South African retail giant Woolworths SA has officially joined forces with SA Fashion Week (SAFW) as the exclusive retail sponsor, a significant partnership aimed at fast-tracking South African fashion from the runway to the rails. Launching in autumn/winter 2017, SAFW designer capsule collections will be made available online and through select [Woolworth SA] stores in a move to support home-grown talent where it matters most – commercially.
SAFW x StyleBySA
This week, Woolworths unveiled the new faces of ‘StyleBySA’ Spring/Summer 2016, the retailer’s seasonal fashion campaign featuring local influencers in shots entirely styled and art directed by them. All stylists by profession, the six influencers – Sharon Becker, Lethabo “Boogy” Maboi, Trevor Stuurman, Bee Diamondhead, Tshepi Vundla and Papama – will be working with local photographers and creative teams to realise their vision.
In a SAFW x StyleBySA exclusive (pictured), the stylists are seen pairing Woolies fashion brands with pieces from the newest A/W17 collections by SAFW designers Somerset Jane, Lumin, Vintage Zionist and Tailor Me. The exclusive shoot by Joburg-based photographer, Paul Samuels, is a nod to the retailer’s long-standing support of local design, evidenced in the original ‘South African Designers at Woolworths’ collections by Maya Prass, Stoned Cherrie, Craig Native and Stephen Quatember from 2002 to 2009.
“Our involvement with SAFW and the launch of StyleBySA means we are able to boost much-needed growth in the industry and catalyse change through empowering our designers and their communities through the value chain,” says Thateng Shimange, GM of Womensworld at Woolworths. “We are committed to collaborating with home-grown talent across the industry, from designers to stylists, photographers, bloggers and models,” she adds.
SAFW kicks off this year with Autumn/Winter ’17 collections on 20 September at The Park at Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg.