Meet the finalists for SA Fashion Week Mr Price New Talent Search 2024

Reina Majoko designs. Picture: Instagram.

Reina Majoko designs. Picture: Instagram.

Published Apr 2, 2024


The countdown to South African Fashion Week Autumn/Winner 24 collections has begun.

This season will not only see established designers take to the runway to showcase their latest collections but we will also meet emerging designers who will be showcasing under the Mr Price New Talent Search.

Every autumn/winter season, SA Fashion Week scouts for new talent and participating in this year’s Mr Price New Talent Search competition are Busisiwe Buthelezi of Ngingu, Belinda Venter of Belhauzen, James Moroeng of James Presents, Katlego Mokwana of Mother of Gao, Nhlanhla Masemola of Nhlanhla Masemola, Jessica-Ann Sheperd of Oddity, Keneilwe Khobo of Reina Majoko and Themba Shezi of Heru Shezi.

Busisiwe Buthelezi

Buthelezi is a Johannesburg-based designer who has been in business for two years. Inspired by Joburg city life, Buthelezi wanted to make clothes that reflected the Jozi culture.

“Growing up in Joburg I wanted to showcase the diversity that the city has always been known for. My collections are usually inclusive. I design for an individual who’s not afraid to express themselves through what they wear,” said the designer.

For her, responsible fashion is important because it promotes sustainability.

“I use natural materials, I source my fabrics locally and I make sure that I create timeless fashion that could be worn today, and in years to come.”

Ngingu blazer by Busisiwe Buthelezi. Picture: Instagram.

Belinda Venter

Venter has been in business for three years and hails from Cape Town. This season, she’ll be showcasing “Urban Elegance,” a collection inspired by the vibrant energy and the urban landscape mixed with the delicate beauty of nature.

“When I first read of the competition, it specifically grabbed my attention that we have to be sustainable and that we also have to design our own prints,” said Venter.

“Responsible fashion is important in my business because it reflects a commitment between ethical practises and environmental stewardship.”

Her target market is forward-thinking women who are not only fashion-conscious but also socially and environmentally aware.

Belhauzen collection. Picture: Grethephoto.

James Moroeng

The Soweto-based designer officially launched his brand in 2015. This season, he’ll be showcasing a collection inspired by the Roaring 70s.

“I imagined these party girls who are dying to go to the launch of Studio 54 and they don’t have a budget to buy clothes, so what do they do,? ‘Hey, friend, let me help you’.

“They start helping each other out to put these clothes together just so they can make it in time to hang out with Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and the like,” Moroeng explained.

Asked about the importance of responsible fashion, he said: “I have realised that my industry is responsible for 20% of the air pollution that we have going on globally.

“I find that having to upcycle materials is one way I can contribute to making sure I play a part in ethical means of producing my product.”

Back to basics by James Presents. Picture: Instagram.

Katlego Mokwana

Mokwana, who has been in business for three years, is based in the Vaal Triangle. She’ll be showcasing a collection inspired by one of her favourite Bible scriptures.

“My inspiration for this collection was taken from the scripture Isiah 60: 1, which says ‘Shine your light like the sun, for the glory of God rises upon you’.

“And this inspired me to use my natural dyeing techniques. And when I thought about the print I thought about patchworking and botanical printing, which I use a lot in my natural dying techniques,” she said.

“I design for women who love minimal clothing but also love to explore different shapes, and styles and see clothing as a form of artwork rather than a garment in their closet.”

Stylish bags by Mother of Gao. Picture: Instagram.

Nhlanhla Masemola

The Cape Town designer who has been in business for roughly five years was inspired by corporate wear and office dressing, for the collection he’ll be showcasing this season.

“Covid had many people losing traditional corporate spaces, yearning for them and quickly regretting their return and I wanted to play around with that tension.

“Responsible fashion is important because it is necessary with the ever-growing climate crisis knocking at our doors and the terrifying reality of waste that the fashion industry produces.

“On my brand, I combat this by being radically slower and designing around the idea of integrating hard-working staples,” he explained.

Nhlanhla Masemola 22. Picture: Glow Studio.

Jessica-Ann Sheperd

Also from Cape Town is the creative director of Oddity, who has been in business since 2019.

About the inspiration behind her collection, she said: “I was inspired by two micro-trends, day-to-dream and eternity pastels, and from that I’ve created a collection of quirky prints, eternity elements and upcycling techniques.

“Our target market is eco-conscious consumers who value their creativity and individuality.”

Stylish Oddity knit. Picture: Instagram.

Keneilwe Khobo

Based in Soshanguve, Pretoria, Khobo’s brand prides itself on creating African luxury couture using fine beads for detailing and other materials.

For the upcoming collection, the designer was inspired by the boiling frog syndrome, which she believes is currently faced by many South African women.

Reina Majoko designs. Picture: Instagram.

Themba Shezi

This season, Shezi will be showcasing a collection titled “Simakade”. “The collection is named after the mystical God known for creating the moon as a means to capture the love of his life”.

∎ South African Fashion Week takes place at the Mall of Africa from April 18 to 20.