Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).
Picture: Proudly SA Fashion Show. (Supplied).

CAPE TOWN - South African retailer, Edcon is featuring fresh new designs from their very own, Design Innovation Challenge. 

The Edcon Design Innovation Challenge, endorsed by Proudly South African, launched in September last year is aimed at advancing skills development and entrepreneurship in the fashion sector. 

14 fashion design graduates have been selected to bring their designs to the retail market. 

The students, final year and postgraduates have been given the opportunity to sharpen their skills through learning platforms. This has been the 21 Steps to Retail training programme facilitated by the organisers of SA Fashion Week - Runway Productions. 

The programme consisted of a one year internship at Edcon and mentorship by SA’s acclaimed fashion designers. 

“We are proud to be breaking down the barriers of entry into the retail industry for these young designers. We have witnessed phenomenal talent in this initiative, and we are pleased that these young designers are getting exposure into the clothing retail industry. It also gives us hope for the growth of the local fashion industry and provides many reasons to continue to support proudly South African produced garments”, said General Manager of Transformation at Edcon, Elelwane Pahlana. 

The challenge has given young designers exposure on a number of platforms. 

These platforms include the 21 Steps to Retail fashion show which was held in June this year. Also, the Proudly SA Fashion Show in Proudly South African, a campaign to encourage people to ‘buy local’ which was held in September. 

At these events, the designers featured their ranges which caught the attention of Edgars buyers who attended the show. 

READ: GALLERY: Edcon CEO reveals new initiatives

The designers range will be sold in-store under the brand name Edgars DSGN EDT. 

This exclusively-Edgars range will be available in selected Edgars stores in Sandton City, Mall of Africa and Eastgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg, Menlyn Park and Kollonade Shopping Centre in Pretoria. 

Other Edgars stores include, The Mall of the North in Polokwane, Gateway Theatre of Shopping and Westville Mall in Durban, Canal Walk in Cape Town and Loch Logan Waterfront in Bloemfontein.

The Edgars DSGN EDT designers are Kea Maphologela of Kea.M, Michelle Dindi of Scarlett x Haze, Maps Ralephenya of Court 25, Hlengiwe Gavu of Redemption and Noxi Helu of Helu.

“This has been an amazing journey and I am thankful to Edcon for giving young designers this platform. The experience has changed my life. As young people, this opportunity means so much and has given us the freedom to chase our dreams”, said 2017 winner of the Edcon Design Innovation Challenge, Lameez Stoltenkamp. 

Stoltenkamp walked away with R20 000 at the time of her win in June. 

Notably, Edgars will stock just ladieswear in its Edgars DSGN EDT range. 

The brand will embark on a process to manufacture the menswear next year.

“The Edcon Design Innovation Challenge reconfirmed our confidence in the talent of young South Africans fashion designers. The quality of the designs, the commitment by the young designers and the energy they display - it’s a huge privilege for Edcon to be nurturing this young talent and bringing their creations into our stores”, concluded Pahlana. 

READ ALSO: WATCH: Edcon's new ''thank U" programme hopes to bring back customers

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE