News ArticleMall of Africa brings South African fashion home with exciting new hub for bright young designers
Always wanted to express your uniquely South African flair for fashion and support local designers but found it hard to find them tucked away in far-flung studios in semi-industrial areas off the beaten track? Now you will need to go no further than Mall of Africa to find some of the freshest local signatures at recently opened KOOP Studio, a hub where designer start-ups can gain direct access to a large and affluent market right in the buzz of a glamourous shopping centre.
A collaborative venture between seasoned retailer, Sandy Rogers and industry stalwart, Lucilla Booyzen, who has been spearheading the development of a vibrant local design culture as director of South African Fashion Week for the past 23 years, KOOP Studio will be home to twelve collections that will be interchanged regularly to ensure ongoing variety and excitement.
From Seriously Smart to Casual and Cool
Amongst others, these brands range from gorgeous women’s occasion wear from Ezokhetho, IsiZulu for “carefully chosen as being the best or most suitable” which aims to tell African stories using fabric, Thabiso Molelekoa’s Dolz bespoke range of classic wear for both men and women to Dope Motherhood’s lounge wear with sass for modern moms as well as hip and happening streetwear from signatures Bi Parel and BLVNK.
To ensure that you make a top to toe statement, the heady mix also includes proudly South African luggage brand, There and Back as well as a range of patterned scarves, blankets and accessories showcasing each of the participating designers’ distinctive prints and patterns.
The opening of KOOP Studio follows the enormous success that brilliant designer, Laduma Ngxokolo has experienced with his MaXhosa knitwear since opening a small store on the lower level in Mall of Africa in 2018.
Within a year the appetite for Ngxokolo’s signature Xhosa-inspired modern knits was so voracious that the brand recently relocated to a flagship store on the upper level of the mall and Ngxokolo has since become one of the centre’s high profile brand ambassadors too.
Africa’s First Port of Call in Jozi for Local Fashion Design
Mall of Africa is firmly on track to become the continent’s premier destination for top local design, says Michael Clampett, Head of Asset and Property Management-Retail of Attacq Limited.
“MaXhosa’s success confirmed our conviction that consumers are increasingly wanting to express a contemporary, yet uniquely African, fashion identity. This, and the fact that we are acutely aware of the need to stimulate the local economy, and local job creation, lies at the heart of our strategy,” Michael explains.
Partnering with SAFW
In line with tailoring its merchandise mix to support local brands, Mall of Africa has also recently become SAFW’s new host. The three-year partnership will kick-off in October with the staging of South Africa’s first hybrid designer collections showcase.
Twenty-six runway shows featuring collections shot at different locations in the mall, will be streamed digitally over three days from 22 – 24 October.
This will be followed by the SAFW Trade Show in the mall’s Crystal Court with more than fifty designers of mens- and womenswear as well as accessories ranging from footwear and handbags to costume jewellery and millinery from 1 – 3 November and the SAFW Pop Up Shop where fashion lovers will be able to interact and buy directly from all the participating designers from 27 – 29 November, also in the Crystal Court.
Find the freshest local fashion collections at the recently opened KOOP Studio in the Mall of Africa where at least twelve up-and-coming new signatures will be featured and regularly interchanged to ensure on-going variety and excitement. Amongst others, these brands range from gorgeous women’s occasion wear from Ezokhetho, IsiZulu for “carefully chosen as being the best or most suitable” which aims to tell African stories using fabric, Thabiso Molelekoa’s Dolz bespoke range of classic wear for both men and women to Dope Motherhood’s lounge wear with sass for modern moms as well as hip and happening streetwear from signatures Bi Parel and BLVNK. Mall of Africa aims to become the continent’s premier destination for top local design, says Michael Clampett, Head of Asset and Property Management-Retail of Attacq Limited.