Mail & Guardian article: Fast fashion
A new sponsor is breathing new life into South Africa’s most important fashion industry showcase, which kicks off on Thursday.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Jo’burg kicks off on the roof of the Hyde Park Corner in Johannesburg this week.
Photos: AFI / MBFWJ / Simon Deiner / SDR Photo
Included in this year’s line-up is designer Gavin Rajah. Rajah’s work has been featured in many international publications such Vogue and Avant Garde and his collections are represented in 11 countries.
David Tlale recently presented his collection Glam Intersection in New York.
He will be showcasing this collection at a surprisingly early time slot on Friday. He has been bumped from the prestigious late night spot, possibly in an effort by the organisers to get him to start on time. Instead, Thula Sindi has been awarded the much-coveted finale on Saturday night.
The line-up will also feature some menswear from designers C-squared, Fabiani and Distinctive Man.
Emerging designers and labels who will be showcased at the event include Thabani Mavundla (previously a designer for Stoned Cherrie), Danielle Margaux, Black Coal Clothing, Wild Fig, Mosewamosa, Loin Cloth & Ashes, Avant and Grapevine.
Tashkaya will be the only newcomer to the platform.
The KZN Fashion Council and Trade Investment KwaZulu-Natal will present a collective show of some of the province’s designers including Karen Monk Klijnstra, Genna-Wae Webster, Katherin Kidger and Siyathemba Ngwenya.
Mercedes-Benz has come on board as the title sponsor for the three key events on South Africa’s fashion calendar, which will be known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Jo’burg, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa. The events will continue to be run by Africa Fashion International, which owns the rights to the events.
“In partnering with Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Hyde Park Corner, we believe AFI has raised the international bar for Fashion Week in Jo’burg,” said African Fashion International’s executive chairperson, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
Mercedes-Benz is the title sponsor of fashion weeks in New York, Stockholm, Moscow, Sydney, and Brisbane as well as in Mexico City. The brand is also actively involved in the fashion capitals of Paris, Milan and London, and numerous other fashion events in cities such as Buenos Aires and Beijing.
A long-term goal for AFI and Mercedes-Benz is to create an international platform for African designers.
“The support includes funding some of the event and a synergy effect between Mercedes-Benz and fashion as a whole. With our partnerships around the world, we can leverage and use that network to make a connection between South Africa, New York and Berlin,” said Dr Martin Zimmermann, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
“Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Jo’burg, brought to you by AFI, showcases South Africa’s established and emerging designers, offering a platform of visibility, relevance and access to the market,” says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
AFI’s Fastrack shows open the event. This initiative is a fashion development programme and competition launched last year which showcases the three finalists’ collections. AFI Fastrack provides internships for graduates in the areas of design, production, photography and styling.
“It takes around ten years for a designer to get noticed. This platform helps them get there faster,” says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.