bantu fashion


Rebellious, bold, fun, vibrant and utterly lucrative are just some of the words that first come to mind when introducing the “H A R R I E T” Collection.

by Renata Garnier 3am Media

BANTU Fashion was brought to life in September 2017 by African-Australian mother and extraordinaire designer, Harriet Zwaan.

This hard-working mother of four represents Inclusivity and Diversity in the world of la mode. Bantu Fashion offers a selection of ready-to-order, custom-made designs to all women of every colour, figure and taste. The label practises Zwaan’s philosophy of “fashion should be for everyone!” in all aspects.


When her first collection, touchingly inspired and named after Harriet’s late mother “Miriam”, launched in September 2017, it was bright and loud. We’re talking wild florals, patterns and shapes. The collection was the most astonishing mix of Zwaan’s African background and Australian modernism.

Only 10 months later followed her second collection; the “Winter Capsule”, in July 2018. This collection focused on the corporate circle, with neutral colours and earthy tones of high elegance. Harriet’s baby number four was just 2 weeks old and she was on set shooting her dream designs.

Her African pattern maker with the upmost eye to perfection and detail has yet again turned Harriet’s vision into the most beautiful, colourful, rich, flamboyant masterpieces which were hand crafted, hand beaded and heart-felt connecting with women of around the world.

If that wasn’t enough on your ‘scale of impressive’, fast forward only 12 months, and this super mum entrepreneur stuns everyone with rolling out her surprise collection that you must see to believe possible… And just like that, her collection number three was here!

This most talked about African designer in Australia stands for ‘different’, and in her own right! Her designs are globally inspired, exclusively designed and made in Australia, and exporting to the world. Her ethically made limited edition pieces are unseen and unheard of anywhere else and the quality of her work is unparalleled.

This mumma has been Busy! Her ideas that enter her artistic creative mind, often at night, after the bedtime stories are read, and the last baby feed finished, she dives into the realm of ‘everything fashion’, with hours on end of research, designs and re-designs until perfection is reached, and her meticulous approach to selections of ‘only the best will do’ are out of this world. And that I mean literally! Her suppliers of the most breathtaking pieces, fabrics and details come from the far lands of Russia, New York, Italy, Vietnam, India, Dubai and Thailand.

Passion is Harriet’s adopted middle name and if picture paints one thousand words, you are in for a treat as you emerge into the creations of BANTU Fashion www.bantu.com.au . It is my privilege and pleasure to present you the ever so wild and unpredicted: 

The HARRIET Collection

Amongst these very well-tailored ethically sourced and created pieces you will find wealth of fringe sequin, faux feather, tassel and mirror lace, hand beaded applique to brocade and pleats. The theme is high shine, glitter stretch and cape dresses, deep splits and the fabrics range from rose gold to velvet paper print with almost everything you can imagine in between. I mean, in the routine world of 9 to 5 drill, who wouldn’t be happy to sit out their 8 hours wearing a musical notes business shirt?! We spend majority of our lives at work, and while there isn’t much most of us can do about it, what we Can do, though, is doing it looking fabulous!

But do not translate these extraordinaire pieces into “out of reach luxury”. This collection truly does have something to please anyone, and will take you from your desk to the bar, to Sunday brunch with the girls and your next hot date. Rest assured; you will stand out in the crowd but in the classiest yet comfortable way imaginable.

So, I dare you, explore this new world of the Bantu vivacity that you so far could only dream up. Your wardrobe deserves it and so do you!

Apart from interstate and international reach, the next place to look for this designer’s presence are fashion shows, and for those living in Perth – Bantu’s very first boutique quarters (well, wow!) Oh and did I mention to check out the back of the next bus for the pop of colour only Bantu can convey..?

So, what’s next in that beautiful mind of the most incipient African designer in Australia? Frankly – one never knows! I may have had a sneak peek or two of the ‘next big thing’, but I never kiss and tell, and so, you – our beautiful readers and followers – will just have to wait and see… But one thing I will promise you for certain, you will not be left disappointed…