For the first time, during NYFW, MADE IN AFRICA 2020, will present premiere runway presentations from two, contemporary African designers, at Pier 59 Studios.
Each grouping spotlights the African connection between clothing, culture, tradition, aesthetics, et al, as a means of both beautification and body adornment. Described as the “embodiment of creativity and expression with deeper cultural & spiritual meaning; designs reflect the artisanal artistry gleaned from deep African ancestral spiritual roots.”
“Truly great artistry is not achieved through knowledge or mastery alone, but, by divine inspiration from those who have come before. Their spirit lives through the hands, lives and souls of our modern African ateliers”, Creative Director, Paul Leisegang
For Laduma Ngxokolo, founder/designer, MAXHOSA AFRICA, the SiziiKumnkani NeeKumnkanikazi (“We Are Kings and Queens”) grouping, portrays the regal majesty of Africans and Africa; ‘The Cradle of Mankind’. “My collection showcases the cultural roots and traditions of Africa. My desire is to have my work restore dignity to the continent, so that each garment may reflect a modern, current aesthetic, yet, with an ancient philosophy behind my brand, set in our rich African heritage with its observance of ceremony.”
“Basking in the Osun River”, Eliana Murargy’s muse experiences a re-birth in the sweet waters of West Africa, channelling her protective deity, paying homage to the Aje, honoring the woman who yields cosmic powers and her force of creation and sustainer of life. Celebrating the timeless signature of the studio, in tandem with the gentle nature of female embodiment, healing, empowerment, the delicate, day to evening collection balances fine tailoring and refined fit via flowing shapes, detailed silhouettes; soft shadings of rosé, beige, wide array of blues, vivid sparkles, delicate silks, touches of silvery textures; pink accents in tandem with stark white and black.
Leisegang notes: “MADE IN AFRICA is an invitation to sense and experience the culturally appropriate, magical experience of African fashion; the spirit, craft, history and ceremony of these pieces, which have been passed along through the generations. We want everyone to experience how each designer blends modern African fashion and new technologies with ancient cultural tradition across the collections shown on the runway.
For Producer, Jan Malan, “the glorious, complex, wonderful body is exceptionally adaptable, inherently portable, and simultaneously personal and public. We are using the body as the mobile vehicle; unique canvas, on which to project forms that pass between cultures and communities.