South Africa's fashion week kicks off to a star-studded start in the capital Johannesburg, attracting some of Africa's hottest designers.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (MARCH 08, 2012) (REUTERS) -Fashion Week South Africa got off to a dazzling start in Johannesburg on Thursday (March 08) with some of the continent's leading designers heading to the up-market suburb of Sandton in the capital to take part.
Doors opened to a day of previews with young and upcoming designers taking centre stage hoping to set the benchmark high for the week ahead.
"The clothes are incredible, it's the trends that obviously Europe has set, Europe sets most of the trends, so I like the clothes, they are quite good, they are quite good," one resident of Johannesburg Blessing Morotolo said.
But it's not just European trends that are likely to make a splash at one of the most anticipated dates in Africa's fashion calendar.
Homegrown designers from all corners of the continent and some of South Africa's best such as Kluk CGDT, David Tlale, Gavin Rajah will also be there in force, hoping to make a dramatic impact on industry experts and fashionistas sitting in the front row.
Enjoying a moment under the spotlight, African design has influenced everything in the last few seasons from haute couture to high street brands. Africa's top talent will be hoping this week keeps things that way.
Fashion blogger Mika Stefano says the excitement has reached fever pitch in Johannesburg in the lead up to the week, with local stores and residents all eager to get in on the action.
"I think it's also nice that it's no more in Sandton it's no more in Jo'burg but it's in another part of the city in Hyde Park so it's pretty awesome to see people in Hyde Park, they've included all the stores in Hyde Park in fashion week," he said.
Fashion Week South Africa runs until Sunday (March 11). This year the annual event has a new sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, also headline sponsor of New York, Tokyo and Berlin fashion weeks.