thulo, Dr Smile, Anthony Lafor, Yanick Zakri and a whole host of celebrities.

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, says the initiative was in celebration of Women’s Month and inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi’s much-lauded book and TED Talk ‘We should all be feminists’.

“A feminist is a man or women who believes in social, political and economic equality of the sexes. Our initiative is very much about inclusion and collaboration, about seeing women’s rights as human rights, about working together to make things work better.” stated Dr Moloi-Motsepe.

“Fashion is not just about clothes and how you look. It has a powerful voice that can be used to raise societal and cultural issues and create meaningful change.”

Image Credit: http://gallery.africanfashioninternationalsa.com/envira/feminist/

I really had a lovely time!