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Emmanuel Tjiya’s star rises higher as he scoops fashion journalist award of the year

'Fashion Industry Awards honour feels surreal'

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist
Emmanuel Tjiya receives a Fashion Journalist of the Year award at the inaugural Fashion Industry Awards SA.
Emmanuel Tjiya receives a Fashion Journalist of the Year award at the inaugural Fashion Industry Awards SA. 
Image: Masi Losi

SMag editor, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Emmanuel Tjiya has added yet another feather to his cap.

Tjiya was named Fashion Journalist of the Year at the inaugural Fashion Industry Awards SA. The win, he says, feels great and surreal at the same time. He also adds that it feels like a full-circle moment.

“It’s because of the work we’ve been doing for the past two years at the Sowetan…in terms of fashion. Firstly being the Netflix campaign we did mid last year in which we empowered a number of emerging designers with the looks that were used by that particular campaign.

"Again towards the end of the year, we released the S1981 capsule collection in celebration of Sowetan’s 40th anniversary. We worked in collaboration with veteran designers. We have always been really active in our fashion reporting and also taking it to the next level by making it more modern. That’s why I’m happy and excited to win this award.”

Tjiya, a champion of youth empowerment, also stressed the importance of the awards.

“For me, what makes me really proud is that they are honouring the best of the best, [naming] Thebe Magugu as Fashion Designer of the Year, and Women Fashion Designer of the Year being someone like Palesa Mokubung [while also] not just looking at the people in front, they also honoured the seamstress of the year, the people who work behind the scenes, you know.

"You have someone like Craig Jacobs, who has always championed sustainable fashion, being recognised as the innovator of the year. We have other winners like The Space, which has always carried local brands, winning the store of the year award.

"For the first time you’ve got fashion awards that are celebrating fashion, not in terms of the glossy side of it but celebrating the teams and the people who work to get us these looks; to say we see you; we recognise you.

"In just the journalism category, my colleagues that I was nominated with are really the best of the best and they again reflect what is happening in fashion currently. That’s what makes me really proud about the awards. They’re not just about the glossiness of fashion. They are honouring the true faces that really bring us fashion.”

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