SA is home to an abundance of super talented clothing designers, many of whom have taken the world by storm with their unique and innovative work. They’re changing the style game by launching labels that put SA’s fashion industry on the map.
To us, six of these labels stood out from the rest and guess what? They’re all founded by powerful local women, who give the term #girlboss a new meaning with their unstoppable drive. These entrepreneurs are killing it, and you can shop their designs at Young Designers Emporium (YDE) and The Space, at Mall of Africa. Find out more about their brands below.
1. Khosi Nkosi at YDE
The brainchild of Nobukhosi Nkosi, this brand came to life in 2008 after she won a Young Designers Competition. The brand name is derived from the Zulu word for royalty and we must admit, her creations are fit for a queen! Expect to see ruffled dresses boasting African-inspired prints, jumpsuits with sexy slits and tops with tiers down the sleeves.
2. Miss Friday at YDE
This clothing line is the fruit of not one, but two women’s creativity! Lindsey Bont and Dorian Martins empower SA’s women to feel confident and gorgeous, with their contemporary and feminine range. To support the local community, every single garment is made only in SA. Glam up in their sensual bodycon dresses, or sequinned maxi dresses featuring tulle skirts.
3. Kameo at YDE
Cape Town girl Karla Louw is the artistic genius behind this label, established in 2010. Inspired by trends on the runways of Paris and Milan, her designs are modern with a dash of vintage opulence. If you’re tying the knot, you must browse through her rails, filled with items that would be perfect for your bridesmaids. Think romantic lace dresses, and catsuits with bows around the waist.
4. Plus-Fab at The Space
Malesela Rachel Tema, aka Ouma-Tema, became frustrated that the only clothes in her size looked like they came straight out of her grandma’s closet. So, she set out to change this by debuting Plus-Fab, a brand that gives women the opportunity to flaunt their curves with confidence. Amongst her pieces are harem pants and wrap dresses, but she also creates swimsuits displaying sassy slogans like “Full Cream”!
5. Michelle Ludek at The Space
Michelle Ludek forged an action-packed career in fashion during her time in Europe and Canada, before returning home to Mzansi to start her own apparel line. Her collections, reflecting her playful and spontaneous nature, feature a mixture of minimalistic and boldly patterned creations. When wearing them, you’re sure to feel comfortable without compromising on style.
6. Tsunami at The Space
By taking her artistic cues from the simplicity of Japanese design, Vanessa Karon established her label, Tsunami. Produced with natural, textured materials and yarns, her ranges are not only timeless, but also sustainable. Thanks to their simple cuts, her garments are the epitome of understated elegance, and their earthy colour palette is formed by using low impact dyes.