Johannesburg, South Africa (CNS) – South African fashion designers Danica Lepen and Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee became the first fashion designers to win the prestigious Mercedes Benz Art Award in South Africa. The Mercedes-Benz Art Award recognizes achievements in various segments of art, including fashion design.
“The aim of our award, now in its ninth year, is to promote the artistic and cultural life of South Africa. We maintain that Art must be accessible to all people, not an elite group, and conversely that Art is found in some of the most ordinary places,” says Lulu Letlape, executive director for Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
Instead of a typical runway show, Black Coffee’s tribal-influenced, winning designs were featured in an art exhibition.The mix of South African traditional dress with a modern flair won over the judges. The installation is still available for viewing in South Africa before moving to Berlin for a stand-alone fashion show.
“Winning this award has been such a validation of our determination over the past twelve years to remain true to the Black Coffee design ethos. It certainly feels right to be taking this vision to the world right now,” said Lepen.
Black Coffee is no stranger to winning awards. They’ve also been the recipients of the Designer of the Year award at the True Love South African Fashion Awards.