Hosted by Anele Mdoda, the DFF Recognition Awards showcase a combination of emerging designer talent as well as industry legends. New models or new faces from this season were also awarded on the night.
On the evening, Nandile Mkhize, 20, of Kwa Makhutha, who won the DFF new face female model award, was too overwhelmed to even speak. The award came as a great shock as she didn’t really expect to win.
“I wasn’t really into modelling until I saw pictures of my mother during her youth days. She used to be a model and was once crowned Miss Makhutha. I tried it out when I was still in high school and won but that was just it.
“And now that I won at such a big platform, I really don’t know what to say. This means a lot to me, I honestly didn’t think I would win,” said Mkhize.
Also from Durban is Ntando Shandu, 20, who was crowned the best male model. “I started modelling in 2016 through FCB Agency. I was then scouted by Black Pepper and encouraged to go casting for DFF,” said Shandu.
The spotlight for the evening also shone on the designers who had put in a great amount of work to ensure that whatever the models wore, was innovative, stylish and in sync with the “Afrofuturism” theme for this year.
One of the winners, Cari St Quentin, 23, a fashion designer who launched her brand, Cari St Quentin, at the opening night of DFF 2018, showcased a beautiful womenswear street style collection made from waterproof fabric in bright hues.
“The experience was so exciting but a lot of hard work went into it. For the past 10 months, I’ve been working hard to make sure my first fashion show is a success. Being one of the winners is confirmation of all my dreams,” said St Quentin.
Fresh from the Lindiwe Academy of Fashion Design, Khulekani Sithole and Sicelinhlanhla Ngcobo stole the show with their black rose menswear collection.
“This award means a lot to us. It’s not just for us but where we come from as well, eMtubatuba,” said Ngcobo. Also from the Lindiwe Academy of Fashion Design is Zamabhele Ntshangase, 28, who turned heads with her show stopper collection of sophisticated black and gold gowns paired with over the top accessories.
“I’ve been studying fashion for some time now. Without fashion powerhouse Lindiwe Khuzwayo, I wouldn’t be where I am today because her school gives great opportunities to up-and-coming designers. This is a start of many great things and I’m grateful for this opportunity,” said Ntshangase.
The #DFF2018 Recognition Award winners include Marting John Steenkamp: fashion innovator, Diva Designs: best ladies wear, Chulaap: best menswear, Muzi Mlambo: DFF collection of the week, Samuel Quame and Samma Collection: Best of Africa collection, Amanda Liard Cherry: fashion legend, and Zama Mathe: designer of the year.