Local fashion accessories are taking it to the next level at NEXT21, an exhibition of export-worthy South African designs that are ready to take on the world. NEXT is an export development initiative powered by the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) and is now in its 4th annual incarnation.
This year, more than 20 nationwide exhibitors will showcase products on an all-new online platform. The virtual exhibition is supported by the City of Cape Town and is free to view. It consists of a filmed walk-through that will bring displayed products and producers to life with interactive pop-up windows revealing informative videos, housing interviews and need-to-know facts about the fresh products that are being launched on NEXT21. The platform goes live on 25 March 2021 and runs until March 2022.
The exhibition is geared to stimulate trade. For fashion buyers and retailers – both local and international – the undeniable highlights are the new purse, clutch, handbag, tote and tog bag collections being presented by a trio of proudly South African designers, namely, WREN, Mors Design and Chimpel.
WREN innovatively coats, folds and stitches paper into accessories such as laptop sleeves, wallets, tog bags and totes. The company opts to reclaim paper waste first, recycle second and buy new certified paper from accredited suppliers as a last resort. For NEXT21, WREN has introduced cheerful neon yellow and coral colours into its collections. Another new addition is the family of screenprinted products borne of a fruitful collaboration with textile design and homeware brand Skinny laMinx. Skinny laMinx’s Promenade and Meander patterns now adorn a selection of WREN accessories. See https://www.thewrendesign.com/ for more information.
Sustainable brand Mors Design is an up-cycling initiative that repurposes non-toxic waste into beautiful new bags, book covers, lighting and sculpture. Mors Design believes that reducing the load on our landfills contributes to saving the environment. All Mors Design products, which are made from recycled tyre tubes, are manufactured locally by previously disadvantaged women and refugees, giving them the opportunity to become self-sufficient.
The newly developed products on display as part of NEXT21 include handbags and clutches as well as a new direction that combines swathes of tube with other fabrics to create stylish new totes. Visit https://mors.co.za/.
Chimpel’s NEXT21 showing includes tasteful, petite leather handbags sporting curvilinear stripes and totes that marry convenience with modish appeal. Designer Majda Rabin started Chimpel in 2009, focusing on African sourced leather – the unique texture of ostrich leather and the tactile elegance of crocodile skin. She understood that there was a gap in the market for quality leather bags that were more affordably priced and so has created a bespoke range of aspirational products that remain accessible to a wider market. For more, see: https://chimpel.co.za/.
To view the latest ranges from these export-ready fashion accessories labels visit www.thecdi.org.za/NEXT21Tradeshow.