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Front row seats for everyone at the digital SA Menswear Week SS21

by | Jul 27, 2020

South African Menswear Week SS21 joins the global movement to showcase 18 fashion collections digitally this season.

Co-founder of SA Menswear Week Simon Deiner is very excited. “We kickstart the first day of SAMW with several of South Africa’s emerging designers, but the moments I can’t wait for are on Thursday and Friday! The design work is really bold and the edit is strong”.

SAMW created digital runway shows, working with a tight budget and complying with regulations. Over R30 000 was set aside to put stringent Covid-19 regulations and policies in place to ensure no one on set ran the risk of infection during the two-day shoot filmed at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Designers delivered garments which were steamed and sprayed with sanitisers to kill any proteins or microbes on garments or in the air before going onto the models.

Because SAMW is about the business of fashion, there will also be an option to click through the collections and clothes for delivery from the comfort of your sofa.

There’s a magic when a show and venue meet. This is one of the challenges of going totally digital

Simon says organising fashion weeks as we knew them before the pandemic in South Africa can be an administrative headache, however he doesn’t believe a complete switch to virtual fashion weeks is in the near future. Simon’s comments follow an assessment on Business of Fashion that: “digital fashion shows are a flop, at least on social media.”  The fashion news site says reports that on average, digital shows, videos and presentations generated less than one-third as much online engagement. But, this is measuring engagement, not environmental impact. The first green international fashion week, Helsinki Fashion Week which launches tonight, says it is is taking sustainability to another level. It is entirely digital: cyber models are showing digital clothes in a digital village. This year Helsinki Fashion Week in partnership with tech companies, will audit the activity of the event to set data and fact-based targets for the rest of the industry.

Simon foresees that a harmony will exist between virtual and physical fashion weeks. “I think we’ll be seeing a lot more digital and virtual elements incorporated into fashion weeks but the industry is still counting down the days until we can fill seats once again,” he says.

SAMW, in collaboration with the Cape Town Fashion Council, invites you to Africa’s first virtual fashion week to experience all the collections on your screen at home from 29 to 31 July. Besides front row seats for everyone, you can also look forward to several womenswear collections and interviews with showcased designers.

Stream the event from your laptop, tablet, phone or TV from 7pm to 8pm (SAST) each day by clicking through SAMW’s website where there will be a ‘WATCH NOW’ button on show days. Register your details once-off and stand a chance to win some prizes with SAMW’s partners at the Cape Town Fashion Council during the broadcast.

  • Find out more here 
  • Feature Image: SA Menswear Week AW20, Masa Mara – Simon Deiner

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