10 BRICS fashion designers that should be on your radar

The fashion industry is a profitable industry that exists in every corner of the world. Leaders of  the BRICS coalition during the 10th summit of the multinational bloc in South Africa, Johannesburg – pledged to collaboration beyond economics and politics. 

BRICS arts and culture ministers, on 31 October signed a declaration that is set to increase and accelerate cooperation in Arts, Anime and culture and further agreed to engage the New Development Bank to fund arts and culture programmes. 

The bloc’s eagerness to accelerate arts and culture cooperation was made evident at the South African Fashion Week (SAFW) – BRICS designers for the first time showcased at the SAFW. 

Here are some of BRICS fashion designers that you must know; 


Best known for his avant-garde design aesthetic and eclectic prints, Brazilian designer, Alexandre Herchcovitch is  a designer who is able to transform classic into modern, simple into glamorous, easy into complex. His designs have been sent down the runways of New York, Paris, London and São Paulo Fashion Weeks.Herchcovitch was instructed by his mother, Regina, to model and sew from an early age, quickly becoming her personal stylist in his pre-teen years.

Image source: WGSN 

Barbara Casasola was born in London but raised Brazil-born fashion designer. She showcases two womenswear collections a year for her label during London Fashion Week. Casasola graduated first in her class in 2007 from Istituto Marangoni, Milan, Italy after which she was hired by Roberto Cavalli in Florence as assistant designer for the women’s wear main line. Casasola stayed with Cavalli in Florence for nearly three years before she moved to Paris to consult for a number of major fashion houses. She made her catwalk debut at White Cube in 2013, and her Spring Summer 2014 show was dubbed a “triumphant first showing” by CR Fashion Book. Casasola designs from her studio in London and her collections are made in Italy and available at department stores and boutiques such as Harvey Nichols, Matches, Joseph, Net-a-Porter, Luisa via Roma Florence, Joyce Hong Kong and online at Moda Operandi. Her garments have been worn by Kate Bosworth, Rita Ora, Alicia Vikander and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Image Source: Net-A-Porter


Alexander Terekhov is a Moscow Institute of Fashion and Design graduate Alexander Terekhov and is fortunate to have gained experience at Yves Saint Laurent fashion house in couture capital Paris. Terekhov is known for his sensitivity to sensual femininity and close attention to tailoring. He has partnered with Walt Disney to create a collection of beautiful gowns, all inspired by the film The Wizard of Oz, titled The Great and Powerful and has also teamed with the Italian handbag brand Coccinelle. Terekhov’s brand was established more than ten years ago and in 2011 he was awarded with the title of Designer of the Year at Russian GQ Magazine‘s Man of the Year Awards.

Image source: Luckypony 

Gosha Rubchinskiy, is a Russian fashion designer and photographer and the founder of his eponymous brand  Rubchinskiy takes inspiration from the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russian street and youth culture, and his experiences to create his collections, pushing Russian iconography, both past and present, onto the world stage through his runway shows and his imagery.

Image source: Highsnobiety


Manish Malhotra was born in London but raised in Mumbai and first entered into the world of fashion as a model, before becoming a Bollywood costume designer in 1990. Ever since, he’s become a household familiar in Indian fashion. Malhotra has styled over 1000 films and known for redefining and modernising Bollywood costume design. Malhotra’s high couture label was launched in 1998 and fuses traditional Indian colours, fabrics and embroidery.

Image source: Fashion101.in 

Tarun Tahiliani is India’s answer to Karl Lagerfeld. He is famous in the Indian fashion  industry for his couture bridal gowns. After completing his primary education from Doon Boarding School, Dehradun in 1980, Tarun joined from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi.

Image source: WedMeGood 


Guo Pei is one of China’s first-class designers; more often than not the one celebrities call on for special events. She has is well-known to Chinese fashion circles since her career took off at the age of 19. Pei as received both local and international won recognition for her garments which are both modern and displays Chinese elements like embroidery. Pei’s design company is named “Mei Gui Fang”.

Image Source: Pinterest 

Jimmy Choo is a Malaysian fashion designer based in the United Kingdom. He is best known for co-founding Jimmy Choo Ltd, which became known for its handmade women’s shoes. Choo worked at two design companies for a total of nine years before opening his own business. Choo’s parents moved to Britain to help him get started, and he eventually expanded the business by opening his own shop in 1986, renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed at London Fashion Week in 1988.

South Africa

Thabo Makhetha-Kwinana is a luxury women’s wear fashion designer, founder of the Thabo Makhetha fashion label. Founded in 2009 the label is best known for pret-a-porter range of capes inspired and made from traditional Basotho blankets, known as Kobo Ea Bohali or Kobo by Thabo Makhetha. Makhetha uses her designs to communicate and showcase her culture as a Mosotho woman.

Image source: The culture trip 

Sindiso Khumalo was born in Botswana and raised in Durban, Sindiso Khumalo studied architecture at the University of Cape Town before moving to London to work in the offices of architect David Adjaye. She went on to study a Masters in Design for Textile Futures at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, graduating with distinction. In February 2012, Khumalo launched her eponymous label off the back of the Elle New Talent competition, of which she was a finalist.

Image source: Fab Magazine 


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane


Making histories with South African Fashion week – Zeitz

South Africa’s Zeitz Mocca Museum of Contemporary Africa will from 14 November to 07 January 2019 premier an exhibition featuring 21 South African designers in celebration of the 21 years of  South African Fashion Week (SAFW).

The Zeitz Mocca Museum collects, preserves, researches and exhibits modern art from Africa and its diaspora – opened on 22 September 2017 in Cape Town.

The exhibition, held under theme “21 years: making histories with South African Fashion Week” will show a micro-history of SA fashion, in reclaiming the absent years of the African fashion week.

“ Fashion much like art, reflects a broader political, cultural, technological and creative changes, and this survey exhibition offers an opportunity to showcase some of the conceptual developments in post-apartheid South Africa,” says a statement released by the Zeitz Museum.

The exhibition will further provide an opportunity for critical panel discussions, digital activations/interventions and experimental workshops.

Attendees will get an opportunity to see a feature of  21 ensembles from 21 popular South African designers – Amanda Laird Cherry, Black Coffee, Clive, Ephymol, Floyd Avenue, Guillotine, House of Ole, Lunar, Loxion Kulca, Mantsho, Marianne Fassler, Naked Ape, Rich Mnisi, Roman Handt, Selfi, Sheila Madge, Siesllsabelle, Sindiso Khumalo, Strangelove, Superella and Thebe Magugu.


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Image source: Zeitz Mocca Museum of Contemporary Art Design 

BRICS designers made a splash at the South Africa Fashion Week (SAFW)

Brazil, Russia, India and China showcased their designs at the 2018 South Africa Fashion Week (SAFW). Celebrating 21 years of Fashion, the 2019 winter, autumn fashion week was held at Sandton City from the 23-27 October.

Related story: BRIC fashion designers to participate in the 2018 SA Fashion Week

The five day event for the first time included a category featuring designers from the group of the fastest growing economies, BRICS. The BRICS designer collections were showcased on the second and third day of the prestigious fashion gathering.

Members of the coalition during the 10th BRICS Summit, held in Johannesburg, South Africa – pledged to collaboration beyond politics and economics. Talking to Independent Media, Bridgette Radebe, Chairperson of the Black Business Council and President of the South African Mining Development Association said “when BRICS was created it was focused towards arts and culture, economics, business with a political action integration.”

Here are some of BRICS designers of showcased their designs;


Helen Rodel is loyal to actuarial design that is purposed to change the human state of mind. Designs handmade garments, tropical in nature – reflective of her home country Brazil.  


Irina Stetsko is a brand founded by Irina Stetsco, a Russia culture and Art University graduate, who creates limited collections each month which are successful among women living active lifestyles.


Ka-Sha is a brand founded by a London College of Fashion graduate, Karishma Shahani Khan in 2012. The brand focuses on design as a form of storytelling, told through clothing that celebrate multi-layered cultures and ever-changing social landscapes.


Xiong Ying is the founder of a leading Chinese contemporary fashion brand, the Fashion Gaia. The brand draws inspiration from nature and incorporates it with modern and traditional designs. 


South Africa

Palesa Mokubung is the founder of the Mantsho fashion label. Mokubung led the pack of BRICS designers at the SAFW. Her designers according to SAFW are inspired by African cultures and elements.


Image Source: SA Fashion Week


By Kgothatso Nkanyane

Online education gaining momentum in China

A recent report from UBS Securities stated that online education is gaining traction in China, with the market scale expected to exceed 714 billion yuan ($104 billion) by 2025.

According to the report, the Chinese online education market will grow markedly from the 29 billion yuan reported last year.

An analyst at iiMedia, Liu Jiehao said government support, technological progress, and an cultural emphasis on education have all contributed to a burgeoning online education market in China.

Most Chinese parents expect their kids to continue learning after the end of the school day.

The UBS report pointed out that about 37% of Chinese parents paid for tuition compared to 70% in places such as Japan and South Korea.

A Chinese online education company, called VIPKid recently raised $500 million in its latest round of financing – the world’s largest fundraising in the online education sector.

The company’s latest data showed it has enrolled more than 60,000 foreign teachers in its network, enabling it to work with 500,000 paid users.

Founder and chief researcher at Learneasy Times Online Education Research Institute,LyuSenlin said; “The financing accelerated the accumulative effect of the country’s online education segment.”

China Daily informed that, in recent years, TAL Education Group and New Oriental Education & Technology Grouphas been China’s top two education players.

The companies are transforming from offline to online and putting great emphasis on online education.

Source: China Daily

New Visa Law for Chinese Tourists in South Africa

Tourism in South Africa has been an important contributor to the South African economy for many years. The tourism sector directly contributed 2,9% to South African gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. The industry has contributed more jobs than that of the manufacturing sector from 2012 to 2016. BRICS countries have been the biggest contributors towards the growth of the tourism economy in South Africa.

The South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has announced that according to the bilateral agreements signed at the 10th BRICS Summit in South Africa last month where South Africa and China agreed to ease their visa policies, the ministry is introducing new visa policies that will make it easy for Chinese tourist to enter South Africa.

The new visa law will allow Chinese tourists holding a valid passport and a Schengan visa, U.S. visa or Australian visa to enter the country without the need to apply for a separate South African visa. The minister said: “South Africa is working hard to increase its share of China’s huge tourism market and hopes to increase the share tenfold in the next five years.”

BRICS countries have contributed 6.1% towards inbound travelers to South Africa, tourists from China making up the largest portion of that increase.

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

China launches emergency farm inspections following swine fever outbreak

China’s Liaoning province plans to increase inspections at pig farms and markets and strengthen the monitoring of hog transportation. This comes after the first African swine fever case was reported in China.

According to an official from Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Animal Health and Production, the African swine fever outbreak poses a major threat to the hog farming industry in the province and the country.

The provincial government has asked local authorities to launch emergency inspections at all pig farms, hog markets, slaughterhouses and harmless treatment sites in the province.

Citizens are advised to report cases of pig deaths due to unknown reasons, and immune failure among pigs after receiving swine fever vaccines.

The Liaoning province ordered the temporary closure of all live hog markets and slaughterhouses in Shenbei district, where the outbreak was discovered.

The animal health bureau official said hogs and products in Shenyang can only be distributed within the city, while those transported from outside must go through strict quarantine.

The case in Liaoning, the first in East Asia, has fuelled concern about its spread in China, which has the world’s largest pig herd, and possibly to neighbouring countries in Asia.

Japan has suspended imports of heat-treated Chinese pork and tightened quarantine operations at airport and seaports, following the outbreak.

Source: Liaoning Daily

China orders medical institutions to stop using recalled Huahai-made drug

China’s health regulator has advised that all domestic medical institutions must cooperate with authorities and stop using the valsartan blood and heart drug made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd that could pose cancer risks.

Earlier this month, the bulk manufacturer of the drug was recalling the valsartan drug sold in the United States after the European Medicines Agency found that it was tainted with an impurity linked to cancer.

China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said the recalled drug, commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure, should not be used for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

European regulators have said that the problem likely dates to changes introduced into manufacturing processes at the company in 2012, suggesting that many patients could have been exposed to cancer risk.

Reuters informed that the drug has already been withdrawn in the United States and Europe, and China’s drug regulator confirmed that Huahai had completed the withdrawal in China of the raw materials used to produce the drug.

Shares in Chinese drugmakers have since slumped, with an index tracking major Chinese healthcare firms trading 3% lower on Monday, putting it on track for its third consecutive day of loss.

Source: reuters.com


South Africans can visit these 102 countries now without a visa

Henley & Partners, a travel advisor has released an index indicating which countries have the most visa-free or visa-on-arrival access. The data is collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), maintain the world’s largest database on travel information.

Visa-free travel is a key tool when it comes to building business ties, generating tourism revenue, help with attaining foreign direct investment and trade partners. Most European countries have long implemented these policies, with Africa now starting to show improvement.

South Africa is one of those African countries setting the benchmark for visa-free travel, moving to 102 countries that a South African passport can take you (visa-free). Unfortunately 33 countries of the 102 are Visa-on-Arrival or Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).


Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA











Reunion Island






St. Helena

Cape Verde Islands        


Comores Islands              













Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA

Macao (SAR China)         

South Korea      



Hong Kong (SAR China)





Sri Lanka









Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Antigua and Barbuda


St. Lucia


Dominican Republic

St. Vincent and the Grenadines



Trinidad and Tobago

British Virgin Islands


Turks and Caicos Islands

Cayman Islands

St. Kitts and Nevis           



Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA




El Salvador



Falkland Islands







Costa Rica




Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Cook Islands





Palau Islands



Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA


Russian Federation



Middle East/Other

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA


Palestinian Territory








 Source:  businesstech.co.za             


Lesotho : The Kingdom in the Sky

Lesotho is an ancient mountainous land filled with minerals, rolling hills and majestic natural formations as old as time. But it is also a nation looking ahead to a bright future, striving to drive forward from a dormant past. 

Known as the Kingdom or the Kingdom in the Sky, Lesotho is home to vistas and mountainous scenery that has to be seen to be believed. The mountains filter Lesotho’s crystal clear water that feeds into numerous rivers and hydrates the country’s abundance of green pastures, providing for its livestock. The mountains also yield Lesotho’s other prolific mineral : diamonds. 

Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country located within the borders of South Africa. The name Lesotho translates to “the land of the people who speak Sotho”. Formerly a British protectorate until independence in October 1966, the kingdom of Lesotho is one of only three remaining monarchies in Africa. 

Lesotho occupies a unique geographical position. The country is situated centrally within Southern Africa, with access to some of the fastest-growing industrial economic areas in the region, such as South Africa’s Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. 


The government of Lesotho has adopted a private sector-driven economic-development and an export-led industrial growth strategy. Essential parts of the economy are industries like diamond mining and quarrying, construction, the manufacturing of textiles, garments and footwear, the assembly of electronics and electrical appliances, trout breeding, fishing and food processing. 


Lesotho offers natural beauty, rugged terrain, rich local culture and traditions, as well as adventurous activities that don’t require a permit, like skiing and snowboarding. Accommodation can be found in all regions of the country – some serenely situated on river banks, some on mountainsides, and some at the highest altitude in Southern Africa, surrounded by beautiful mountains and a peaceful, natural environment. 

source : Best of Lesotho Volume 1

Published by Proudly African



Maliba Lodge 

The lodge lies within the Ts’ehlanyane National Park in Lesotho. The main lodge features an exclusive lounge and dining room, with private decks, health spa and restaurant. The lodge offers myriad activities for those who need more than just relaxing stay in luxury. There are numerous walking trails in the immediate area, and the national park features rivers running through, a number of waterfalls, rock pools and swimming holes. www.maliba-lodge.com 


Blue Mountain Inn 

This is a delightful retreat situated in the town of Teyateyaneng, a short drive from the capital city of Maseru. The hotel offers first-class facilities for holidaymakers and the business community. The hotel is ideally situated for tourists to visit the national heritage site “Kome Caves”, as well as experience traditional weaving in Teyateyaneng. www.bmilesotho.com


Semonkong Lodge 

Semonkong Lodge believes in empowering individuals within their local community, using the environment and its conversation as the focal point of their activities, and helping to create long-term sustainable income through tourism for as many people as possible in the community. The lodge is situated close to the to the mighty Maletsunyane Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Africa at 192 metres. www.semonkonglodge.com 

#FashionFindsWednesday: Ulyana Sergeenko built her antique and vintage empire

From graduating in the Faculty of Philology to becoming Russia’s big deal in the fashion industry.

Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian-based fashion designer, who has worked with many celebrities, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Natalia Vodianova.

The Ulyana Sergeenko brand was launched in Moscow in April 2011 with a first collection designed for autumn-winter 2011/12.

Her debut collection featured clingy knit tops, quilted skirts, floor-sweeping greatcoats, and enough sable to swaddle the Russian army.

Today, the designer has the Moscow-based company that has ready-to-wear women clothing, bags, jewellery and headpieces.

Sergeenko has always love fashion.

With all the love she is receiving, Sergeenko has built a fashion empire that consists of a a collection of antique and vintage clothes and accessories, ranging from the rare ancient jewellery to Soviet school uniform.

The designer frequently visits flea-markets and vintage boutiques as her way of inventing new styles, whereas all her fabrics and trimmings are bought in France, Italy and Japan.

Sergeenko collaborates with highly-skilled ateliers from Russia, along with numerous craftsmen from former Soviets republics. She did that to help them preserve their precious knowledge in the process.

In her 2018 collection called Haute Couture Spring Summer, she designed gowns with long bell-shaped skirts and puffed sleeves with vivid colours. She said that her collection was inspired by the 40s and 50s styles codes.