Sunday Times

Celebs in the fash­ion front row, by de­sign

- By REA KHOABANE Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Austria · Johannesburg · Heidi Montag · Nelson Mandela · Australia · Port Elizabeth · Democratic Republic of Congo · Republic of Congo · Caster Semenya · United States of America · Africa · Iceland · AFI (A Fire Inside) · French Montana

● The de­sign­ers are call­ing the shots at South African fash­ion shows when it comes to who gets the best seats in the house.

At the AFI Jo­han­nes­burg Fash­ion Week 2018 this week, celebri­ties graced the run­way to model out­fits while clients and politi­cians were ush­ered to fron­trow seats.

Among the de­signs on show were those of Pres­i­den­tial, the la­bel that de­signed many of Nel­son Man­dela’s shirts and more re­cently shirts worn by the Spring­bok rugby team ahead of the Test against Aus­tralia in Port El­iz­a­beth. The match last month was ded­i­cated to the me­mory of Man­dela, who would have turned 100 this year.

Theresa Gian­nuzzi, who pro­duced Pres­i­den­tial’s show at fash­ion week, said clients who wore the brand’s cre­ations were in the front row. Among them were mu­si­cian Tre­sor Riziki from the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, TV per­son­al­ity Mthoko “Dash” Mkhathini and Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nel­son Man­dela Foun­da­tion.

“All are peo­ple who ex­hibit pres­i­den­tial char­ac­ter,” Gian­nuzzi said.

Other well-known fig­ures who have worn Pres­i­den­tial de­signs in­clude mid­dle-dis­tance run­ner Caster Se­menya, mu­si­cian Vusi Mahlasela, Nige­rian re­li­gious leader TB Joshua and US hip-hop artist French Mon­tana.

Gian­nuzzi said fash­ion shows were a great op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with peo­ple. The Pres­i­den­tial col­lec­tion seen on Fri­day night was in­spired by the vi­brant and di­verse cul­tures, styles and peo­ple of Africa and Asia.

For her new col­lec­tion, de­signer Khosi Nkosi had celebri­ties such as ra­dio pre­sen­ter Tumi Voster, TV per­son­al­ity Khanya Mkangisa and ac­tress/singer Di­neo Moeketsi do­ing mod­el­ling duty.

Politi­cians’ wives Norma Gi­gaba and Them­beka Cele were “frow­ing” — as be­ing in the front row is known — dur­ing Orape­leng Mo­dutle’s show.

“My guest list is made of peo­ple who buy the brand and this in­cludes high-pro­file busi­ness peo­ple, while the rest, like me­dia and in­flu­encers, are han­dled by my man­age­ment,” said Mo­dutle.

“My clients love qual­ity and pre­fer ex­clu­sive ser­vice. We have to make sure they’re ac­com­mo­dated at our shows.”

Mo­dutle said that when he first started show­ing at fash­ion weeks, he would see a lot of peo­ple in the au­di­ence who were of lit­tle ben­e­fit to de­sign­ers.

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 ?? Pic­tures: Kit Bruyns ?? Two of Orape­leng Mo­dutle’s cre­ations that were on show at fash­ion week.
Pic­tures: Kit Bruyns Two of Orape­leng Mo­dutle’s cre­ations that were on show at fash­ion week.

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