SA Fashion Week: James Presents Wows with Upcycling Collection


James Moroeng’s SA Fashion Week collection seamlessly blended creativity with a commitment to responsible fashion

James Moroeng of James Presents may not have won this year’s recent South African Fashion Week (SAFW) Mr Price New Talent Search, but the designer certainly stole the show.

The up-and-coming Soweto-based designer, who’s been in business since 2015, was inspired by New York’s 1970s party scene when creating his SAFW collection under the ethos of ‘responsible fashion’.

The stunning upcycling collection highlights not only his creativity as a designer but also his ingenuity in response to harmful fast fashion trends.

What is the inspiration behind your collection?

Siblinghood and the works of the hands as a conduit for connection. I imagined girls from the neighbourhood needed an outfit for the opening of Studio 54, coming together and having to work with what they had to create killer looks to impress the likes of Grace Jones and Andy Warhol. It’s about working together so that we all turn heads.

Images: SA Fashion Week

What was the response to your collection?

Really positive and people wanna wear the clothes!

What did it feel like showcasing at SA Fashion Week?

Nerve wracking and thrilling. There were many sleepless nights leading up to the competition, so exhausting!

What does Fashion Week mean for our community?

Freedom to express our beauty and creativity.

Why did you decide to focus this collection on upcycling?

I didn’t. They did! I got to use all my leftover fabric from previous projects and reimagine it. It was a great challenge for me. But to know that my industry is responsible for 20% of air pollution, I can’t ignore how fast fashion is destroying the world; and as a designer, I strive to create looks that stand out, but that can endure and be worn over and over again.

What is upcycling?

It’s taking a fabric – or an outfit – to use it in a different way so that it can exist in a different context.

What’s next for you?

Shopping around for which stores to supply.

Where can people see your work?

On Instagram and Facebook, and a website is coming soon!


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