Cape Wools SA, in partnership with SA Fashion Week, has launched the first ever Wool Prize for South African Designers.

The South African Designers, that have been awarded the very first Cape Wool SA prize, are Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, for ladieswear and Ephraim Molingoana of Ephymol, for menswear.  Jacques and Ephraim are prominent influencers in the South African Fashion Industry.

Louis de Beer, CEO at Cape Wools SA, says, "The wool industry is extremely excited about the opportunity to work closely together with SA Fashion Week, in showing the superb qualities of South African Merino Wool".

Part of the prize is a sponsored opportunity for both the designers to show their AW18 collections in October and SS18 collections, next year, as well as receive a travel seminar to the "Making it in Textiles" Conference in Bradford, UK before SAFW in October.

"Industry collaborations, of this nature, are of the utmost importance in developing a vibrant creative Fashion Design Industry, in a country.  We are eagerly looking forward to the next three years, when each year will give different designers the opportunity to work with Cape Wool SA in creating their Collections. This opportunity will not only boost the designers that are selected for this prestigious prize, but it will also have a ripple effect, that will influence the full value chain" Lucilla Booyzen.


Jacques van der Watt showed his first collection at SAFW in 1999.

Known for his unsurpassable architectural flair, Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee has carved his own path on the runway since starting in 1998. With every collection, there is always a great sense of loyalty to local traditionalism, but with the approach of modernist fundamentalism – a place where construction is king and attention to detail subtly blends into beauty and innovation. Van der Watt, with his unique stamp, continues to cement his place as one of Africa's design greats.

Jacques was one of the first finalists of the SAFW New Talent Search in 1998.


Ephraim Molingoane started his career in modelling, before re-routing himself into fashion design. He worked extensively abroad before returning to Johannesburg and opening the Ephymol studio. His diverse travel experience played an important role in influencing his bold and individualistic design philosophy. Ephraim has earned numerous Best Dressed Awards, which has increased his clientele and exposure, resulting in working with sports personalities, musicians, actors and many leaders in the fashion industry. Today he is one of South Africa's best known and respected designers.

Ephymol showed his first collection at SAFW in 2003


Professor Sheila-Mary Carruthers, Design Director at Carruthers Associates, Honorary Professor at Heriot Watt University, School of Textiles and Design.

Doctor Nicoletta Morozzi, Director of the Fashion Department at NABA.

Louis de Beer, Chief Executive Officer at Cape Wools SA.

Gisèle Wertheim Aymés, Founder and Owner of Independent Media Companies.

Elizabeth Way, Assistant Curator of Costume at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (or The Museum at FIT) in New York.


SA Fashion Week is the optimal platform for designers to start, develop and grow their businesses. It is the key voice of fashion, in South Africa, recognizing the power our diversity holds in this sector, which is one of the most socially inclusive SA industries. Over the past 20 years, SA Fashion Week has brought the creative fashion design industry together. They share their collective industry knowledge and provide sustainable marketing platforms, taking high-end designs from the design studio into the retail environment.

SA Fashion Week contact:

Sandy Kass

Media Relations

Tel: +27 011 442 7812