Get to know the designers who showed at Lexus South African Menswear Week

Get to know a few of the designers forming a part of the next generation of talent who presented collections that impressed at Lexus South Africa Fashion Week.
Name: Daniel Sher
Age: 29 years old. 
Nickname: Not really, but my fiance calls me Danny. Some of my oldest friends call me Doosh, Douche or Dandoosh. And Koos Groenewald calls me Bayle. 
From: Johannesburg, South Africa. 
Known for: Talking, a lot. 
Hidden talents: I can hula hoop for hours. 
Most recent collection: The main idea was to present a collection of menswear items that could hold its own on the runway, and at the same time I wanted it to be easy to imagine the items being worn to any type of occasion by any type of man.
Style Icons: Stephane Ashpool, Hiroki Nakamura, A$AP Rocky. 
Design heroes: Internationally, Ronnie Fieg, Charaf Tajer, Raf Simons. Locally, Jana Hamman & Koos Groenewald (of Jana + Koos), Jordan Metcalf, Mat Kieser.
Studio jams: I had DJ Okapi’s soundcloud sets on repeat while I was putting my SA Menswear Week Collection together. 
Inspirations: A first time conversation with any new person. The 10 closest people in my life and the way each one of them reaps the rewards of their hard work, by being able to relax, drink, eat and reflect on a meaningful process and a job well done. My staff and their passion for garment construction. Getting out into nature whenever the chance presents itself. Friendly South Africans. Travelling to any major international city for enough time to absorb some of the culture. Good food!
Name: Mzukisi Mbane
Age: 27.
Nickname: Mzu.
From: Born and raised in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. 
Known for: Fashion and style. I am my brand, and have always have been. I’m the brave guy who is never afraid to be different and wear what he feels. Colour is my thing. 
Style icons: First one is my mother. She defines what it means to have what I call style with substance. And the second one is Kanye West. 
Studio jams: Kanye West, Simphiwe Dana, Thandiswa Mazwai, Sia, Benjamin Clementine and Nina Simone just to name a few. 
Inspirations: Our roots, where we are all from and what we have in common. People who fight for what they believe in. The revolutionaries. Travelling. Very much inspired by the unknown. I have a very curious mind. I think this gets me more creative, helps me create my version of the story. Life in general. The daily interactions. I have found that there is always a lot to take away, if you are just present. 
Best advice: Before I created my first collection for SA Menswear week I got intimidated by the big names I was going to share the stage with, started doubting myself. Someone told me to never compare my self to anyone. That people will always listen to what I have to say, as long as I always remain true to who I am. That I should always tell my story, the best way I know how. To Imprint, leave a mark. 
Name: Martelle Ludik
Age: 23
Nickname: It’s like everyone has a different one, but generally it ends at Mart, Martie or Marta. My name makes nicknaming so hard!
From: The West Rand of Johannesburg.
Known for: Oh you’d have to ask people in my life that, but essentially I hope it has something to do with my humor, positivity and constant over-analysis of situations where I cause myself unjustified anxiety and stress. Also, possibly something to do with having an immense amount of creativity, passion and craziness when it comes to my work.
Hidden talents: Hmm…does being able to make a clump-free Bechamel sauce count? I can also move my ears back and forth without touching them? I sound so talentless right now. If anything I think I am pretty skilled in reading people.
Style icons: Anyone who pushes boundaries, has a strong narrative and tries to alter the current state of things – in terms of societal norms and ideologies – is a design/style hero. With risk of sounding like a total fashion newbie, I will still say designers like McQueen, Westwood and Galliano.
Studio jams: It really depends on the mood of the collection or the client I’m working with. If it is gloomy and nostalgic, I’d listen to some Lana del Rey. If it’s grungy and feisty, it would be some Nicki Minaj. The process of designing the most recent collection was accompanied by lots of ABBA, 80’s pop and rap for attitude.
Inspirations: Rainy days. Lana del Rey’s constant narrative of misery in Love. The combinations of contrasting materials and contrasting ideas. Music and the mood it can express. People and the reasons why they do what they do.
Name: Nao Serati.
Age: 23.
From: Grew up in Vosloorus in the east of Johannesburg. 
Known for: Being a fashion designer. 
Hidden talents: Not really, but I sang and acted in high school. 
Concept underpinning his collection: Matrix remix! Neo from the matrix makes friends with the Wutang Clan. 
Design heroes: Rich Mnisi, Edward Enninful and everyone at Celine and ACNE studios.
Studio jams: This season it was Busi Mhlongo but I listen to everything from James Blake to the Sarafina! stage sound track. 
Inspirations: Beyoncé, McDonalds, FAKA (Desire Marea and Fela Gucci), boys and music.
Best advice: “Focus on you.”
Name: Kim Gush.
Age: 30 going on 16.
Nickname: I hate them.
From: Born and raised in Cape Town, it could all be an optical illusion and I’m in fact from Mordor.
Known for: My love of all things black. 
Hidden talents: Negative. I do a lot of things, really, a lot – thanks to my love of reading/learning as mentioned below. Still unsure whether they’re talents or annoying traits, but nothing hidden, I’m an open book.
Design heroes: I appreciate the work of Yohji Yamamoto, Ann Demeulemeester and Rei Kawakubo – to name a few. 
Studio jams: When designing I tend to listen to mood evoking music – think Get Up Kids, meWithoutYou, Bjork. When I am doing pattern work & construction, I need something to keep me going, so that’s where Rise Against, He Is Legend, Four Year Strong and the likes keep me alive for hours without blinking – the music is at a volume that I feel like I’m working inside a club while they play a gig. Best.
Inspirations: I tend to people watch – both in person and online – there’s something about the human psyche that inspires – probably why I also draw inspiration from history, past & present affairs.
Best advice: When you feel like everyone is working against you, then you know you’re doing something right. Most humans are assholes, and they will always try to take from you, what you worked hard for. Even when you feel like giving in, don’t – they don’t deserve the victory. 
Name: Tsepo Tsotetsi
Age: 23 years old.
From: Kimberley in the Northern Cape. 
Known for: Aesthetically I would have to say my details and athleisure elements.
Hidden talents: I can do a one-handed cartwheel.
Latest collection: My collection is called ‘Through Chaos’ and came about from artworks I saw last year in a copy of ArtAfrica by African artist Mathias Chirombo. The contents of the work looked like a volcanic or lava ridden place, which was weird because early this year I kept on saving images of volcanoes. Erupting, the ash clouds it creates, the lava, the lightning. Chaos. And maybe I was subconsciously linking it to what’s happening around me or in the world this passed year and now.
Design heroes: Alber Elbaz, Theyskens Theory, John Galliano.
Studio jams: Electro, Soft R&B and Deep House.
Inspirations: My parents, my surroundings, music and fashion.
Best advice: Your path is your own.
Name: Rich Mnisi.
Age: 25.
From: Originally, Kempton Park, Johannesburg. 
Known for: Being a fashion designer.
Hidden talents: I can sing in the shower.
Most recent collection: For our A/W 17 collection we will present a project titled “Xingelengele,” which means bell/siren – a collection inspired by the way we handle things as people. It all started with the idea of “Ngi’cela i’void” which means “Please void the transaction” – when you’re at the till in a supermarket and you decide not to go ahead with one of the items and the teller yells “Ngi’cela i’void” and the manager comes rushing. It made me think of the idea of undoing, and if we had the opportunity to “cela i’void” whenever we changed our minds or wanted to undo something that had happened, how many of us would jump at the opportunity and how many times would we undo.
Design heroes: Jonny Johansson, Marc Jacobs, Martin Margiela and Phoebe Philo.
Studio jams: Anything with bass. Right now Sevdaliza.
Inspirations: My boyfriend, women, music, art and conversations with my friends.
Best advice: To resist the urge to shout out about what you do. Your work should speak for itself. If it’s good, shouting is unnecessary.” – Kelly Fung 

Name: Amanda Laird Cherry.
Age: 55.
From: Born in Cape Town, grew up in Durban.
Known for: My love for South Africa.
Hidden talents: Unraveling tangled bunches of things ie. Necklaces, ribbons etc.
Style icons: Different people I physically see as I walk through life.
Studio jams: Felix Laband.
Inspirations: South Africa, art, architecture, Japan and integrity.

Photos courtesy of SDR Photo

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