Part Two: Inside Soweto Fashion Week Autumn/Winter
There’s a level of pressure that goes into orchestrating the perfect runway showcase from creating a stunning to selecting accessories to creating the right hair (sponsored by Darling Hair) & make-up looks that accommodate both the set theme and your collections. In some cases, models are double-booked by different designers because their physique matches the aesthetic appeal of more than one collection, so you can imagine the kind of chaos that was happening in the change rooms.
Make-up artists were doing touch ups while models were getting dressed and designers were adjusting hemlines backstage so because of the hustle and bustle that is #SFWAW20, we spent the most time with the head-lining designer, having chats about his life, initiatives, challenges faced coming into Fashion Week and driving forces.
Sprouted form Jamaican parents, Clavon Leonard fronted talks, showcased his women’s collection Instinct as well as a men’s collection throughout the course of Soweto Fashion Week. The Atlanta/North Carolina-based fabric-sculptor has been inspired by his children (one of which is the face of Soweto Fashion Week) and the real opinions of women when creating women’s-wear. He explained that regardless of how good she looks, you hear the words “Yeah, but I feel really uncomfortable in this”, then it’s time to hit the drawing board.
Being the well-travelled man that he is, having visited Kigali in Rwanda, Botswana, Ghana as well as other African countries, Mr. Leonard has named Africa the birthplace of fashion. He mentioned that “African fabrics are quite bright and strong but soften when placed well and that’s the challenge because comfort is important.” He has chosen to create an initiative in Rosebank, Johannesburg that places focus on the business elements of the fashion industry, teaching design students how to start their business, managing finances and basically knowing the worth of their works as creatives.
More information on the initiative will be shared soon but until then, do enjoy our #SFW20 Highlights Reel, featuring some of Tapfumaneyi “CoCo” Munenge and Clavon Leonard’s edgy, chic works.