True Fashion, Try on Green

Arts and Creative Industries

Emerging South African Designers Trailblaze Their Way to a Sustainable Future.

The French Institute of South Africa and the Goethe-Institut South Africa have joined forces to champion five emerging designers shaping the future of sustainable South African fashion with the support of the

Franco-German Cultural Fund.

Conscious consideration of materiality, intricate craftsmanship and exquisitely thoughtful designs are the focus of an inspiring photoshoot spotlighting the work of five young emerging South African designers. Under the creative direction of award-winning designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, who received the Karl Lagerfeld Award this year, this shoot captured by photographer Luke Houba showcases garments made by the True Fashion, Try on Green mentees: Nkosazana Hlalethwa, Xola Maxoba, Burton Miles, Khumo Morojele and Zovuyo Mputa. From Maxoba’s delicate turmeric dye method to Hlalethwa’s experimental knitting techniques, each individual embodies design excellence and proves that sustainability can serve as a strong foundation for innovation. This photoshoot will be released over the next few weeks in local digital and print publications – follow the French Institute of South Africa and the Goethe-Institut South Africa’s social media platforms to find out more.

Developed by the French Institute of South Africa and the Goethe-Institut South Africa, the True Fashion, Try on Green programme was conceptualised to identify the next generation of sustainable designers as part of a mentorship programme. Joined by an esteemed jury of experts in the fashion industry; Buki Akomolafe (Germany- Nigeria), Lukhanyo Mdingi (South Africa), Nadine Gonzalez (France) and Olga Pham (France), the call for applications received an overwhelming response from around the country. The jury settled on five project proposals, most vigorous in addressing and building sustainable design practices.

The selected designers have been fully immersed in a programme of workshops and ongoing online and in-person mentorship that have helped them explore the fundamental pillars of sustainable design. Three of our mentors, Akomolafe, Mdingi and Pham led workshops in Johannesburg with artist Lulama Wolf. We continued these dialogues

in Cape Town with Emilie Gambade (Daily Maverick), Jackie May (Twyg), Sindiso Khumalo (joint LVMH Prize winner 2020) and Erica De Greef (Co-Director at The African Fashion Research Institute- AFRI).

By numbers

  • 5- mentees selected amongst
  • 60- applicants.
  • 3- professional fashion mentors
  • (French, German and South African).
  • 8-experts on sustainable fashion
  • who lead dialogues with the mentees.
  • 40+- hours of technical workshops
  • and group mentoring.
  • 4- masterclasses
  • in Cape Town and Johannesburg
  • 5-final full looks designed.
  • 1- photoshoot in Cape Town
  • 1-partnership with Casa 93,
  • an alternative fashion school in Paris.


Publicity information

Ntombenhle Shezi | 011 727 5116

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