South African designers MERGE ZA

Five leading South African designers hit London Fashion Week

Travelling showroom MERGE ZA launches at Tank Magazine’s gallery space during London Fashion Week to promote best of South African contemporary fashion designers.

South African designers MERGE ZA

MERGE ZA is a travelling showroom, bringing the best of South African design and contemporary culture. During London Fashion Week, MERGE ZA is hosting its inaugural showroom to exhibit five leading South African designers’ work: Rich Mnisi, Lukhanyo Mdingi, SELFI, Wanda LePhoto and Young & Lazy.

Meet the South African designers

RICH MNISI is a South African based contemporary fashion brand founded in 2014 by Rich Mnisi. The brand explores the “treasures engraved within Africa and the world of modern culture and heritage to tell the unique stories of then, now and soon”.

South African designer rich-mnisi
Rich Mnisi

The Lukhanyo Mdingi label aims to show a sense of “cross-cultural influences of traditional designs; reflecting on a contemporary outlook of African aesthetics and heritage”.

South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi
Lukhanyo Mdingi

SELFI is a Cape Town-based fashion label which explores the multidimensional parts of the self. Founder and Creative Director Celeste Arendse has found her own way of creating bespoke ready to wear everyday pieces that exude sophistication, comfort and distinct elements of play.

South African designer SELFI

Wanda Lephoto’s label takes inspiration from under-celebrated 60’s-90’s Black Pop Culture.

South African designer Wanda lephoto
Wanda Lephoto

Young and Lazy was founded in 2009 and is known for its definitively effortless style. The brand’s creative director Anees Petersen describes the brand as offering “luxurious leisure pieces with the stunt-ability that exceeds the rarest item you’ve ever purchased”.

South African designer Young and Lazy
Young and Lazy

MERGE ZA travelling showroom

By taking emerging and established South African fashion talents to urban hotspots during major trade shows such as London Fashion Week, MERGE ZA is launching an innovative platform to strategically develop international audiences, to promote quality South African design and to act as service provider between local designers and international partners.

The showroom will be open to buyers, press and the public from 11am-3pm between 16-20 September, followed by panel discussions from 3-5pm on brand stories (Fri 16th), media & trends (Sat 17th) and sustainability (Sun 19th).

UK guest speakers include Helen Jennings (Nataal), Orsola De Castro (Esthetica & Fashion Revolution), Anna Freemantle (Edinburgh International Fashion Festival), Rose Sinclair (Goldsmith), Francesco Mazzarella (Loughborough Design School), Ayesha Mustafa (Fashion Compassion), Jaqueline Shaw (Africa Fashion Guide & Fashion Africa Conference) and more.

A Thursday launch and Saturday party are hosted in collaboration with ZA Waves, presenting emerging South African music genres. MERGE ZA is launching in partnership with the British Council CONNECT ZA.

Tank Magazine Gallery Space | 91-93 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7NX


THURSDAY 15 September | 3pm Launch & Intro | 5-9pm Music

FRIDAY 16 September | 11am-3pm Showroom | 3-5pm Designer Dialogue

SA BRAND STORIES: Growing fashion businesses: Motivation, inspiration, opportunities

SPEAKERS: Rich Mnisi, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Celeste Arendse, Anees Petersen, Wanda Lephoto

SATURDAY 17 September | 11am-3pm Showroom | 3-5pm Media & trends talk | 6-9 Music

MEDIA & TRENDS: A future outlook at Africa’s role in media

SPEAKERS: Helen Jennings, Liz Muller, The Sartists, Salina Janzan  

SUNDAY 18 September | 11am-5pm Showroom

MONDAY 19 September | 11am-3pm Showroom | 3-5pm Sustainability talk


SPEAKERS: Orsola de Castro, Anna Freemantle, Rose Sinclair, Francesca Mazzarella, Laura Santamaria, Ayesha Mustafa, Jacqueline Shaw

TUESDAY 20 September | 11am-3pm SHOWROOM