Fashion Week not for SA women
Johannesburg is hosting Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - but many women see no point in attending the fashion show.
Although fuller figured or plus size women form a big part of the South African population, there are not enough fashion designers that cater for their body types.
Plus size women, who are typically size 36 and up in the world of fashion modeling; are scarce on the catwalk.
“I am not going to attend fashion week because there is nothing for me. There are only Barbie dolls at these events so they are not talking to me,” says former contestant on the TV show- Dance Your Butt Off, Refue Mofokeng.
Mofokeng points out that “it is okay to have a skinny model showcase designs, but it is important to remember that fuller figured women are used to paying high prices at shops that cater for us- so designers will get more money if they stop excluding us.”
Well known fashion designer, Reginald Molamu from Reggie Star, says that plus size fashion is now an important segment of his business.
Molamu says that “designing clothes for plus size women has opened doors for me, “my brand attracted more clients since I used plus size celebrity Relebogile Mabotja for my fashion runway show in 2011.”
Plus size fashion designer at Revelation fashions, Semole Mooka, says “there is still very little representation of plus size fashion at many fashion weeks that I have attended.”
Mooka says that she is working on marketing plans in order to promote plus size fashion at fashion events, so that more plus size women will attend them.
“Plus size women are very shy. They tend to avoid fashion events because they already feel like they are never catered for,” says Mooka.
Mooka adds that “the lack of representation of plus size fashion in shops and fashion events is increasingly making women more ashamed of their body sizes.”
Africa Fashion International spokesperson Kyle Boshoff says “applications for taking part in fashion week are open to all designers who meet the set criteria which includes creativity, market relevance and commercial viability.” Boshoff adds that the selection panel, made up of local fashion industry players, is responsible for choosing which designers take part in each fashion week.