Many emerging designers have launched their careers by participating in this competition focused specifically on menswear since its inception in 2012. The amplified media exposure and access to buyers and fashion consumers has given participants an invaluable foothold in this competitive field.


Scouting Menswear Judges


Scouting Menswear Finalists

The Competition

The Scouting Menswear Competition challenges designers to flex their creative talent and prove that they have the ingenuity and conviction to transform textile ‘waste’ into stunning, scalable, and commercially viable collections that will inspire and motivate the South African consumer.

The competition creates a unique platform for young fashion game-changers to grow towards a circular fashion system.

You must source 100% textile ‘waste’ for use in your collection.

Most important is to understand what the design brief is asking of you and how you can meet the judging criteria.

Do you have what it takes to redo fashion in South Africa?

If your answer is yes, you have to rethink how clothes are made and worn through a lens of circularity.  Design a sustainable menswear collection for the ‘now’ fashion lover who values alternative design inspired by dress in the street, with as much respect for technical innovation as for our people and our planet.

Your customer is confident and curious, with a modern, natural, and independent lifestyle curated from eclectic sources of art, culture, music, travel, food and design.

Your designs must be innovative, original, tapping into inspiration and your culture, chic and completely wearable.  Your fabric selection must be luxurious and soft on the skin, considering the local temperatures in South Africa.

The Judges want to see:

  • pictures of the starting point of each of your seven garments, proving where it came from and how you are adhering to one or more of the four circular design strategies (below) to improve the garment’s lifecycle and enable circularity
    1. Design for Low Waste
    2. Design for Low-impact Materials and Processes
    3. Design for Longevity
    4. Design for Recyclability
  • Combining this with visual references of your ‘now’ street inspiration.
  • Reclaiming textile ‘waste’ in unexpected ways and unlocking the power of waste.
  • Reinventing fashion by using one or more of the ‘Design for Low Waste’ design techniques of zero-waste, upcycling and reconstruction.
  • Reflecting opportunities for reproducibility, scalability and marketability.


Lucilla Infographic


  1. textile swatches – leftover textile samples from production.
  2. cut-and-sew textiles – textile scraps generated during garment manufacturing.
  3. end-of-rolls and factory surplus waste leftover from garment manufacturing.
  4. damaged textiles – unused textiles that have been damaged, for example with colour or print defects.
  5. unsold clothing – clothing waste (finished or unfinished) that has not been sold.
  6. clothing samples – partly finished or finished clothing samples from the design and production of clothing (which have not be worn by consumers, consider your previous collections).
  7. second hand clothing – any clothing or fashion accessories that have been owned and then discarded by consumers (both used and unused).
  8. a combination of the above is permitted.


Remember: Photographs and information about the type and source of the textile ‘waste’ used must be submitted

The Prize

The winner will be given opportunities worth more than R50 000 – 00 which include (but not limited to):  

  1. Showcasing their Autumn | Winter 2022 collection at SA Fashion Week in October 2021 and their Spring | Summer 2022 collection at SAFW in April 2022
  2. A stand at the South African Fashion Week AW22 Trade Show in (October/November) 2021.
  3. A stand at the SAFW Designer Pop-Up (date dependent)

Who may enter?

  1. Fashion designers who have been in business for no more than 10 years.
  2. Designers with a Fashion Design qualification (Degree/Diploma) or a minimum of 5-years design experience.
  3. Designers who are working towards establishing themselves and/or their brands in the South African creative fashion industry.
  4. Previous SA Fashion Week Scouting Menswear finalists may enter but, only if it is their second time.
  5. Previous SAFW Scouting Menswear winners cannot enter




  • Designers must complete the online entry form on the SAFW website and download the full competition brief
  • All online registration deadline is on the 22nd of June 2021 – end of day – 17h00
  • Designers must prepare an electronic portfolio/storyboard, no longer than 10 pages, on their brand as well as a mood board and sketches of their 2021 collection – 7 looks
  • 13th of July 2021 is the deadline for all electronic portfolio/storyboards to be presented.
  • 23rd of July 2021 – a panel of judges will view electronic portfolios submitted and select the semi-finalists
  • 29th of July 2021 – finalists will be announced.
  • Finalists selected will have to produce a 7-look collection that must be ready for fitting (TBC)
  • You will be notified of the fitting venue where a full collection including shoes and accessories must be presented to the judging panel for final judging
  • Any collection that is not complete by then will be disqualified.
  • The winner will be announced at the Scouting Menswear showcase on the 30th of October 2021



An online registration form must first be completed – Make sure you complete and submit this to SAFW before end of day on the 22nd of June to secure your entry.

All material for your electronic portfolio submission must be accurately collected in a single document, in the following order:

  1. CV/Resumé presented in English
  2. Copy of I.D.
  3. Copy of your diploma or degree
  4. Submit a portfolio of your label: You will find a list of questions to answer about your label below. You are welcome to add any information/visuals to enhance your portfolio.
  5. Photographs of previous collection outfits: Photographs are mandatory; your application will not be accepted without providing photographs. You may send pictures of your calico samples. No styling is allowed – only your garments on a mannequin or model – outfits must be seen clearly from the front and from the back.
  6. Your collection: Comment on the concept of your collection, with material and/or images which have inspired the collection. This can also be in the form of a mood board.

Sketches of the Collection:

  • You must submit 7 outfits/looks
  • Full description of how you have incorporated the brief of sustainable fashion in each look
  • Number all your sketches (printed/drawn in colour) from 1 to 7 and label them with your name, surname, and label name
  • Include complete technical descriptions with colours and fabric details (please include samples/swatches) of each sketch


Things to bear in mind …

Your electronic portfolio must not be longer than 10 pages (excluding seven collection sketches).

Remember to send high-quality material! Sketches, photos, anything from your portfolio could be published on the SA Fashion Week website and social networks or used in the press.

Finalists’ portfolios will remain the property of SA Fashion Week, but the intellectual property will certainly remain yours. It will in no case be returned.



Please use our points below as headings in answering the questionnaire. You are welcome to add any information/visuals to enhance your portfolio.

  1. What is the name of your brand?
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. What is your design style?
  4. Describe your brand in no more than 150 words
  5. Motivate your sustainability model
  6. Where did you study?
  7. What is your fashion background (short CV)?
  8. Who is your target market?
  9. What are your price points (wholesale and retail)?
  10. Do you currently supply any stores? If yes, which stores? (store name and location)
  11. Do you make use of social media? If yes, what are your Twitter/Instagram, etc. handles, website and Facebook URL’s and what is your following?
  12. Have you showcased your work before? If yes, list the year, and the season you showcased, and the platform you made use of
  13. Where do you see your brand going in the next 1 – 5 years and 1 – 10 years?

Your collection concept/inspiration – include a comment on the concept/inspiration of your collection, with material and/or images that inspired the collection. This can also be in the form of a mood board.


  • You must submit 7 outfits/looks
  • The collections registered for the SAFW Scouting Menswear Competition, may not be submitted, or associated with any other fashion competition or fashion week platform taking place in South Africa during 2020/2021/2022
  • The collection must be menswear
  • There are no prefixed styles or categories
    • All garments developed by finalists must be the following sizes:
      • To fit a standard size 34 model perfectly
      • Shoe sizes will only be provided, by the show coordinator once models have been selected approximately 4 weeks before the show
      • In case of selection, the outfits will have to be made in total accordance with the sketches and technical details presented
      • Correct and accurate execution of outfits is essential, and if reckoned to vary greatly from the enrolled shapes and designs, the selected contestant will be disqualified


  • By enrolling in the SAFW Scouting Menswear Competition, you guarantee the authorship of your project. Should you be found guilty of plagiarism, you will be automatically disqualified. SA Fashion Week takes no responsibility for accusations of plagiarism coming from third parties. The applicants will retain the copyright of the enrolled collection.

  • SA Fashion Week (SAFW) reserves the right to disqualify any contestant at any time if they do not respect the terms and conditions of the entry requirements. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the safety of all submissions, SAFW cannot be held responsible for any damage/theft of garments or designs that may occur during transport, selections or during the finals at SA Fashion Week. If selected as a SAFW Scouting Menswear finalist, contestants are required to carry out all further arrangements (transport, etc.) and other obligations timeously.

  • The SAFW Scouting Menswear Competition is handled exclusively by SA Fashion Week CC – which reserves the right to rule on any issue pertaining to the competition and not covered by these entry requirements.


  • Flights, accommodation, and transport will not be provided for finalists or semi-finalists. Should you not be based in Johannesburg you will have to pay for your flights to the fitting and the show.


22 June 2021                 :           Online registration closes at 17h00

13 July 2021                  :           Portfolio submission deadline

23 July 2021                  :           Portfolio judging and finalist selection

29 July 2021                  :           Finalists announced

24 October 2021           :          Garment delivery – The Mall of Africa

28 October 2021           :          Final Collection (7 looks) presented during final judging – at the venue – time to be confirmed

30 October 2021           :          SA Fashion Week Scouting Menswear showcase and announcement of the winner

Should you experience any technical difficulties contact Leeroy:

Electronic Portfolios to be sent to:

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE MARKED – SAFW Scouting Menswear 2021 Competitio30