(Instagram, @rich_mnisi)
(Instagram, @rich_mnisi)

South Africans want to celebrate other people who they can relate to, Chris Viljoen, fashion director at online retailer Superbalist, said. 

“Having local influencers to look up to allows us to celebrate each other for once, rather than only celebrating people from other countries which don't necessarily look, talk or act like us,” Viljoen told Business Insider South Africa. 

South African fashion influencers, with followings starting from 1,000 people on Instagram, can earn anything between R500 and R10,000 per Instagram post.

Influencer marketing, where social-media personalities are paid to promote a brand, is poised to become a $5 to $10 billion industry by 2022.

Also read: The top 6 South African models earning more than R1 million a year

Viljoen said fashion influencers have a major impact on the South African fashion industry, and brands typically keep a close eye on what influencers are wearing. 

“If others look to influencers for inspiration, then what influencers wear becomes more important to them than what X brand is telling them to wear,” he said. 

Viljoen gave Business Insider South Africa a list of his top fashion influencers in South Africa: 

Mihlali Ndamase (@mihlalii_n)

(Instagram, @mihlalii_n)
(Instagram, @mihlalii_n)

With over 500,000 followers on Instagram, Mihlali is one of the most-followed fashion Instagrammers in South Africa.

“She could've been considered ‘just another pretty beauty blogger’ but her relatability and honesty have made people across the country fall in love with her,” Viljoen said. 

(Instagram, @mihlalii_n)
(Instagram, @mihlalii_n)


Trevor Stuurman (@trevor_stuurman)

(Instagram, @trevor_stuurman)
(Instagram, @trevor_stuurman)

Photographer and entrepreneur Trevor Stuurman has been setting the South African fashion agenda for a few years already, Viljoen said.

“As time goes by he just keeps going from strength to strength, and it doesn't look like it's going to fizzle out anytime soon.” 

(Instagram, @trevor_stuurman)
(Instagram, @trevor_stuurman)


Rich Mnisi (@rich_mnisi)      

(Instagram, @rich_mnisi)
(Instagram, @rich_mnisi)

Viljoen said Mnisi’s designs are recognised globally.

“He represents what the future of South African fashion should look like,” Viljoen said about the fashion designer with over 33,000 followers.

(Instagram, @rich_mnisi)
(Instagram, @rich_mnisi)


Gabrielle Kannemeyer (@gabriellekannemeyer)

(Instagram, @gabriellekannemeyer)
(Instagram, @gabriellekannemeyer)

This is a creative director, photographer, stylist and producer is highly sought after in South Africa’s creative scene. 

Everything she touches turns to gold, Viljoen said. 

(Instagram, @gabriellekannemeyer)
(Instagram, @gabriellekannemeyer)


Kellyn Fung (@x_kellyfung_x)

(Instagram, @x_kellyfung_x)
(Instagram, @x_kellyfung_x)

Fung is the editor in chief of ELLE South Africa, one of the country’s most read fashion magazines.

“She had the conviction to take Elle to places they hadn't been before,” Viljoen said. 

(Instagram, @x_kellyfung_x)
(Instagram, @x_kellyfung_x)

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