#SAMW | South African Menswear Week Autumn/Winter 2018 Collection Reviews

By: Tshego “Red” Mosiane

*All images by Simon Deiner of SDR Photo

Last week came to an end with the return of South Africa’s only menswear focused fashion week which took place in Cape Town at a rather comically disappointing venue and with a mere 28 brands scheduled to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2018 collections. Here are a few must-see collections from the runway:

2BOP

The Capetownian cult streetwear brand returned this season with their signature paired down unisex offerings. As much as 2Bop is one of the country’s leading streetwear brands with high quality pieces, one can’t ignore that they seem to be under the global streetwear curse of stagnation. At this point, how many times can we see tracksuits and workwear-inspired silhouettes with the brand name printed in some default WordArt Font? They do what they do perfectly but now we have more streetwear brands popping up every week, it’s time to evolve and take more risks or run the risk of becoming increasingly boring.

ZEITGEIST

Zeitgeist is in a nutshell the brand for the male version of an “Instagram Baddie” with a majority of their product being basic t’s, joggers and hoodies. But this season they seem to have stepped up their game and presented stylish and warm outerwear options. They vary in silhouette (hoodies, floor-length coats and asymmetrical jackets) and textiles (leather, shearling and faux fur). Considering most local brands offer the same style and textiles for men every winter, this was a refreshing selection for their customer.

CHULAAP 

Chu, the golden boy, showed a collection that his instagram suggests was inspired by the concept of an “African Joker”. Well, if that means piling on brightly colored patterned knits and complimentary dizzying prints then he sure nailed it. His specialties are still clear, proving his consistency, but this collection feels like a bit of a step back. With this theme/inspiration, he could have pushed a lot further in terms of adding more quirkiness and personality to each look or garment. It’s like almost every look is one slight detail away from being something incredible and unique, not just great. But, I guess, the pieces individually serve well as commercial pieces and will be appealing enough on a hanger or online store.

SOL-SOL

For those of you who follow this brand, you may have seen most of these pieces on their Instagram in recent months. They started the show with slightly upgraded versions of their signature branded and “Destroy Today” outerwear. But as you begin to think this was just another collection for Capetownian cool kids, something refreshing happened: the brand also presented their Mohair and Merino knitwear capsule collection previously featured on Hypebeast. This collection is refreshing because we are finally seeing a local streetwear brand grow and diversify from the over-done utilitarian silhouettes without losing that cool-factor. It’s comfortable, relaxed and young yet suave and sophisticated.

NAO SERATI

It’s a sad thing to say but it seems as though this emerging designer has also fallen short of expectations. In previous seasons, Nao has been able to seamlessly combine his editorial worthy gender-bending perspective with the practicality of ready-to-wear but this season he seemed to keep the 2 completely apart and thus resulted in him losing that Nao magic. As an overall collection it just didn’t feel like as bold of a statement as we’ve become accustomed to hearing from him. The graphic printed t-shirts, velour sweatpants and whatever else screamed basic at us should have been left far away.