Lucilla Booyzen is the founder and chief executive of South African Fashion Week (SAFW). Many of the country’s breakout designers have been mentored by her. Steering the country’s longest running B2B platform through a rapidly changing industry, Booyzen reaffirmed her commitment to put job creation at the centre of her vision during the 25th anniversary edition of SAFW in 2021 in Johannesburg. She has since accelerated partnerships with textile industries and negotiated a deal to help South African designers gain access to a training programme with Italy’s Polimoda and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.
Booyzen launched South African Fashion Week in 1996. Over the years, the Pretoria-born executive has established new talent searches, accelerators, fashion awards, ethical sourcing initiatives, a sales agency and retail programmes. Earlier in her career, she also created the Fashion Fusion Programme which worked with over 1000 crafters in nine provinces connecting designers to craftspeople. Booyzen has received several awards including the Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year award.