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South African designers kick off Berlin Fashion Week

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 14, 2020 - Duration: 02:29s

South African designers kick off Berlin Fashion Week

Lezanne Viviers, Rich Mnisi, Floyd Avenue and Clive Rundle bring a blast of colour and ethical fashion from 'Alkebulan' - the oldest name for 'Africa'.

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South African designers kick off Berlin Fashion Week

Berlin's Mercedes-Benz winter fashion week kicked off on Monday evening (January 13) with a new location and a blast of colour and ethical fashion all the way from South Africa.

Four designers took part in the opening group show at the city's first-time venue, Kraftwerk, showcasing a mix of materials and a focus on sustainability and wearability.

Johannesburg-based Lezanne Viviers first launched in April 2019 and pays close attention to mixing textiles and materials whilst reminding people of the workforce behind each fashion piece.

Viviers' clothes labels carry the name of the person who made the article.

She also playfully mixes gems and recycled plastics.

Rich Mnisi, touted as one to watch, wanted to bring an African story to the stage: "Alkebulan is the oldest name for Africa", he told Reuters.

Mnisi's inspiration was "trying to reimagine Africa without all the pain and suffering that we faced", so it was almost like "from a child's eye" and seeing all the colour for the first time.

Mnisi, whose South African brand runs under his name, won Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year in 2014 and has brought a contemporary look to Berlin that seeks to combine the old and modern culture of South Africa.

Winner of Scouting Menswear Competition in 2015, Floyd Avenue showcased his multi-layered collection of menswear.

Clive Rundle told Reuters his collection was about "the longevity that one should have in ones clothes that you never say, oh that was from last year, or that thing was from a season even." 60 year-old Rundle who was born in Zimbabwe before moving to Johannesburg had his first collection in Paris in 1989 giving him a wealth of experience and materials to draw on.

Berlin Autumn/Winter fashion week runs from January 13-17.

(Production: Oliver Barth, Petra Haverkamp, Tanya Wood, Lisa Giles-Keddie)

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