Coming off summer fashion week in Johannesburg, a new report indicates that South Africa has a lot to show for the steady growth in the design and retail industries in recent years.
When it comes to that evolution, SA Fashion Week founder and director Lucia Booyzen told WWD, “What we call the creative fashion design industry can only grow if the designs are available for the consumer to buy ... little by little, multibrand boutiques and fashion emporiums have begun to proliferate."
At the same time, according to the report, boutique owner Hanneli Rupert pointed to the appeal of " a very high-end European standard of production and design that was not necessarily ethnic."
Interestingly, while the appeal of a design that is "not necessarily ethnic" is burgeoning around SA Fashion Week and beyond, it's actually the more traditional elements of the country's aesthetic that seem to have transifxed American retailers. Anthropologie founder Linda Trau, for example, told WWD that she placed a massive order for accessories handmade by local crafters to "globalize" the domestic chain's offerings.
Elsewhere in Africa, indigenous printed textiles have migrated to the runways, with wildly popular label Suno starting a trend from both the design of the Kenyan fabrics they use, as well as the cooperative manufacturing process by which they reach our shores.