Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

6 South African Designers To Fall In Love With

  1. Begin
    Photo by Katherine Lee Moolman.


    See All Slides
    To read about Laurel's move to South Africa and leaving behind her “perfect” NYC life, click here.

    If you ask every person you know who has moved either to a new city or country as an adult what the most challenging part of the move was, I’m willing to bet that 90% of them would say it’s making friends. Beyond tedious logistical or administrative issues, it’s the absolute suckiest part of starting over.

    Forget trying to date romantically — friend dating is way more awkward. That thing where you don’t want to come on too strong? That line is much fuzzier when there’s no element of sexual attraction. You can’t really walk up to someone you think you’d have friend chemistry with in a bar and be like, “You seem nice, want to come over and watch 14 episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, look at magazines, and order tacos?” So, in the spirit of friendship, and making it a little bit more okay to just put yourself out there and say, “Hey, I think you’re neat and cool, and I like you,” I have an idea:

    Now that I've moved to South Africa, there are a bunch of local designers here that I’d like to symbolically have over for tacos, and I’m interested in finding out whom they admire. Cape Town is creatively one of the richest places I’ve ever been, and there’s a thriving fashion scene.

    So, starting with Lukhanyo Mdingi (a guy I’ve stalked on Instagram practically since the second I landed in Cape Town), I’ve started a South African chain letter of fashion love. Read on to hear more about these supertalented folks, and the supertalented folks who they think are cool, and then I hope you’ll go out there and let someone know you like them.

    Begin Slideshow
  2. Photo by Travys Owen.


  3. Photo by Kent Andraesen.


  4. Photo: Courtesy of Keith Henning.


  5. Photo: Courtesy of Eleni Labrou.


  6. Photo: Courtesy of Tamara Chérie Dyson.