5 Fashion Graduates to Watch in 2021

Every year we spotlight some of South Africa’s best creative graduates across various fields and artistic disciplines including fashion, photography, graphic and multimedia design, illustration and art. To round off 10and5’s annual Grad Guide for this year, meet five of the freshest fashion design graduates poised to take the industry by storm.

Alexandra van Heerden

Alexandra van Heerden is a recent Durban University of Technology fashion design graduate and founder of the clothing brand Vanklan. Through her label she aims to introduce fashion that challenges societal norms, particularly in the realm of sustainable design. Her unconventional graduate collection Steam Cats & Scavvy Dogs perfectly illustrates this philosophy and approach, using items which had been deemed redundant, useless or waste – such as dog jerseys, single socks, beaded broaches and more – in experimental manners to create new and incredibly vibrant garments. In the designer’s own words, “The brighter, bolder, more weird and wonderful it is… the more I love it.”

Read the full interview here.

Asanda Mgobhozi

Born and raised in Durban, Asanda Mgobhozi is a 25-year old fashion graduate from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Mgobhozi’s educational journey began with studies in community development before she made the switch to follow her childhood dream of becoming a fashion designer. Evidently, culture plays a huge role in her designs. Her work is inspired by her Zulu roots and other African cultures and, through fashion design, she intends to preserve the African identity and keep it alive for generations to come – as her graduate collection explores to such beautiful effect.

Read our interview with her here.

Caitlin Rogerson

Caitlin Rogerson completed her degree in fashion design at Vega School, where she was exposed to the significant impact the fashion industry has on the environment – influencing her design philosophy and decision to take a sustainable approach to fashion and textile design. Her graduate collection, In Contrast, took inspiration from contemporary local art such as David Brits’ Snake Abstract Print and grew to convey her own interpretation of life in modern-day South Africa as a country full of contrast. In terms of construction the collection features hand painted prints, a rolled hem finish and binding to achieve a strong sense of line. Organic biodegradable fabrics were locally sourced and used to create garments full of volume, structured in a way that gives off a dramatic look and feel. The designs are eccentric, exuding artistic elegance with an edgy feel.

Read the full interview here.

Nuraan Mohamed

The final year collection of Cape Peninsula University of Technology fashion design graduate Nuraan Mohamed was inspired by a trip to the historic District Six Museum, where she was instantly drawn to the showcase of the prominent drag artist and hairdresser known as Kewpie. Particularly inspired by the salon scene at the exhibition, Mohamed’s garments pay homage to the working-class women of District Six. The silhouettes refer back to the 1960s, while each item of clothing or outfit portrays a certain type of character – it’s a vibrant and celebratory interpretation of District Six as a place of unity and simple joys, before the forced removals took place. Speaking of her philosophy as a designer, Mohamed says, “Design does not necessarily have to be attractive to the next individual. If you are able to have a few pieces that really move you and that you know you’ll still find beautiful in the next 10 years, then that is what you should invest in.”

Read our full interview with her here.

Tarryn Tippens

21-year-old Cape Peninsula University of Technology graduate Tarryn Tippens has found her focus in sustainable fashion and design processes. Alongside being a recent graduate, she’s also the co-founder of Metopia, a brand created around repurposing, natural dyes, eco prints and hemp fibres – endeavoring to add a ‘cool’ element to sustainability. Tippens describes her approach as a designer as “holistic”, and aims to create clothing that lends itself to an experience, promoting wellness and healing. “At the moment it’s all about human-centered design and sustainability,” she says. “Designing with intention is and always will be what’s important to me.”

Read the full interview here.

Find the full 2020 Grad Guide here.

Between 10 and 5