One of the most loved and successful South African fashion houses, SUN GODDESS, has left a prominent hole in the fashion industry there that has not, and cannot, been filled by any other designer. An iconoclast of black creativity and talent, Sun Goddess was not only an impressive designer duo, but an agent in the transitioning perceptions of blacks by other blacks, and of course other races, in the infant rainbow nation.
However, as the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close, Sun Goddess in the public sphere is at best a vibrant memory. What happened? Easily the most anticipated designer collection during fashion weeks past, Sun Goddess has not been participating for the past two years.
1. Could it be that the general public could not afford the luxurious house, sending volume sales plummeting? This is one of the biggest challenges for African designers. However, in the case of Sun Goddess, the house also produced accessories in bags, belts, eye wear, fragrance and jewelry, in addition to their mens-, womens-, kids-, bridal- and couture lines. Thus, revenue came from a diversified portfolio of products.
2. Could it have been an abundance in creativity not backed by good business sense? This is another problem for African designers, where designers are not necessarily entrepreneurs.
Sun Goddess won prestigious design awards, showed at prestigious fashion weeks, had stores across the country, enjoyed immense press coverage, and was truly a symbol of success and authenticity in the new and proud South Africa. However, running a search online only produces a widely circulated video from 2008. For 2009 and 2010, there is a void.
True Love Magazine, another strong influence on image of black South Africans at the turn of the century, captained by the young and very capable Khanyi Dhlomo, promoted Sun Goddess and other exciting designers such as Stoned Cherrie, and you could see the collective effort at reconstruction of South Africa's image. The magazine apparently run some information in their November (or September?) 2010 Issue. For my readers who got wind of this article/feature, please share with us what information is there.
It is not unusual for popular and successful fashion houses to go through periods of difficulties, however, the truly great ones always come back, bigger and better. And for Sun Goddess, it is about time they returned and reestablish themselves in the industry.
AUTUMN WINTER 2008
"We celebrate a regal Africa that transcends time and fashion, one of legends, kings and queens, gods and goddesses. We believe that fashion is not just about beauty and escapism, but also a means of creating better and unique realities."