The South African team unveiled their kit for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, showcasing relaxed and comfortable styling from four local designers.
The kit was modeled at the launch by long jumper Kgotso Mokeona, swimmer Erin Gallagher, canoeist Bridgitte Hartley and Paralympic shot put athlete Tyrone Pillay.
The opening ceremony outfit is reminiscent of the bushveld and nature, with the team’s official shoes made by Veldskoen, a traditional leather shoe brand worn by Prince Harry.
“This is a special moment for our brand and our company. It has come full circle. We are so proud to be a part of the South African Olympic effort,” said Nick Dreyer, CEO and co-founder of Veldskoen.
In 2020, four promising designers from Durban were selected to dress the athletes representing South Africa at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.
Their mission: to create an authentic South African kit that other competing countries would like to wear themselves.
Durban-based designer Mbali Zulu, one of the designers of the opening ceremony set, said: “I’ve always loved watching the Olympics, so having this amazing opportunity to design the outfit opening was a dream come true. “
SASCOC President Barry Hendrick congratulated the four designers. “It’s great for Team SA to be able to showcase the incredible talent of these four young designers on the biggest sports scene of all.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to put their work on the world map. Our SA team athletes will wear the kit with pride and their appearance and dress will attract the attention of the rest of the competing nations.”
The Designers are a product of the Durban Fashion Fair Development Program which provides skill development and mentoring. It is the first time that the clothing of the South African Olympic and Paralympic teams has been designed locally.
The Olympics begin on July 23, while the Paralympics begin on August 24, two weeks after the closing ceremony of the Olympics.