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September 14, 2011

Top Cape Town designers to feature at London Fashion Week

Stiaan Louw design

A Stiaan Louw design. Photo courtesy of Simon Deiner

The 2010 winner of the African Men’s Designer of the Year, Stiaan Louw, along with Neni Este-Hijzen and Laduma Ngxokolo, are on their way to London to showcase their nomadic-themed designs at the star-studded London Fashion Week.

This will be the biggest international fashion event for Louw and his fellow designers.

Louw is scheduled to show at the Freemason’s Hall on Monday 19 September. He is realistic about the project but knows it will be unprecedented exposure for South African design. “The collection is aimed at the world traveller,” he says. “The designs must display the undertones of our culture but also be modern enough, so that anyone seeing the garment does not link it to one specific culture.”

The nomadic theme was unveiled at the Joburg Fashion Week. Louw has made changes to some of the designs, and has used a new, fresh colour palette that will create a more current style to appeal to the international market.

The theme represents the movement of the country’s fashion industry from the local to international stage. Through this theme, Louw wants to integrate the diversity of South African culture into each modern garment.

He is excited about the upcoming showcase, but is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. “Nevertheless the show is a stepping stone to furthering my brand on the international stage.”

This has all been made possible through the recently initiated Ubuntu project that will be sending local designers to London during the next three years. It is hoped the project will allow South African fashion to make a well-deserved mark on the international fashion scene.

The Mother City has definitely had a fundamental influence on his design career. One of his designs was featured on the cover of the November issue of Wallpaper* magazine. He told Cape Town Tourism at the time, “I think it is impossible not be influenced by the incredible natural beauty and diversity of Cape Town as a creative person. The fact that we face so many challenges here as creatives, and [that] we choose to overcome them with original thinking, has become part of our creative identity and a part of what makes Cape Town and South Africa as a whole very exciting.”

Cape Town is in the running to become the 2014 World Design Capital (WDC). For more information please visit www.capetown2014.co.za.

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