Anita Hlazo: shortlisted for Africa Fashion Week London

by | May 9, 2023 | Art, Creatives On The Rise, Culture, Fashion, Lifestyle, Trends

  • Young designer from Delft to showcase at Africa Fashion Week in London.
  • Who is Anita Hlazo?
  • Fusing African Culture and Grunge.
  • Disrupting the local Fashion Scene.
  • Nike Woman, Redbatt, UK Vogue and Trevor Stuurman.
  • The future, a hustle, and a flight away.

Fashion wunderkind, Anita Hlazo, is breaking through hard. The young Capetonian designer has earned a position on the shortlist for showcasing at Africa Fashion Week in London, scheduled for October 2023. In the fast paced world of fashion, where impactful opportunities are few and far between, this is no small matter. Appearing on the global stage at the centre of fashion’s coolest and most iconoclastic Fashion week will be life changing for Anita Hlazo. The WIRE, always on the pulse of culture, is fascinated with this enfant-rebel – read here why you should be too.


Who is Anita Hlazo?

Anita is from Delft, a township on the outskirts of the city, adjacent Cape Town International Airport. A creative and artistic child, she would go on to graduate from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and then launch her label Afrogrunge. Being so close to the arrival & departure of planes, the metaphor has become a self-fulfilling prophecy for Anita as her clothes & artistry are on the precipice of spreading far and wide.

Her style, largely incongruent with her locale, is a fusion of African Culture and the alternative sub-culture of Grunge. To be sure, it’s an articulate distillation of urban post-punk, Afro-futurism, body-modification, Gothic and other street cultures like hip hop and skateboarding. In doing so, Anita taps into the anti-establishment psyche and dynamic of these sub-cultures, viewed through the lens of her own African Heritage which, although some are disconnected from where she lives, amalgamates into her version of identity. Its an interesting psychological process as evidenced by the digital era and globalization.

Anita says: “I subscribed to studs, piercings, thrifting, individuality, skateboarding and uniqueness. I openly loved hip hop and I secretly enjoyed rock music. I would save up money and buy music magazines, second hand books at Mabu Vynil when it was on Kloof Street. This would become the foundation of lack of acceptance and understanding of my expression through clothing, body modification and genre of music. I felt the need to see individuals like me on the internet. I saw a lack of representation offline and online, as well as accessibility to this style in stores around me.”

Afrogrunge: A philosophy, a style, a business.

After completing her degree in fashion design, with determination and maturity, Anita has more than realised her fashion philosophy, having also formalised her “identity” into a successful business. Her label, ‘Afrogrunge’, is not only thriving, but it has also become a big disruptor on the local fashion scene.


Crucial Cultural Moments.

The digital age of content still relies on the zeitgeist, and Anita appears to have a flair for being at the fore of crucial culture-making moments.

She showcased at the South African Fashion Week as an emerging creative in 2018, thus plugging her into the local fashion scene & industry.

She dressed influencer Abongwe Qobeka for Afropunk Joburg 2018 where the seminal look was captured by renowned photographer Trevor Sturmaan, landing in the pages of Vogue UK.

Hlazo has also collaborated with music artist Moonchild Sanelly, styling an outfit featured in one of her music videos. Sanelly herself is known for pushing the edge in contemporary South African fashion.

Her biggest moment so far, says Anita, has been working with forward thinking streetwear labels who focus on women in the creative space such as Nike Woman and Redbat Posse.


The future, a hustle and a flight away.

Anita is laser focused on her goal for this year. Currently seeking to raise R60 000 to cover the costs for the trip to London, after watching planes depart Cape Town International for years from her family home, her own moment is almost here. “I would love to reach an international audience physically. It will be an eye-opening experience and honestly mind-blowing to have dreamt of creating Afrogrunge as a need to fit in, and now have it presented on a global stage,” she says. The Wire can’t wait to see her conquer London.

Those who wish to donate can visit Afrogrunge.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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