The top 10 pieces from each category are exclusive available on the House of Nala online store.
The top 10 pieces from each category are exclusive available on the House of Nala online store.
Image: Supplied/AFI

AFI Fashion Week launched on October 28, at the Leonardo in Sandton. Seventeen new and established designers exhibited collections to more than 2,500 global viewers, in a hybrid showcase for in-person and virtual guests. In attendance at AFI Fashion Week were Motsepe Foundation trustees and celebrities, including the newly crowned Miss SA Lalela Mswane and designer Thebe Magugu, 2019 LVMH prize winner and an alumnus of AFI’s development platform Fastrack.

AFI’s longstanding Design for Life campaign returned, drawing on influence from the fashion industry to garner support for the Cancer Association of SA (Cansa), to promote awareness and encourage women to seek out early detection services.

The theme this year, “Be you, be truly African”, builds on the previous campaign, “I am Africa”, to encourage connection and openness. Each interpretation of African existence is a challenge to conformism, and the campaign is an invitation to all: Express your creative self and find peace in your individuality.

The Senegal Collection: Aliyah Bare.
The Senegal Collection: Aliyah Bare.
Image: Supplied/AFI

The gap between Fashion Weeks from March 2020 and October 2021 was told through an ethereal showcase of visionary African femininity, with unique takes on hot pink fabrics, menswear skirts and wispy silhouettes. The playlist gestured this cultural swing, with designers moving away from the fast-paced beats of hip-hop toward the classics by Boom Shaka and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Chaka herself co-starred on the runway for Lufi D, with reality TV star Nonkanyiso Conco, in a plus-size celebration of African forms, colours and prints.  

A mix of 17 young and established designers, including AFI’s Fastrack 2021 cohort; K. Moraba & Collective; Imprint; House of Fabrsanz; Seditsi Collection; several brands under the Senegal Collective; Love Jane; Urban Zulu and Amen set the tone for an era of altered power dynamics and inclusive transformation. Fashion Week closer David Tlale was fresh from the Dubai Expo and showcased a ready-to-wear collection – with an inclusive and diverse model line-up – that left the audience wanting more.

David Tlale showcase.
David Tlale showcase.
Image: Supplied/AFI

The winners of the 22nd annual PlatAfrica jewellery design and manufacturing competition were announced on October 29.

Hosted annually by Anglo American Platinum, in partnership with Metal Concentrators and Platinum Guild International India, PlatAfrica promotes innovation and technical expertise in platinum jewellery design and manufacturing in SA — providing international exposure to jewellers, apprentices and students.

PlatAfrica promotes innovation and technical expertise in platinum jewellery design and manufacturing in SA.
PlatAfrica promotes innovation and technical expertise in platinum jewellery design and manufacturing in SA.
Image: Supplied/AFI

Shop the PlatAfrica Metamorphosis jewellery collection at the House of Nala AFI online store >>>

Shop the Runway here >>>

Rewatch the runway shows >>>

Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said: “PlatAfrica plays an important role in unearthing and celebrating creative talent, and this year is no different. This year's entries — inspired by the metamorphosis theme, blew the adjudicators away.

“Our successful partnership with AFI is one example of the work we continue to do with our local industry and global partners to explore new and innovative ways to facilitate access to new markets for PGMs, and grow sustainable demand for SA-produced jewellery and design. We believe there is an opportunity to develop and grow the local platinum jewellery industry, and contribute to job creation and economic growth.” 

This year's theme — metamorphosis — was developed in consultation with PGI India and was inspired by the phases of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.  

In total, 109 entries were received, and the judges selected 20 finalists across the professional and student/apprentice categories. 

This year's winner in the professional category: 
Father and son duo Chris and Jannie Janse Van Rensburg from Studio C are the overall winners in this category for their John Lennon-inspired Imagine neckpiece of platinum. 

PlatAfrica Metamorphosis jewellery collection.
PlatAfrica Metamorphosis jewellery collection.
Image: Supplied/AFI

This year's winners in the student/apprentice category:
Patricia Ntombizodwa Tshabalala from J Hind Jewellers is the overall winner in this category for her kinetic platinum pendant. 

“Promoting the business of fashion is an economic necessity. At the centre of our Fashion Week preparations was securing the pan-African collections, as well as the platinum jewellery, for immediate availability on our online store and the physical store at the Leonardo,” said Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, AFI founder and chief executive.

Shop PlatAfrica Metamorphosis jewellery collection at the House of Nala AFI online store >>>

Shop the Runway here >>>

Rewatch the runway shows >>>

Follow AFI’s social media platforms on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for more information.

PlatAfrica Metamorphosis jewellery collection.
PlatAfrica Metamorphosis jewellery collection.
Image: Supplied/AFI
Designer K Moraba.
Designer K Moraba.
Image: Supplied/AFI

* This article was paid for by AFI.

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