HLULANI LUCIUS SITHOLE - HLS
Born in Pretoria, Sithole’s brand HLS is committed to sustainable development goals within the fashion industry by designing and manufacturing eco-friendly apparel.
He draws inspiration that can come from anywhere – the sight of a bird in flight or a colourful sidewalk. I draw from these images and incorporate them into my designs.
“Design is always a collaboration. I build on new ideas every day.”
He values empathy, originality, integrity, and courage. which has become a guide to every decision he makes and every action he takes. HLS drives profits through these principles.
Based in Centurion, Gauteng, D'KOCK is an exuberant, dynamic, and all-inclusive fashion brand that thrives on pushing the boundaries of creativity. Drawing inspiration from the natural world and the essence of humanity, D'KOCK creates garments that communicate the subliminal aspects of human identity. By exclusively sourcing materials locally, D'KOCK actively supports and contributes to the growth of the South African market, forging a deeper connection between the brand and its community.
“With its experimental approach to fashion, this brand seamlessly blends elements of nostalgia with the vibrant culture of South Africa”.
Itumeleng Ramakau was born in the Vaal Triangle, spending time in Maseru in neighbouring Lesotho.
She studied Fashion Design at the Vaal University of Technology and has since worked in the Design and Retail Industries. In 2019, she got a special recommendation for her “Genesis 4: I Am Not the Keeper” entry in the PPC Imaginarium Award.
TORO-MERAKI is a unisex brand, derived from Toro – Southern Sotho, meaning a dream, and Meraki – from Greek, meaning the “essence of yourself.” Doing something with creativity, passion, and love.
“I am a sucker for collector's items and hope that every piece we create will be passed down from one person to another.”
SinChui is a Cape Town label designed by Robyn Agulhas.
In 2019, Agulhas was selected as the Design Indaba Class of 2020 and was shortlisted for the Global Design Graduate Online Showcase in collaboration with Gucci 2020 - 2021 Chivas Venture Program.
Pronounced ‘sin-chewy’, Agulhas takes her lead from street style globally. Her inspiration comes from South African street style, embracing music, whilst paying homage to her ancestors from District Six who contributed to a large clothing textile industry in Cape Town.
‘My after-school routine would be with my mom on the road to various factories dropping off buttons. Seeing the inside of a clothing factory blew me away. I never imagined that years later I would be a designer.’
Johannesburg-based, Nhlanhla Masemola is an eponymous Afrocentric brand, defined by a consistent Afrocentric aesthetic that's clean and offers a sartorial ‘experiment’ through each collection. Every collection is numbered rather than dated to allow an effortless and timeless transition between these ever-changing states of contemporary fashion.
In 2022, Masemola was part of a collaboration between Superbalist and Drum, creating iconic pieces from Drum Magazine covers, making them into t-shirts and sweaters.
Nhlanhla grew up in a household full of strong women referring to his mother, sister, and cousins.
‘It was my admiration for women that led me to fashion design – merging my interest in art and fashion design, expressing my adoration of women’
AFRICAN RENAISSANCE DESIGNS
Born in Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal, Siphelele an achiever, entered a Northern Natal art competition whilst at school where he achieved second place in the district. In 2009, he received an Arts and Culture award for painting murals for an HIV/ Aids Campaign.
Inspired by his brother, Ntombela studied Textile Design at Nelson Mandela University. He won third place at the Mohair, SA Collective Graduate Fashion Show showing his A/W 18, African Renaissance Designs Zulu Collection.
In 2019, he designed the Nguni Collection in collaboration with Mohair South Africa and Cape Wool SA - exhibited at the SA Fashion Week Trade Show.
2020 brought him a nomination at the TWYG Sustainable Awards Category -Trans-seasonal.
‘I am inspired by my mother, Joyce Nosimilo Ntombela, who comes from the rural areas where traditions are still practiced. I am committed to quality, longevity, and cultural consciousness.’
Born in KwaZulu-Natal and based in Johannesburg. Sthembiso Mchunu’s earliest fashion memories are embedded in the memories of his grandmother who introduced him to fashion and the art of styling clothes.
As the co-founder of Watermelon, formerly known as The Watermelon Social Club, Watermelon is an inclusive fashion house that champions collaboration, creating clothing inspired by creative storytelling and self-expression.
Watermelon is a fruit that originates in Africa but can be found all over the world which brings them to a design approach that focuses on the creative talent and potential of Africa in the Global Fashion Arena, translating the beautiful stories and inspirational reference points into what we wear.
‘We tap into various sources and untold stories buried deep in post-modern African cultures and/or subcultures and create sustainable designs that transcend time and trends.’
Calvin Lunga Cebekhulu, born in eNquthu, Kwazulu-Natal, relocated to Katlehong in Gauteng.
He studied Fashion Design at the Tshwane University of Technology.
In 2018, he started his label, Czene.24. focusing on nonbinary clothing.
In April 2022, he entered the New Talent Search at SAFW and as one of the finalists, he presented his ‘Wear Me With Kindness, I am Your Armour’ collection. In October, he entered the SAFW Scouting Menswear Competition with a collection called Soil of The Suhn. He currently stocks two Africa Rise stores – Sandton and Johannesburg Central.
Influenced by environmentally friendly sustainable fabrics and inspired by urban street style, Czene.24 creates new trends in unisex clothing within a gender-neutral environment.
Sebastian Pather from Bash Studios was born in Cape Town. He graduated from the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science, and Technology after which he interned in various art mediums such as film, photography, and art installation. He later began his fashion career as a fashion coordinator and stylist for pioneering fashion retailers in South Africa.
Menswear suiting and exquisite tailoring have been the DNA of the label since its inception, in 2020. Consumers turn to bash studios for high quality, strong attention to detail, and sleek, simple innovative silhouettes.
As featured in Twyg magazines - Pather was singled out as one of a group of young designers ushering in a new era of care and community.
’I hope to reimagine how we see the future of fashion through sustainability.’