Joburg Fashion Week a vanguard of cultural exports from the continent

​The 16th Joburg Fashion Week was a vibrant fusion of style, culture, technology, and commerce in its dazzling showcase of African ingenuity and elegance.

Presented by Africa Fashion International (AFI) – the continent’s premier fashion entity – the weeklong event took place at the Forum on the Campus in Bryanston, northern Johannesburg. The annual fashion showcase, which saw designers from across the continent actively vying for a coveted spot on its prestigious runways, solidified Joburg’s pivotal role in the global creative industry as a vibrant cultural hub.

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Founder and Executive Chairperson of AFI, says the dynamic Joburg Fashion Week – a vanguard of cultural exports from Africa – provided a captivating stage for the finest in African fashion, beauty, and music while delivering an exceptional retail experience.

“We’ve been deliberate about showcasing Pan-African fashion designers and creatives. Through our development programmes like AFI Fastrack, we have significantly contributed to the growth of African designers,” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe.

The representation of Pan-African fashion was prominent, featuring designers from Niger, Botswana, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, each conveying powerful messages through their creations. The roster of showcased designers featured industry heavyweights such as Gavin Rajah, David Tlale, SCALO by Sello Medupe, and the return of Bongiwe Walaza after a 12-year hiatus. 

Emerging talents passionately made their case for inclusion, with designers like Malondie, Masango, Bathini Designs, Indoni Fashion House, and Tumi CaptivatingA notable highlight was the revival of the AFI Prive brand in collaboration with the Huawei Watch GT 4. Under AFI’s development pillar, the event showcased the AFI Fastrack 2023 finalists, a student fashion show by Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), and the AFI Masterclass.

Dr Moloi-Motsepe says the Joburg Fashion Week also afforded attendees the unique opportunity to acquire the latest garments fresh from the runway.

“With the Joburg Fashion Week, AFI is seamlessly connecting creativity with commerce, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across the fashion value chain,” she says.

Founded by businesswoman and philanthropist Dr Moloi-Motsepe, AFI is recognised as a breakthrough platform that nurtures, invests in, and promotes the best African creative talent. Over the past 16 years, AFI has successfully connected African fashion to global markets, propelling designers to international acclaim. 

AFI’s mission is to be the best business platform and ecosystem that supports and enables trade for African fashion and brands.

“Our products and services are aimed at local and international consumers who appreciate bespoke African luxury and craftsmanship. We enable global consumers to discover unique, high-quality African luxury apparel, accessories and products from both established and emerging designers,” says Roshnee Pillay, AFI Marketing Manager.

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