At this year’s Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) which takes place between September 19 and 22 at the Durban ICC, 40 South African designers and 9 from the rest of the world will be showcasing their designs.
Each year, a group of young talents are handpicked and mentored in order to make their debut into this extremely tough sector a little easier. Overall, approximately 200 young designers have completed the DFF mentorship programme. This year, 20 mentees participated.
According to Stats SA, the national youth unemployment rate (15 to 34 year-olds) is approximately 40%, most being graduates. With Durban having a number of tertiary institutions, many of which teach fashion design, mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, Cllr Zandile Gumede, says she is particularly proud of the mentorship programme which culminates in the DFF.
Stunning all black garments with an African flair. Picture: Supplied.
“We hear about the unfolding fourth industrial revolution and the impact of technology and disruption on companies. But, sometimes, it is also good to start with the basics and inculcate a belief in the future of the African fashion industry in our youth. We may not have many large clothing manufacturers to snap up our new talents but we do have a spirit of entrepreneurship that is alive and well and could create thriving new businesses going forward,” says Gumede.
Themed ‘Afrofuturism’, the DFF continues to provide an important opportunity to re-educate, convert local consumers and to convince them that local designers have the talent and know-how to develop products that can compete with imports.
Tickets for the DFF 20180 are available at webtickets.co.za