A Ndebele-inspired outfit to be worn by Miss SA runner up Adè van Heerden at the Miss World pageant next month became the butt of jokes on social media this week, leading to organisers asking the designers to urgently change elements of the outfit ahead of the competition.
The outfit, designed by Matome Seshoka of Antherline Designs, will be one of the key pieces worn by Adè at the pageant and fused a number of South African elements into its design.
— Miss South Africa (@Official_MissSA) October 16, 2017
“My team and I were inspired by Ndebele people who have an extraordinary culture and authenticity. They are the most colourful tribe and truly South African. We fused this with a bit of Zulu culture to give the national costume a modern and young feel. The colours of our national flag give it a proudly South African look. We included a cape because this represents power and strength and is usually worn by Zulu queens,” Matome said in a statement.
However, the dress was ridiculed on social media, with users claiming it made Adè look like a “low budget Superwoman”.
— Ṅwali. (@MUTSHIDZI_R) October 16, 2017
Matome Seshoka kodwa yini pic.twitter.com/V9Dew8Ic9E
— un·der·score D (@mthu_d) October 16, 2017
Omg nooo! Looks like a low budget Superwoman. What the hell is this? The designers always miss the mark when it comes to This dammit
— N a n a ? (@Iam_Naledi) October 16, 2017
— Miss K_ (@redvelvetcake4) October 16, 2017
Oh no baby what is you doing pic.twitter.com/5VJHaBcQ4Y
— Ska ba hemisa (@Tumikay_) October 16, 2017
— ROYAL B Mankurwane (@Boineelo_M) October 16, 2017
947 presenter Anele Mdoda also slammed the outfit, claiming it looked like the brief for “if a Mahotella Queen had to be an Avenger”.
“So our outfits are also junk status. It’s so bad! I hope it’s not too late to change it. The brief was clearly if a Mahotella Queen had to be an avenger,” she wrote.
Miss SA spokesperson Claudia Henkel said that the organisation had noted the social media backlash to the outfit but claimed it was difficult to create an outfit that represented all of South Africa.
She said the organisation asked the designers to return to the drawing board and “streamline” the outfit ahead of the pageant.
“The outfit needs to be more focused and follow either a traditional theme or a ‘Superwoman’ theme. We have taken people’s views into consideration and these will be minor tweaks,” Claudia added.
Adè will represent South Africa at the Miss World pageant while Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters will be competing at Miss Universe next month.