How to wear designer

Superbalist works key items from the recent SAMW AW18 into everyday looks

south african menswear week

Words: Jason Basson | Photography Bevan Davis | Styling: Mira Leibowitz, Amber Barker and Leandro de Sousa Benito

There are men in this world with the remarkable ability to wear fashion right off the runway... And still look cool. If your name is Omar Diouf, Lucky Blue or Mahad Musse chances are you’ll look great wearing a crop top made from a tumbleweeve (the same one that floated past you seven times in the last financial year). For the rest of us who have been brave enough to try pull off runway fashion, the most common reaction is generally, ‘pull it off, please!!! And as quickly as you can before anybody notices’. In your mind’s eye you were going for a full croquembouche moment, but in reality that just translated into you looking like a cock in boots.


Statement pants that are cool enough to wear with a belt and a plain shirt or tee.

Kim Gush

A one piece. This is, admittedly, for the more daring fashion consumer, but is easy enough to wear and pair when the design is sleek and simple.

We’re here to tell you not to give up hope, that it is possible to wear runway fashion and maintain, if not vastly improve your cool status. And no, it’s not really all about genetic predisposition. Yes, being 1.86 with a face that looks like it once wore the Veil of Turin certainly has its advantages, but it all really comes down to styling, moderation and taste. These are things we can help you with, things that don’t require a team of panel beaters and make-up technicians to achieve. And as former American Football champ-turned-motivational speaker, Trent Shelton would say, “It all starts with you.”

Unknown Union

A statement shirt (one of my personal favourites) that takes the concept of something as everyday as a work shirt, but elevates it to the level of fashion. Wear it with chinos or shorts and simply accessorize for more attitude.

Issa Leo

A statement coat or jacket (leather is always good) that will do all the talking when you throw it on over a hoodie.

You should never be looking at runway shows as an opportunity to discover a new look or identity. That’s like asking a horse to hold your carrot. What you should have is a firm understanding of who you are and what works best for your body before torturing a garment (or yourself) into submission. Health goth might look good in pictures, but is it really you? Next, understand that in men’s fashion sometimes less really is more. When you look at a show it’s alright if you only like one thing: a small roll up on a sleeve, a certain style of shoe, the way the light caught the model’s eyelashes at a 33 degree angle adjacent to the cameras. Take that one thing and apply it to yourself in small doses. You should also always be asking yourself things like, ‘would this work with 90% of the stuff I have in my wardrobe currently? And how?’


Statement knitwear - something quirky that you can use to show off your personality, even when paired with something as basic as a pair of shorts.

Rosey & Vittori

A statement bag that looks cool with whatever you’re wearing at all times.

The last point is crucial. The best way to wear runway fashion is to dress it down with the more relatable fashion pieces you already own (or might buy at Superbalist.com). If it feels like you’re trying too hard, you probably are. When identifying runway pieces err on the side of statement separates, like the bold, functional pieces seen here, which are easy enough to wear with basics or layer over/under other items. 

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