Think of South Africa, and you might imagine a picturesque ocean view, the open planes of sub-Saharan grassland or the lush greenery of the natal midlands. What likely won’t cross your mind is a booming fashion culture. South Africa’s fashion scene is fueled by a lack of access to high-end streetwear, and by ever-increasing access to the internet.

As South Africa’s internet access increases, so does the appetite for high-end streetwear. Unfortunately for the crazed youth that reside in South Africa’s inner cities, there aren’t enough retailers offering the brands they desire; and access to collaborations from projects like NikeLab and adidas consortium is even more limited.

On the bright side, this has led to a streetwear renaissance in South Africa. Young people are taking it upon themselves to solve this problem by designing—and, in some cases, manufacturing—their own clothes, and it’s worth paying attention to this scene. So, without further ado, here are five dope new brands killing it in South Africa right now:


With a rich history in the streetwear game, 2Bop launched in 2004, with the aim of giving tangible expression to the designer’s passion for classic video games. Playing on the word “2 bop,” which literally means 20 cents, the brand’s name references the arcade games outside the local corner store that required 2bop (or 20 cents) to enjoy.

Accentuated by old-school arcade game graphics, 2Bop’s aesthetic can be characterized as modern skater meets OG Cape Town city slicker.


DEAD by Bangy is an exciting lifestyle brand that embodies the hyper-emotional millennial generation. Coming out of Pretoria, DEAD provides well-fitted garments with a variation on Chinese workwear silhouettes, fused with bright colors, patch work and eccentric prints that add texture to a more traditional style.

The recent “Come back around” collection is the best example of the two worlds merging with effortless ease.


PUNK & IVY are an established mainstay in the streetwear scene in South Africa, having worked on numerous brand collaborations with large retailers, while still maintaining their reputation for impeccable design and a strong aesthetic. Their androgynous approach—coupled with an intelligent use of African print and collaborations with local illustrators and graphic designers—makes PUNK & IVY a serious player in the game.

The brand has also recently taken an innovative approach to retail space by launching “Motique”; a mobile boutique that essentially allows sales to be made on the move and negates the need to pay rent; inspiring a new generation of retail space.


3AM is a brand that’s for the youth, by the youth. Self-proclaimed “king of the kids” Didi Monsta draws inspiration from his life experiences to create strangely appealing capsule collections that sell out within a matter of days. What's more, he doesn't even use a website — he just sells his stuff straight off Instagram.

3AM will often combine unlikely fabrics and ideals, resulting in a range of clothing that has a surprisingly clear identity. The brand utilizes bright pink camo on a collared shirt, for example—one with a Velcro strip instead of buttons, no less—and makes use of camo and 3M reflector strips to instill a sense of confusion. Apparent contradictions are the name of the game for 3AM, and it works.


The Booty Call collection by D.O.C.C is post-break-up fashion at its best, and never has a South African designer created such an emotionally-motivated collection. The collection was released as an album, and each garment was accompanied by an artwork. This novel approach to fashion resulted in the world's first break-up-themed, fashion-music compilation in the form of the Booty Call EP.

Each garment is a remnant of the relationship manifested onto printed T-shirts, text and graphic golf shirts, pastel shorts and a two-piece canvas trench coat and trouser combination. A firm favorite with the younger generation, D.O.C.C is definitely one to watch.

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