10 South African Clothing Brands For Fashion Lovers

Every piece of fashion started with an idea that blossoms into something beautiful aimed to pass the designer’s message. This message could be linked to the designer’s cultural background, environment, or exposure. One of the countries known for its unique fashion sense is South Africa, a place where not just the clothes but the styles, fabrics, attires, and colors are distinctive and tell a story about the place. The clothing brands in South Africa combine numerous things to portray deep African roots and harmony. Here are a few of the popular clothing brands you can find in SA, the list is inexhaustible and doesn’t come in any particular order.

List of 10 South Africa Clothing Brands You Should Be Patronizing Right Now

1. SELFI

  • Launch Date: 2009
  • C.E.O: Celeste Arendse
  • Location: Cape Town
  • Target Demography: Male & Female

SELFI is a ready-to-wear bespoke clothing brand based in Cape Town. Launched in 2009 by Celeste Arendse, the brand designs beautiful outfits with modern global women in mind. The brand targets people who love to explore their true identities. Its creativity comes from simple and wearable tailoring, beautiful shapes, and customized prints.

Brand owner Arendse is a graduate of Fashion and Technology from the University of Technology, Cape Peninsula. Specializing in fashion, she has shown her talent in the craft by displaying her outfits on popular fashion shows in South Africa and on the international scene. They include Mercedez Benz Cape Town, South African Fashion Week, Pure London, Show & Order Berlin, etc.

The name SELFI, just as it implies, means self. Anything you put on your body either boosts your confidence and portrays the best of you or does the reverse. So SELFI promises to bring out the best in you through quality and uniqueness while connecting you to your identity as an African. The brand deals with clothing, accessories, and skincare – all of which promote self-nourishment, self-empowerment, and self-betterment.

2. Tsotetsi KL

  • Launch Date: 2009
  • C.E.O: Khothatso Laurence Tsotetsi
  • Location: City of Pretoria
  • Target Demography: Women

Tsotetsi KL is women wear fashion brand that is emerging with full force. Launched in 2009 by Khothatso Laurence Tsotetsi, a Vereeniging, Gauteng native who is motivated by his love for fabrics to make magnificent designs to suit the female body. He studied fashion in 2009 and has since been an icon of fashion for beautiful ladies.

Serving all grown females who are particular about high standards, quality, and perfection, the brand creates a world of feminine beauty and exuberance through its production of unique feminine dresses, nice tops, and sexy skirts. Its flexibility with various prints, textures, silhouettes, and colors brings certain glamour to the ladies and also stands the brand out.

3. NN Vintage

  • Launch Date: 2007
  • C.E.O: Nhlanhla Nciza
  • Location: South Africa
  • Target Demography: Women

Nhlanhla Nciza is one of the singers in the Mafikizolo duo. Motivated by fashion from the 40s to the 90s, she has impressed her audience with her clothes and is now a hotcake in the fashion business.

Nciza’s brand creates vintage feminine wears in an alluring manner. The clothes bring out the classiness and luxury in every woman thrilled with the fusion of modern and vintage styles. It was launched in 2007 and rebranded in 2015. The whole outlook of the fashion line was changed and this brought about its success. Celebrities like Thembi Seete, Jessica Nkosi, and Uyanda Mbuli have rocked her designs.

4. Thula Sindi

  • Date: 2005
  • C.E.O: Thula Sindi
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Target Demography: Women

Thula Sindi is a fashion designer and the brain behind the Thula Sindi clothing brand known for creating exquisite and delicately crafted masterpieces for women. The clothing is a combination of timeless, dynamic, elegant, trendy, and sophisticated outfits.

Sindi was born in Klerksdorp, South Africa, and studied fashion at LISOF (London International School of Fashion). He has attracted local and International appeals through his designs. He was crowned South African designer of the year in 2012 and was also listed among Africa’s best young entrepreneurs by Forbes.

5. Isabel De Villiers

  • Launch Date: 2012
  • C.E.O: Isabel De Villiers
  • Location: Cape Town
  • Target Demography: Plus-sized women

Isabel De Villiers fashion brand is known for creating outfits for plus-size women, thus you will find clothing ranging from size 32 – 48. It aims to make women feel confident and comfy with wears that are made with an emphasis on simplicity, color, and quality. The brand also creates bags, leather belts, and accessories. Owned by Cape Town-born designer Isabel De Villiers, the brand was launched in 2012 and is based in Pretoria.

6. Sindiso Khumalo 

  • Launch Date: 2014
  • C.E.O: Sindiso Khumalo
  • Location: Cape Town
  • Target Demography: Women

With a background in architecture and a degree in sustainable textile design from the University of Cape Town, Sindiso has carved a niche for herself by creating modern sustainable textiles with a strong emphasis on African storytelling.

In 2015, she won the Vogue Italia “Who’s On Next Dubai” competition and was also one of the finalists of the LVMH prize in 2020. She has presented her work at Milan Fashion Week among other places.

7. Lukhanyo Mdingi 

  • Launch Date: 2015
  • C.E.O:Lukhanyo Mdingi
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Target Demography: Male and female outfits

Established in 2015 by East London-born Lukhanyo Mdingi, the clothing brand has been able to carve a niche for itself by creating masterpieces that are a combination of design and spirit. The brand looks to human ingenuity as the source for creating a design that is honest and strong.

8. Lezanne Viviers

  • Launch Date: 2009
  • C.E.O: Lezanne Viviers
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Target Demography: Male and female outfit

Lezanne Viviers launched her clothing line in 2009 after working as the creative director for designer Marianne Fassler’s brand for eight years. Viviers love contemporary art and South Africa’s verdant nature is evident in the way she combines rare materials with sumptuous patterns to create amazing designs that leave people wowed.

9. Stitch & Steel

  • Launch Date: 2009
  • C.E.O: Linda Gale
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Target Demography: Male and female outfit

Stitch & Steel designs

Stitch & Steel is a clothing line founded by Johannesburg-based designer Linda Gale. Linda quickly carved a niche for herself in the industry by creating quirky items made from authentic fabrics sourced from all over Africa. The brand focuses mainly on women’s clothing but the male folks are not entirely left out as they also have a men’s range, which includes ties and patterned shirts. Only a few of each garment is created, so you’ll be the proud owner of a very exclusive piece.

10. Gert-Johan Coetzee

  • Launch Date: 2010
  • C.E.O: Gert-Johan Coetzee
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Target Demography: Female outfit

Designing a ready-to-wear range of outfits with an emphasis on couture red carpet gowns has not only earned Coetzee celebrity clients locally on the African continent, but also around the globe. The young designer has had the likes of talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Miss Universe 2018 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, and other internationally recognized women rock his brand.

Asides from his couture and bespoke bridal range, Coetzee is also notable for creating an edgy casualwear line called GERT. In 2011, he became the first SA designer to have his dresses worn by a host of celebrities on the red carpet in Hollywood. Coetzee is also a recipient of the High Fashion Award at the Vukani Fashion Awards.

5 Most Famous South African Designers You Should Be Following Right Now

Asides from these amazing designers mentioned above, there are other talented designers that you should probably be looking out for in the rainbow nation. They include:

1. David Tlale

  • Launch Date: 2003
  • Brand Name: David Tlale
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Target Demography: Male and female outfits

David Tlale is a popular name in South Africa. The fashion designer is known for his creativity in making dramatic entrances at fashion shows. He is also very good at making outfits that speak opulence and has bagged numerous awards which have earned him some recognition in the industry, including Most Stylish Designer at the South African Style Awards, South Africa’s Star Designer of the Year, etc.

The David Tlale brand is the first South African brand to showcase solo at the Mercedes-Benz fashion week, New York. The brand stands to serve the male and female gender who are insistent on rocking their figure and are willing to protrude sophistication
in the African way. Asides from making clothes for both the male and female gender alike, the brand also makes handbags, male footwear, exquisite wedding gowns, cocktail wears, and perfumes.

Its unpredictable employment of South African fabrics makes it stand out amongst different brands in the fashion industry. The brand takes pride in flaunting the South African culture with splendor and that’s a plus for them.

2. Laduma Ngxokolo

  • Launch Date: 2012
  • Brand Name: MaXhosa
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Target Demography: Male, Female, Families

Laduma Ngxokolo is a designer, entrepreneur, and creative artist. He studied textile design at Nelson Mandela University and is well-known for his fine knitwear designs. Coming from the Xhosa tribe of South Africa, Laduma had the motivation to bring out the hidden beauty of the Xhosas, hence the birth of the MaXhosa brand which aims to bring to the world the aesthetics of the Xhosas. He creates premium knitwear designs which are a plus to the Xhosa tribe and South Africa at large.

The designer has won so many awards such as the international representation award in 2010, the Africa fashion international emerging designer of the year award in 2014, the Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa prize in 2015, and the Africa fashion week Barcelona awards in 2017. Laduma’s work has further been displayed in the SMITHSONIAN Museum, museums in New York, Hamburg, Switzerland, and Berlin. Celebrities like Beyonce and Alicia Keys have also rocked clothes made by this brand.

3. Thebe Magugu

  • Launch Date: 2016
  • Band Name: Thebe Magugu
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Target Demography: Women & Men

Thebe Magugu is a designer who was born in Kimberley, South Africa, and is purely focused on contemporary women’s ready-to-wear clothes. The brand focuses on making clothes for women to boost their confidence and style, and also has a bit for the male folks.

Designs by Thebe have been reviewed in Vogue America magazine. A graduate of fashion design, fashion photography, and fashion media from LISOF (Leader in the science of Fashion) Johannesburg, he won the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) prize for emerging talent. He is inspired by the Black sash, the early white women who faced the apartheid in South Africa.

4. Shelley Mokoena and Keneilwe Mothoa

  • Launch Date: 2014
  • Brand Name: Prime Obsession
  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Target Demography: Younger Women

Shelley Mokoena and Keneilwe Mothoa are designers who own the Prime Obsession brand. The duo met in college where they studied interior design. Being unable to afford pricey clothes, they were inspired to try out something new from less expensive materials. It focuses on the younger generation of women. Lovers of black and white as well as solid colors will be satisfied with their designs.

Before Prime Obsession launched in 2014, it bore the name Mokoena and Mothoa and they shared their works on social media where they displayed their designs that were appreciated by many. After the launch of the brand, they collaborated with famous brands like Calvin Klein and Country Road and were featured in Vogue magazine. They also displayed their designs on the Mercedes fashion week and the Design Indaba festival in 2018.

5. Rich Mnisi

  • Launch Date: 2015
  • Brand Name: Rich Mnisi
  • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Target Demography: Male & Female

Image Source

Rich Mnisi is a Johannesburg-born promoter of African and pop culture. He holds a BA in Fashion Design and Business Management from LISOF (Leaders in the science of Fashion). He is recognized locally and on the international scene by brands like Marie Claire, ELLE, Fashion Glossary UK, Sunday Times, Vogue, and many others.

Mnisi became the Emerging Designer of the Year in 2019 at the Essence Best in Black Fashion Awards. He launched his brand in 2015 as OATH Studio. Right after he started the brand, he won the Young Designer of the Year award by African Fashion International. Afterward, he rebranded and called his fashion line his name, Rich Mnisi. The brand specializes in making African and pop attires for males and females of all ages. The brand also makes furniture and masks, motivated by the COVID-19 outbreak. Prominent figures like Beyonce, Ciara, and Naomi Campbell have rocked Rich Mnisi’s exquisite designs on popular shows.

Chacha
Chacha is a writer with a wealth of experience who has contributed across several channels. Her specialty includes celebrity lifestyle including how top movie stars, musicians, and comedians live their lives.
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