Merge ZA brings five of the best South African designers to London Fashion Week for a special showroom and series of events

Some of South Africa’s most emerging designers hit London Fashion Week this week. Merge ZA is a new travelling showroom co-founded by Celeste Arendse of Cape Town brand Selfi and Lilian Schulze and supported by both the British Council Connect ZA and Tank Magazine. Selfi’s SS17 collection will be on show to press, buyers and the public alongside those from Rich Mnisi, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Young and Lazy and Wanda LePhoto of style foursomeThe Sartists.

 
 

“We created Merge ZA with the intention of bringing South African brands to fashion capitals around the world,” Arendse says of her exciting project. “The UK market represents progressiveness and openness to experimentation, which we feel our brands can fit into. We hope to build awareness and by accessing the international consumer, our designers will be able to flourish, create jobs and collaborate.”

 
 

There will also be three panel discussions plus music events across the weekend that further explore South African arts and culture. I have been invited to speak about Nataal for Saturday’s talk on media and trends. Other Merge ZA guests include Orsola De Castro of Esthetica, Anna Freemantle from the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival/Fashion Revolution, Not Just A Label’s Stefan Seigel and Jacqueline Shaw from Africa Fashion Guide. “Merge ZA is the beginning of honest story telling,” says Mnisi of his involvement. “I hope to widen my knowledge, create relationships and explore new perspectives.”

Merge ZA runs until 20 September at Tank Magazine Gallery Space, 91-93 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7NX
 


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