SOUTH Africa has always known that David Tlale is talented and one of the finest designers in the country.
So when he scooped the joint top prize of Designer of the Year with rising West African star Tiffany Amber of Nigeria, it was like a confirmation of a known fact.
For their good showing and fine collection, they have now both won a place on the catwalks of the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week in September, which is part of the Arise African Fashion Collective show.
Apart from recognising talent, Saturday night was about African Fashion International hosting the first Arise Africa Fashion Week at the Sandton Convention Centre with its inaugural Arise Africa Fashion Awards.
The collection was characterised by colour, stunning, shimmering fabrics, elegant - and occasionally hideous - creations.
For a whole week fashionistas, buyers and the media braved the cold weather to watch one creative garment after another.
Saturday night was about acknowledging the best of the best, and creative individuals from as far afield as Egypt, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Swaziland, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Martinique, Morocco, Madagascar and South Africa.
Equally interesting were the opening remarks by hosts Precious Moloi-Motsepe of African Fashion International and Nduka Obaigbena, Arise magazine founder.
"Change in Africa will not come through politics, but through people," Nduka said.