Fashion is passion for local designers

The 2018 class of Durban Fashion Fair mentorship designers together with one of their mentors, Greg Wallis (centre).

TWENTY-ONE young designer hopefuls have been chosen for the seventh installment of the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) Mentorship Programme, an eThekwini Municipality initiative developed to grow the fashion industry in the city, and to create a platform for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Hundreds of young designers put their names forward in December 2017 and the 21 were chosen to take part in the programme, which includes working closely with some of the city’s top fashion gurus as well as their fellow designers.

The mentees are all currently working in the fashion industry and were selected based on three pillars, creativity (which was judged on story boards), garment construction as well as business acumen (a traceable client base, business plan and business skills).

Most of these interns will also see their work on the ramp at the Durban Fashion Fair later this year in September, with a number of them showcasing for the first time to the city’s fashionistas, including buyers, suppliers, industry leaders and media all under one roof.

ALSO READ: Emerging designers share their fashion stories

According to Sindi Shangase, programme manager for the Business Support Tourism and Markets Unit, who has driven the DFF since inception in 2011, the mentorship programme is intended to train enterprising young designers in all aspects of the fashion business and prepare them and their collections for the DFF.

Programme mentor, founder of G & D Apparel, Greg Wallis, will not only guide these mentees on orientation and textile selection, but will provide valuable information on manufacturing, brand management, costing and entering the world of retail.

Throughout the programme, guest mentors within the various fashion related fields are invited to present to the class. Furthermore, guest lecturers from the industry will be invited to take turns in assisting in the development of these mentees.

When the programme concludes, one of these intern designers will receive a recognition award during the Durban Fashion Fair Awards on Saturday, 22 September at the Inkosi Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

 

 

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