Local Fashion Police, a competition that celebrates local talent, hosted their finale in Johannesburg yesterday.
The star-studded event saw the four selected winners each receive R20 000 worth of fashion.
The competition started back in August calling out fashionistas to share pictures of themselves dressed in locally designed clothes. Over 300 people participated in the competition. It was a requirement for the garments of the entrants to be locally made with the South African clothing, textile, footwear and leather sector in mind.
Proudly SA CEO, Eustace Mashimbye, said the aim of this campaign was to showcase the best of what South Africa has to offer in terms of locally made clothing and for South Africans to think for the next generation.
“We came up with this campaign because we want South Africans to have a message that resonates with them and a voice that is familiar to them. We need to think of the next generation and making them part of the global economy because the local economy has been decimated by imports,” said Mashimbye.
Proudly SA Chief Marketing Officer Happy MaKhumalo Ngidi, said it’s time to teach South Africans that it’s cool to wear local.
“We have incredible designers in South Africa. This campaign is going to be on the same par as fashion week. Not as competition. We’re not in the business of fashion. It will be a campaign that amplifies what fashion week seeks to do for the betterment of the clothing, textile, footwear and leather sector.”
The judges for the campaign were acclaimed fashion designers Palesa Mokubung, JJ Schoeman, Otsile Sefolo, and Gert-Johan Coetzee who were tasked with selecting one fashionista each to collaborate with out of many entries.
The four selected winners were Ludina Ngwenya, Olwethu Tyantsi, Tarryn Cilliers and Chenre Africa, who dazzled the runway with designs made by each of the four judges.
Each of the judges received certificates of partnership with Proudly SA, handed by Proudly SA CEO, Eustace Mashimbye.
Tyantsi, who worked with Otsile Sefolo of Otiz Seflo, said this one of the best moments of his life.
“It turned out to be the best moment of my life because I know that there are young people from the Eastern Cape who look up to me. I am beyond grateful. I am taking this win back home. I actually entered the competition while I was in the Eastern Cape. I’ve been supporting local brands in the Eastern Cape”.
Ludina Ngwenya who worked with JJ Schoeman, said she was excited to be able to work with Schoeman even though she didn’t know who he was initially.
“I actually didn’t know who he was when I first heard of him, but I did my research and I saw how beautiful his work is. This kind of platform is one that exposes the youth to designers that they were not aware of who are making power moves in their spaces. I am super excited to win.”
Renowned radio personality and author Thabo ‘T-Bose’ Mokwele also attended in full local wear and said the event was about joining the people who are helping to amplify the course of wearing locally made clothing.
“We’ve got Maxhosa, Tshepo Jeans and Bathu leading the pack in terms of what is possible. We still have a lot of work to do. It’s events like this that make us paused and acknowledge that we are heading in the right direction,” Mokwele said.
“I can’t wait for the day when you walk in a mall and there are local stores filled with queues. We are at a time where we are telling our own stories and are not ashamed of it. This event for me is a reminder to keep telling the story of locally produced clothing so that the younger generation don’t have to seek for jobs outside of South Africa”.
For those who hadn’t honoured the invite by attending in local clothing, there was a dedicated booth at the back that played as a “holding cell” as people would be arrested by the fashion police for not wearing local.
Congratulations to all the winners.
Main image: Instagram @proudly.sa