Developing tourism through fashion is one of four pillars driving the upcoming Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW), which runs throughout the city from July 13 to 16, 2011, as identified by African Fashion International (AFI). In a first for South African fashion, AFI has partnered with South African Tourism to develop tourism specifically through fashion. AFI’s three other pillars are fashion as a business platform that can steer development in upcoming designers, to grow the commercial viability of the fashion sector and to highlight new trends, such as “sustainable luxury.”
These pillars signify AFI’s approach of looking forward and beyond the event.
With the support of the Cape Town Fashion Council, SA Tourism, and Cape Town Tourism, AFI have invited selected design powerhouses to present their Spring/Summer 2011/12 collections at various iconic venues around the city as part of CTFW.
AFI’s point of distinction is the fact that designers are selected through a strict curatorial process and invited to show, versus designers’ having to pay, for participation.
This year, young design talent will be a focus of the CTFW. Developmental initiative, Foschini AFI Fastrack Day, aims to fast-track the careers of students and graduates in both the design and retail industries. As follow-on from Foschini Fastrack Day in Johannesburg, CTFW will feature a graduate design competition together with a strong recruitment focus, interactive workshops, street fashion, and entertainment.
The prize for the Foschini graduate design competition is an intensive internship program for three designers. This will culminate in a capsule collection being sold in three flagship stores around the country.
This year’s CTFW lineup of local designers include Thula Sindi, Stefania Morland, Leigh Schubert, Abigail Betz, Gavin Rajah, and David Tlale, who will present their unique interpretations of the upcoming season’s hottest trends. Other designers invited to showcase their collections include: Daniella Margaux, Doreen Southwood, Habits, Undacova, Dax Martin, Lisp, Nucleus, Lalesso, Tart, Michelle Ludek, House of Monatic, and Fabiani.
Commenting on what Cape Town fashion has to offer the world, Cape Town Fashion Council CEO Bryan Ramkilawan said: “Cape Town designers have an intellectual approach to fashion and are progressive and innovative.” He continued: “We have tremendously creative people, they just need a platform.” On Cape Town Fashion Week, he added: “Ultimately, I believe that [Cape Town] fashion week is a business platform not an entertainment one; it is a key financial driver of our city.”
AFI Chairman Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe’s vision to highlight Africa’s design talent has put South African fashion on the map. With over 220,000 people having attended the fashion weeks over the years, AFI has had some of the globe’s top international models and designers participate in this great showcase – achieving their vision to promote South African fashion globally.
“We are very excited about championing [particularly] initiatives that support the plights African women and children,” said Dr. Moloi-Motsepe, “and will be creating sustainable projects that will contribute positively to the lives of our people.”