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Durban shoppers have been dressing up in the latest fashions - without ever stepping into the fitting room.
Their virtual dressing room experience is all part of the build-up to Gateway’s Vodacom Durban July fashion preview, on Friday, the eve of the big race at Greyville. The big fashion night will also include theatrics displays by aerial dancers.
Organisers are hoping to attract even more fashionistas and concert-goers than last year’s record 13 156 audience and to get the excitement going, two girls from the management promotions office have been out and about at the centre to give shoppers a unique virtual shopping experience.
Armed with a camera and an iPad, they have been taking shoppers’ photographs and then getting them to choose an outfit from a selection on offer on the iPad.
The fashionable dress or separate outfit that they have chosen is then superimposed on their photograph on the iPad-and the picture is included on Facebook (Gateway Theatre of Shopping: VIP) to enable their friends to vote for them.
The shopper who gets the most “likes” from their Facebook fans will win tickets to the big fashion show as well as tickets to raceday.
“About 700 people have taken part in the virtual fashion show so far and we will keep the virtual dressing competition going until tomorrow,” explained Treveena Cheerkoot, who is taking the photographs.
Was virtual shopping the new way of buying clothes without having to try them on?
“It would be interesting to see if some shops pick up on the idea,” said Prinella Pillay, Gateway’s public relations manager.
The eThekwini Municipality has partnered with Gateway for the first time to generate interest in the fashion business and to enable six up-and-coming designers to feature their creations.
Eight other young designer finalists from around the country will also show off their recycled designs, which have been made using 70 percent recycled material.
The big name designers who will be taking part on the night are Kathrin Kidger, Colleen Eitzen, Terrence Bray, Paul Botha, Andre Martin, Rozanne Immerman, Leigh Schubert, Gideon, David Tlale, Suzaan Heyns, Zama Mathe and Brenda Quin.
Organisers will also announce who has won the competition to jet off to see Madonna live in Ireland with a partner. The prize includes flights and accommodation.
The competition is open to anyone who spends R300 or more at any of the centre’s 400-plus stores.