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Wobbly Rand puts damper on South African menswear week.

Feb 12, 2016 The third installment of the South African Menswear Fashion Week recently held in Cape Town, showcasing designs from contemporary designers, amidst the falling state of the South African economy.

Speaking at the event, Mzukisi Mbane, a Cape Town based designer, commented on the effect of the country’s ailing economy on the fashion industry.

“I think it affects us a lot especially me because I have recently opened myself up to doing business with other countries so with the rand being lower everything is kind of expensive and life even travelling to those countries it’s kind of tricky now because the rand is very weak so it’s affected it negatively,”

With South Africa’s economy slowing down, Mzukisi said he is targeting customers across the continent.

“I started with doing Ghana. I did Nigeria. So I am looking at going into Kenya, yes the brand needs to be identified as a household brand in Africa before I can go over to the other side,” 

Julia M’Poko, another designer who showcased at Menswear Fashion Week, said:

“It can get a little bit challenging but I think for us local designers is we are really trying to push to get people to shop local because I think also we deliver products that are of a high quality and then we bring down the prices, the prices are a lot less than what you would pay for an international brand,”

The strategy apparently seems to be working as buyers at the event said they were impressed by the cutting edge and high-end designs they have found in Cape Town.

Australian based Palmer and Marvin of the Button Brothers said:

“We have been shopping galore, we went to the V&A Waterfront and did a whole lot of shopping there which is quite cheap for us and we are enjoying it,”

“There are different styles that we are seeing here that we won’t get in Australia and like the Button brothers always like to push the boundaries, so we having a definite ball especially the strength of the Australian dollar compared to the rand, so it’s working out fantastic for us,”

Commenting on the growth of the South African fashion industry, Xander Pratt, an international fashion model said:

“In the last five years I feel Africa has developed so much fashion wise, you see so much of the African print now that a lot of magazines like Vogue, Grazia, Marie Claire they are starting to adopt it as well and I think the the world is starting to appreciate African fashion and creativity as a whole,”

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