#SAFW BRICS Fashion Forum to open new markets

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THE collection from China's Xiong Ying- Heaven Gaia

The first BRICS designer collections showcase took place at SA Fashion Week over two days.

Creatives from China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa shone on the runway with their designs.

South Africa was represented by Palesa Mokubung with her label Matsho.

The label was launched in 2004 and focuses on using African inspired prints and cultures into modern and edgy designs.This collection was no different as models walked down the runway in geometric cuts and black tulle. Mokubung’s runway collection walk was dedicated to motswako rapper HHP who died on Wednesday.

Russia was represented by Irina Stetsco’s label Irina Stetsko. Her autumn/winter collection was filled with bright colours. A well known designer in her home country, Stetsco’s limited collections are popular among women with an active lifestyle.

THE collection from Brazil’s Helen Rödel

The first BRICS Fashion Business Forum taking place today will address the intention to build business-to-business collaborations amongst fashion and textile designers, agents, distributors and representatives from across the industry as a means to access various markets.

BLACK Business Council chair Bridgette Radebe (looking towards the picture) attended the BRICS designer collections showcase at the 21st edition of SA Fashion Week in Sandton. Photo Simphiwe Mbokazi/Africa News Agency/ANA

Chairperson of Black Business Council and President South African Mining Development Association, Bridgette Radebe said when BRICS was created it was focused towards arts, culture, economics, business with a political action integration.

“The BRICS countries are all emerging economies and are so uniquely family. We are now trying to foster the economic liberation of our economies and our countries beyond the political emancipation of ourselves in SA, so this interaction goes beyond the economy, beyond politics and into the culture of what to wear and how to interact from a socio-cultural perspective.”

THE collection from India’s Ka-Sha label

Radebe said she hoped this fashion exchange would be the first of many for the countries.

“Not only does it help expose our talent to the other countries but vice versa so we can integrate and share from each other. We can have our designers go to any of these countries and produce talent and clothes. Very often we import but now is the time to export.”

China’s Xiong Ying presented her Heaven Gaia collection that was well received by the guests at the Sandton rooftop. Brazil’s Helen Rödel and India’s Ka-Sha also showcased their intricate and feminine designs on the runway.

THE collection from China’s Xiong Ying- Heaven Gaia

Thursday saw the second half of the BRICS designer collections on show.

Radebe said they hoped out of the forum came the opening of markets.

“We want to create jobs and opportunities beyond South Africa. We want to be able to have our designers be able to sell whatever products they manufacture and sell them for export so we can get foreign direct investment.

THE collection from Russia’s Irina Stetsco’s label Irina Stetsko

“Here at home you find people who sew and are the security for a whole household. I hope, through this forum, we will  be able to open stores in other countries,and take our brands abroad.”

Tonight at SAFW will see showcases from Inga Atelier, ERRE, Keys Fashion and RK Menswear among others.

The last day of the fashion week extravaganza will feature Esnoko, Kumkani Bespoke and Bakusasa Collections.