The long-awaited Soweto Fashion Week, which promises to regale patrons and fashionistas with high-end haute couture from local designers, is returning to the Soweto Theatre stage on Bolani Road in Jabulani. The prestigious four-day annual event will take fashion aficionados on a memorable experience of stylish autumn and winter wear between Wednesday, 3 and Saturday, 6 May 2023.
Designers on the bill — expected to showcase between 10 and 25 unique and vibrant outfits from their autumn and winter collections — include Dope Store Elias of N.O.T.E., FDB Human Store, MacGale, Simply Mooi, FR, and others, who are all excited to demonstrate the latest fashion trends and styles from across Soweto and the continent.
Founded by local entrepreneur Stephen Manzini, Soweto Fashion Week has in the past showcased some of the sprawling township's finest fashion labels, including Urban Zulu, Zama Swazi, and Floyd Avenue, to name a few.
The event draws designers from around the continent, allowing them to network and interact with other industry professionals. The collection on display at the event is a lovely mix of traditional and contemporary elements.
Manzini says this year’s show, themed around the winter 2023–24 runway collection, will provide a unique perspective with established and relatively unknown brands using a variety of colours to convey their seasonal message.
"Our passion is still consistent in showcasing top talent in the fashion industry. Soweto and South Africa are alive with creativity, with many designers longing to grow their market, and that’s what we are all about," he says.
A number of high-profile guests are expected to attend this year’s show, which makes it ‘a not-to-be missed’ event.
Soweto Fashion Week provides a platform for fashion designers to expand their footprint in the township and access new markets. The show has captured the attention of worldwide media, with this year’s event being featured on global platforms.
The annual event has grown in prestige since its inception in 2011, making it one of the most sought-after fashion showcases in South Africa. It’s tailored to give young and experienced African designers a stage to present their work.
Vincent Motau, the manager of the Soweto Theatre, says they are thrilled to be hosting the event, which contributes to growing the local fashion industry, showcasing dazzling and unconventional creativity, including runway displays and exhibitions.
"As we sit at the heart of the most famous township in the world, we are proud to be a part of this force promoting the work of young black designers from different townships, as well as those from urban areas and abroad," says Motau.
Joburg Tourism’s Laura Vercueil says signature events like Soweto Fashion Week serve to position Johannesburg as a lifestyle, creative, and fashion hub. Vercueil says the renowned fashion showcase will place Johannesburg on any traveller’s, visitor's, or tourist’s itinerary.
Soweto Fashion Week is a vibrant and thrilling celebration of African fashion and culture. It is a must-attend event for fashion aficionados and industry professionals interested in learning about current trends. Log on to https://www.sowetotheatre.com to purchase a ticket; alternatively, telephone 0861 670 670 for more information.
Written by Getrude Mamabolo