High fashion and serious business at the just ended Mercedez Benz Joburg Fashion Week, which drew thousands of fans, dozens of designers and models from around the world.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (MARCH 10, 2012) (REUTERS -Returning for its 5th year, the Joburg Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 showcased some of Africa's best designers exhibiting their creativity and the season's latest fashion trends.
Media, fashion buyers, consumers, influential icons from all over the world came to witness what contributions Africa had to offer the fashion world at the Hyde Park Venue in Johannesburg, South Africa.
One of the designers on offer that got the crowds talking was Tanzanian creator, Anisa Mpungwe with her Loin Cloths and Ashes label.
Mpungwe, who launched her own line in 2008 said her collection was a true testimony to her African roots and inspiration from the continent.
"Getting to see what other people have been doing and seeing how ok they have done that now what's our story in fashion I think that's very important and that's what I have portrayed in my collection, that there were lots of prints in there, because we are African we have prints we have colour and we are vibrant," said Mpungwe.
Professionals said this year's event, which was sponsored by Mercedes Benz, had massive international appeal.
Make up artist, Michelle Lee said from the front row, to the runway to back stage, 2012 Fashion Week was better than any other year.
"Its fantastic because it really gives Jo'burg an international platform, I mean the fact that Mercedes Benz sponsors New York fashion week and numerous other European fashion weeks it really does make its mark in the world really," she said.
"Its great exposure for models. There are a lot of young faces here, fresh faces, this is their first tour season and they are working with some of the best designers in the country. I mean its... it's just an incredible opportunity for everybody," said model, Lex King.
Critics said Joburg fashion week was a healthy mix of emerging and established designers this season yet presented itself as a definitive standard of high-end couture and trendy styles.
However, some fashion professionals said African designers are too eager to make their mark internationally when they have not established a viable market at home.