Meet the fashion designers showcasing at the 11th Investec Cape Town Art Fair

Talisma earrings by Pichulik. Picture: Supplied

Talisma earrings by Pichulik. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 1, 2024


The countdown to one of South Africa’s biggest art fairs, the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, has begun.

The 11th Investec Cape Town Art Fair, which runs from February 16–18 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), offers visitors a rich array of special features, highlights and extras.

Out of the 11 elements featured at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, the one we're looking forward to most is the fashion and retail therapy element.

In addition to the opportunity to purchase art, this year’s Investec Cape Town Art Fair offers a wider-than-ever range of other items, from fashion to merchandise.

This element is long overdue because whether you like it or not, fashion is art. It's a form of expression fashionistas use to tell the many stories of the past, the present and the future.

For example, designer Lukhanyo Mdingi uses fashion to tell African stories. In his Burkina collection, he shares the experience of the artisanal textile development in Burkina Faso, where the community of Ouagadougou practises traditional techniques to develop textiles.

Lukhanyo Mdingi’s Burkina collection. Picture: Luke Houba

With that said, the acclaimed international fashion designer and winner of the Amiri Prize has partnered with fashion platform Yawa, owned by DJs Black Coffee and Themba with fashion entrepreneur Arie Fabian.

Mdingi will also speak in the talks programme as part of “Creativity Unbound” – an exploration into creative collaborations taking place on day two of the art fair.

Lukhanyo Mdingi (right) with his muse. Picture: File

Both brands will be showcasing a range of retro LM x Yawa collections consisting of co-branded graphic logos and colour-ways derived from 1970/80s music equipment logotypes and record company logos.

“The providence of Yawa has always been to develop its own collection and collaborate with the global creative talents that exist in South Africa. Lukhanyo Mdingi embodies this,” says Yawa’s owners.

Additionally, Yawa will also be showcasing a special “Off-White Logic” capsule collection, an Off-White exclusive project to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand established by the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

The collection will include a limited edition drop of 50 Off-White Cape Town T-shirts called the “Off-White Cities T-Shirt Special Project” to celebrate the Mother City and its beauty.

“Yawa has always been pioneering with its location strategy, and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair is a great opportunity for the art world to enjoy an immersive fashion retail experience delivered by Yawa.

“Creative talent is abundant and Cape Town is significantly more beautiful than Miami!” says the fashion platform.

We all know that clothes without accessories tend to be plain. To add flair to the collections, the Investec Cape Town Art Fair has also partnered with various local designers on numerous exclusive ranges, including handmade homeware, such as candles and espresso and cappuccino cups.

There is also a curated range of jewellery by Pichulik, which includes the talisma beige necklace with a healing pendant in olive fluorite.

The Pichulik talisma necklace. Picture: Supplied

Granadilla Swim is responsible for producing an exclusive artistic range of swim shorts, especially for the fair. For the collection, the brand has collaborated with artist and model Marlene Steyn.

“This collaboration with Steyn is one Granadilla has wanted to do for years. Steyn’s mystical and ocean-inspired work adapts seamlessly into swimwear. Her dreamscapes create textiles that keep your eye travelling all over the fabric – discovering new elements and surprises wherever you look.

“My personal relationship with Steyn extends back 10 years to when I first bought one of her works. And her work was featured in all the collateral of our wedding last year. So this collaboration felt totally natural,” said Josh Meltz, co-founder and CEO of Granadilla Swim.

Stunning swimsuit by Granadilla Swim. Picture: Yulia S. Hugo

Meltz adds that they are excited to be part of the first edition of the fair that features a fashion/retail element.

He states that they created only 100 pieces for this collection because they wanted it to be an exclusive edition.

“This collaboration features two of Steyn’s works on several products. Swim shorts, a full-piece costume, a towel and an embroidered T-shirt. All of which are limited editions and labelled 1/100, 2/100, etc.

“The collaboration features several art photographs with Steyn, her daughter Mika and her sister Xristie Steyn. It also features a poem by Xristie and a short clip of her performing it (to be launched on February 14).

“ It’s a multi-disciplinary collaboration and celebration of the marriage between art and fashion,” he said.

All collections will be available for purchase at the fair.

∎ The Investec Cape Town Art Fair runs from February 16-18 at the CTICC.