This exhibit acts as a launch pad for 40 up-and-coming creatives — from illustrators and furniture designers to architects and entrepreneurs — who're invited to showcase their work as part of Cape Town's prestigious Design Indaba Festival.

While there's no shortage of innovation amongst the Emerging Creatives Class of 2017, these four designers stood out from the crowd for their pioneering approach to fashion and jewellery design.

1) Fashion designer Nicholas Coutts

The emerging designer creates functional, timeless clothes with a twist thanks to his innovative use of luxe textures and richly woven fabrics.

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement and the South African cultural landscape, quality craftsmanship is key to Coutts' design aesthetic and make him one designer to watch in 2017.

2) Textile designer Ditiro Mashigo

Mashigo is an up-and-coming textile designer working under the brand Serati. Based in Pretoria, she's redefining fashion by creating wearable art that's a mix of upcycled textiles, hand painting and embroidery.

Her latest collection, 'Maadingwa', is inspired by how Bapedi people use language as a tool for unity across cultural and racial groups in South African.

3) Fashion designer Kgotso Letwaba

Streetwear meets sportswear in Letwaba's ultra cool, easy-to-wear designs, which are marketed under the label The After Skool Life.

Pop culture and street art are this Pretoria-based designer's main sources of inspiration. He also prides himself on being involved in every aspect of the production of his designs - from illustration to pattern construction.

4) Jewellery designer Gillian Lawrence

Based in Cape Town, Lawrence is the creative force behind the label LORNE. She's fast gaining a reputation for her eccentric, handmade jewellery. If exclusivity appeals to you, you'll also be chuffed to know that each piece is designed as a one-off.

This article was originally published by the Sunday Times.

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