The South African Fashion Week is undeniably one of the most significant fashion events in the country and in Africa, and in recent years has become one of the most significant cultural events as it also has a very loyal following within the target audience for most luxurious brands , young discerning trend-setters that shape opinions and tastes among South Africans and Africans
It has created an opportunity for local designers to showcase their work locally and internationally.
Fashion and print lovers are in for a slaying treat as they prepare to restock their closets with the best raw couture.
We briefly have a chat with SAFW Director Lucilla Booyzen and below is what she had to say.
LB: SA Fashion Week the only wholesale and business to business, marketing platform in the creative fashion design industry in South Africa and Africa. We build wealth and facilitate business opportunities for the creative fashion industry in South Africa. We showcase top designer collections to media, buyers of boutiques and departmental stores, celebrities and designer clients.
We create retail opportunities and platforms. SAFW educates, mentors and runs seminars. We are active for 12 months per year. SAFW is about the business of fashion, job and wealth creation. We have been in business for 23 years building the creative fashion industry in South Africa and in Africa. SAFW is the largest fashion week in Africa and we connect with all other fashion weeks on the continent as well as in America and Europe.
*What inspired the current fashion show theme?
LB: COVID has forced us to broadcast the designers shows digitally
*What has changed lately in the fashion industry trends?
LB : Everything has changed in Fashion.SAFW has gone digital changing the way we view the Collections
The buying patterns of the consumers that buys designer fashion has changed radically
Designers sell their Collections on their social media platforms
COVID has forced them to connecting directly with their consumers
They have increased their social media reporting
The designers are looking at Collaborating with industries around them – which contributes to the uplifting of local industries
Consumers are looking for more REAL and honest experiences
They are buying from designers that understands their fashion needs, designers that design and manufacture clothing that are more classic and can last longer
The consumers are seeing designers garments as an investment rather that a frivolous buy.
*What can we expect as a highlight of the show?
LB All the designers Collections – 260 original garments seen for the first time at SAFW SS21
*What are the proudest moments so far for the organisation
LB: SAFW managed to extend the activities around the Collections this past season, to three months instead of the usual four days. This proved to be hugely beneficial for our sponsors, the designers, and the industry at large.
*What has been the biggest challenge you faced in planning this event and how did you manage overcome it?
LB: The biggest challenge for SAFW was getting the Collections of the designers out there. Marketing them not only to South African and consumers in Africa but also to the World
◦ 22nd to 24th October – SA Fashion Week Preview through Computicket -– over 8 400 views instead of the usual 6 000 views we had at the previous Collections
◦12th to 14th November – SAFW Collections released on all social media platforms and YouTube - We had 1 144 views on YouTube
◦7th November – the SAFW Collections were also sent to various International Channels – Fashion Channel an Italian based Channel released the videos from the– total 2,01million subscribers total views of SAFW designers up to date is 22,400
*Any future collaborations?
•SEASON ONE – 19TH APRIL TO 1ST MAY
•SEASON TWO – 28TH TO 30 OCTOBER
•Moving forward SA Fashion Week will stage a similar production as per 2020.
•We believe that unique experiences will be of the utmost importance.
•Collection shoots will take place over four days allowing for more unique experiences.
•Collections will be broadcasted on all our platforms as per the dates set out above
We are always open for collaborations – at the moment we have The SA Mohair Cluster Collaboration in place
*How can we as a continent transform the fashion industry?
LB: Before we can transform the Creative Fashion Design Industry – we need to realise and understand the power this industry holds for the continent.
We do not all have cars, smart phones, big screen televisions or mansions to live in but WE ALL WEAR CLOTHES.
Our Governments and Corporates must understand how the development of this industry can contribute to the GDP of our respective countries. Only then will they be able to transform the industry by educating the full value chain. From including Fashion Departments in their Colleges and Universities to the training and up-skilling of seamstresses, cutters, quality controllers, merchandisers, sales people and then of course trading spaces like Designer stores, Emporiums and Collaborations with Departmental stores.
Only once the full value chain of the Creative Designer Fashion Industry is developed we will transform the Industry.
*What are the attractive investment opportunities available for other players interested in the African designer brands?
LB: At SAFW we develop tailor made partnership packages that aligns with the marketing strategy of potential investors.
It is an Uncluttered sponsorship territory
There is and Enormous amount of SMME’s to directly engage with in all African Countries (In South AFrica there are 600 designers & 170 boutiques)
Designer Fashion is exciting and aspirational. It’s about young people and a vibrant lifestyle – all the things that can make a difference and creating opportunities
Due to different “genres” & target markets, each designer delivers a different audience.
Major opportunities to leverage and the spend can become very targeted
Brand association and leveraging opportunities with other high-profile brands
There is original, real life content that tells incredible, cultural, political and social stories – past, present and future.
Estimated SAFW PR value generated over a period of 3 months: R326.7 million – Valued by the media monitoring company – Novus Group
•933 381 impressions in 3 months
•223 824 impressions in SAFW’s 3 days
•1 418 new followers in 1 month
•8 950 profile visits in 3 months
•33 493 Followers
•321 644 impressions in 3 months
•11 520 post engagements in 3 months
•404 new followers in 3 months
•2 231 583 impressions in 3 months
•9 792 – highest impression
•3 399 new followers in 3 months
•472 591 impression during SAFW days
•3 087 Followers
•24 258 impressions in 3 months
•1 187 post engagements in 3 months
•397 post clicks in 3 months
LB: THE ESTIMATED SA FASHION VALUE CHAIN CONSIST OF +646 450 LIVES ACROSS SA THAT CAN BE IMPACTED
TOTAL ESTIMATED YOUTH REACH 350 000
CMT’S OF 600 DESIGNERS [23, 650]
•Machinists, pattern makers, grading, cleaners, steam pressers, cutters, printers, embroiders, dispatchers, quality controllers, admin, bookkeepers, managers mechanic, assistants
FASHION DESIGNERS WITH IN-HOUSE PRODUCTION OF 450 DESIGNERS [9,900]
•Machinists, pattern makers, grading, cleaners, steam pressers, cutters, printers, embroiders, dispatchers, quality controllers, admin, bookkeepers, managers mechanic, assistants, drivers, store managers, researchers
32 FASHION COLLEGES IN SOUTH AFRICA [touching 2,500 students]
SA FASHION WEEK STAFF DURING EVENT PER YEAR 
•Models, dressers, make-up artists, hairdressers, production staff, set builders, cleaners, security, ushers, reception staff, photographers, media, bloggers, buyers, boutique staff, model agencies, PR agencies, SAFW mentorship programmes
SAFW SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY [590, 000]
•Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Newsletters
The total annual turnover across all designers in South Africa is: ZAR 806 390 500 per annum with 92% local sales.