What comes to mind when you think of the world’s top designers? Paris fashion? New York catwalks? Fashionistas and design gurus of the century residing anywhere but in Africa, right? Well, think again! South African designers have been steadily climbing the ranks over the years, and now, we’re officially on the global creative designer’s map!
Just think of Ross Cassidy. While he lives in Los Angeles, he is South African born and bred. And of course, he is a renowned designer furniture creator and aims to bring playful, high-end designs to a wide audience. That’s just one South African that’s making a name for himself in the design world. Let’s consider a few of the others!
South African designers
South African fashion designers
In 2019, all eyes were on South Africa when the humble Thebe Magugu won the LVMH prize (the Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE prize, that is). Not only is Thebe an outstanding fashion designer, but he is the first African designer to win the award! The moment that award was won, the world saw South African fashion designers for what they truly are; young, talented designers ready to present their cultural pizazz to the major global fashion houses.
That said, Thebe isn’t the only South African designer in the fashion space worthy of mention. There’s also Sindiso Khumalo, one of the eight finalists at the LVMH awards. Her collection features unique and exciting designs of a Yoruba princess, orphaned and sold into the slave trade in the 1800s. She was freed later on and became Queen Victoria’s goddaughter. The collection depicts dresses she could not have owned in her childhood and act as a type of ode to folk tales deep in Africa.
Another South African fashion designer to look out for is Rich Mnisi, straight out of Johannesburg! Rich is already well known both internationally and locally for his designs that are accented with African cultural heritage. Local prints and bursts of colour have become his signature appeal, and the world is wowed by his fashion designs regularly.
South African web designers
Of course, it’s not all about fashion when it comes to celebrating South African creatives. What about the digital gurus who have whipped together some of the world’s most astounding online experiences? Yes, we’re talking about South African web designers!
In 2020, Known, a South African web design company was presented with a prestigious award for The Best Website Designers of the Year in South Africa 2020 by Corporate Live Wire. The company has also been named the Most Innovative Branding & Web Design Agency in the Western Cape and the Most Transformational Web Design Project in South Africa (Cape Town Cycle Tour). You can see some of the agency’s work at the following links:
Of course, Known is not the only team of top web designers in South Africa! Clutch presents a long list of the top South African web designers for you to peruse here.
South African interior designers
Interior design has been a growing trend in South Africa over the years, and as the trend grows, more talented South African interior designers come out of the proverbial woodwork. What’s great about South African interior designers is that they can incorporate a truly African appeal into their pieces and designs or derive inspiration from other countries and concepts. It goes without saying that the design industry is booming in SA. Visionary artists and talented designers portray the SA skillset with flair and glamour. So, who are our top performers in the interior design space in South Africa? Here’s a look at a few.
- Tristan du Plessis
Tristan needs no introduction to interior design enthusiasts both locally and internationally. He has won many awards and boasts an impressive portfolio. Tristan works alone and with big studios, positioning him as one of the most sought-after designers in the country. Currently, he heads up his own team of talented designers, focusing on residential and hospitality design.
- Donald Nxumalo
Donald is becoming a household name in the world of interior decorators! His portfolio is jam-packed with unique visions and concepts. Something that makes Donald stand out is his dedication to an ethical work process. Donald provides interior design services to discerning clients in the luxury residential and corporate property space. He has received various design awards locally over the years.
- Renée Rossouw
Young artists and designers in South Africa all know of Renée Rossouw, whose work is accented by passion and unique appeal. This interior designer has a string of impressive awards in her portfolio. She has partnered with some fantastic businesses and organisations, too, including Nandos, Spier Wine Estate, and Design Indaba. If you want to see some incredible interior designs for inspiration, keep an eye open for Renée Rossouw!
With South African designs like these representing the country’s passion and skill, there’s every reason to shine a spotlight on them – and of course, be proud!
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