Woke Studios was one of several brands to feature the colour of the moment, hot pink, in its collection at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Woke Studios was one of several brands to feature the colour of the moment, hot pink, in its collection at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI

We've seen a huge increase in the popularity of African fashion globally, with more and more people looking to the continent for style inspiration. This has led to a boom in the number of fashion weeks being held across Africa, and African Fashion International (AFI) has emerged as the leading producer of these events. 

Since its inception 15 years ago, AFI has helped to propel many designers to international stardom. This is one of the reasons why AFI founder and executive chair Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was recently lauded by The Business of Fashion, which included her on its 2022 BOF 500 list of “people shaping the global fashion industry”.

House of Nala by AFI's boutique in Sandton City, Joburg. The brand has a second location in The Leonardo.
House of Nala by AFI's boutique in Sandton City, Joburg. The brand has a second location in The Leonardo.
Image: Supplied/AFI

A good example of how AFI is helping to revolutionise the African fashion industry is the recent AFI Fashion Week Joburg, which was a retail-driven affair. As part of their collections, participating designers showed six looks that could be purchased straight off the runway at one of the Sandton-based boutiques of AFI's new brand, House of Nala, or the AFI online store.

Freshly revamped, the AFI online store offers a curated selection of products from African designers, including clothing, accessories and more

Freshly revamped, the AFI online store offers a curated selection of products from African designers, including clothing, accessories and more. You can shop by category, country, designer or fashion week.

You'll find no shortage of gorgeous garments to “add to cart” when you browse the 2022 AFI Fashion Week Joburg section of this e-commerce platform. That's because the runways featured a variety of covetable looks for her, from dresses in bold prints and chic suits to stylish separates including voluminous skirts and blouses.

Men's wear designers made sure to highlight just how much the modern man's wardrobe has changed, with designers such as Suitability and Gvllvnt showing updated suiting styles.

That said, there were some common themes among the collections. With that in mind, here are four major trends from AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2022:

Hot pink

Hot pink has been highlighted as a key colour in trend reports since 2021, thanks to a phenomenon called “Barbie Core” — and the fashion world's obsession with this shade isn't going away any time soon. In fact, Valentino recently released an entire collection in this hue.

Then again, no-one could blame designers for falling in love with it, It's a festive colour that turns heads and, while it's bright and energetic, it isn't too overpowering like a true neon.

At AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2022, hot pink was spotted in the collections of Alia Bare, Woke Studios, House of Stevolution and Lebo Merhafe.

Wide Shoulder Structured Top, R1,898, and High Waist Flared Shorts, R1,553, from Lebo Merhafe's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Wide Shoulder Structured Top, R1,898, and High Waist Flared Shorts, R1,553, from Lebo Merhafe's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI
Cerise Pink Dress, R5,175, from House of Stevolution's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Cerise Pink Dress, R5,175, from House of Stevolution's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI

Orange and lime

In addition to hot pink, orange and lime also trended on the runway at AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2022. These citrus-inspired shades were incorporated in the collections of AFI’s recently launched brand, House of Nala, as well as Ascend Label, Masa Mara, Eric Raisina, Gvllvnt and Sisters of Afrika.

Crop Golfer, R1,610, and Ascend Logo Pencil Skirt, R2,070, from Ascend Label's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Crop Golfer, R1,610, and Ascend Logo Pencil Skirt, R2,070, from Ascend Label's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI
Tina Halter Neck Tie Dye Maxi Dress, R3,220, from Sisters of Afrika's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Tina Halter Neck Tie Dye Maxi Dress, R3,220, from Sisters of Afrika's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI

Bold prints

While many around the world thinks African fashion is defined by tribal prints, the continent's designers are masters at mixing patterns of all kinds. From signature monograms and graffiti-like designs to tie-dye and geometrics, bold prints featured prominently at AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2022.

So, if you're looking to add some personality to your wardrobe, the printed prints from the latest collections of Alia Bare, Imprint, Taibo Bacar, Indoni Fashion House, Sisters of Afrika and Masa Mara are for you. 

Asymmetrical Crop Blouse, R1,265, and Reversible Wrap Skirt With Fringe, R1,265, from Alia Bare's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Asymmetrical Crop Blouse, R1,265, and Reversible Wrap Skirt With Fringe, R1,265, from Alia Bare's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/Joburg
V-Neck Pleated Peplum Jacket, R1,610, and Blue Cotton Pants, R2,300, from Kaylaamiel Creations' new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
V-Neck Pleated Peplum Jacket, R1,610, and Blue Cotton Pants, R2,300, from Kaylaamiel Creations' new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI

Luxe fabrics

Suitability, House of Stevolution, Woke Studios, Ascend Label, Kaylaamiel Creations and Lebo Merhafe were some of the designers who looked to luxe textiles to make a statement at AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2022.

They upped the ante with everything from ostrich feathers, brocade and satin to linen, cotton, leather and knits.

Brocade Midi Dress, R4,025, from Woke Studios' new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Brocade Midi Dress, R4,025, from Woke Studios' new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI
Golden Boy Sports Jacket, R6,325, and Silk Linen Formal Trouser, R4,025, from Gvllvnt's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Golden Boy Sports Jacket, R6,325, and Silk Linen Formal Trouser, R4,025, from Gvllvnt's new collection, shown at AFI Fashion Week Joburg.
Image: Supplied/AFI

The looks from the AFI Fashion Week Joburg 2022 are available to purchase — or pre-order — at House of Nala by AFI boutiques in Sandton City (Shop U47A, upper level) and The Leonardo (third floor). You can also shop them online at the AFI online store

This article was paid for by AFI.


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