East meets Africa at fashion week in Johannesburg

With the theme #AfroAsia, AFI Joburg Fashion Week 2018 wrapped up on Sunday (October 7) after showcasing the best of African fashion with a sprinkle of Asian flavour.

MELROSE ARCH, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (OCTOBER 6, 2018) (REUTERS) – East met Africa at the African Fashion International (AFI) fashion week, which wrapped up in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday (October 7).

Featured on the catwalk this year was a fusion of fashion, as designers were invited to display their Spring/Summer collections under the theme #AfroAsia.

For some that meant a chance to proclaim pride in African culture. Designer Siphosihle Masango took his inspiration from Nigeria.

“Nigerians are so brass about their proud African-ness,” he said. “About the way their just so unapologetic and I’m like this is the Africa we need to be living in.”

One of the highlights of the event was the sold-out show Maxhosa by Laduma. The South African designer said he wanted to shed the “misconception” that his label only represents Xhosa people.

His collection paid homage to other cultures including Swati, Zulu and a sprinkling of Scottish.

“We’re proud to be Xhosa but don’t look down on other cultures as well,” he told Reuters.

To fit with this year’s theme, designers from Asian countries including China, Cambodia and Japan were also on show.

Tokyo’s 5-KNOT said they were inspired by their trips around the world, combining different cultures and sceneries with a vintage aesthetic. The collection featured gingham check and pastels combined with high-shine textures like PVC and neon sequins.

AFI fashion week aims to boost designers’ experience on international fashion platforms.

It took place in Johannesburg’s upmarket Melrose Arch shopping precinct from October 4-7.

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