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A look inside South Africa’s thriving fashion scene

A new mini-series produced in partnership with Belmond’s Mount Nelson hotel puts a spotlight on South Africa’s emerging fashion visionaries.

In November 2023, Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, hosted its second Confections x Collections event. Showcasing leading South and West African designers specialising in slow and considered fashion. It’s just one of a series of events organised by the hotel that aim to uplift, support and promote South African creatives. And, as the Cape Town hotel enters its 125th year, it’s celebrating the cultural vibrancy of South Africa with three new film commissions, among many other activations.

The mini ‘Meet the Maker’ series is led by South African director, Jessie Zinn, and provides insight into the local design community through the perspective of three fashion designers: Sindiso Khumalo, Chu Suwannapha and Palesa Mokubung – all of whom showed collections at the event. The result is a snapshot of one of the most creative communities in the world. Watch the videos below.

Sindiso Khumalo

Taking inspiration from pioneering black women of the 18th and 19th centuries, Sindiso is a sustainable designer known for her playful take on traditional garments. Her eponymous line puts a contemporary twist on classic design details, such as Peter Pan collars and ultra-feminine dresses.

Chu Suwannapha

Chu Suwannapha may hail from Thailand, but the edgy designer is known as South Africa’s ‘Prince of Prints’. Influenced by the colourful cultural tapestries of both his native country and adopted home of Cape Town, Chu is inspired by everything from the landscape of Cape Town to the street style in Bangkok.

Palesa Mokubung

Directional silhouettes and fabrics inspired by traditional African textiles are at the core of Mantsho, the label founded by Palesa Mokubung. Her clothing is designed with businesswomen in mind, the modest yet sensual garments aim to make her customers feel like the “sexiest woman in the room while being covered from head to toe”.


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This article originally appeared in volume 47 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue today.

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