657-santo-sdizo fashionz showcasing designs at the Soweto Fashion week held at the Soweto Hotel Kliptown 24.05.2012 Picture:Dumisani Dube

Soweto Fashion Week kicked off at the Soweto Hotel on Thursday night.

The show offers a platform for local designers and models to showcase their talents.

“We hope you don’t just want to take in the fashion, but also take in the dream,” hostess Silindile Nkosi told the crowd.

The show will run until Saturday evening, when people will have a chance to buy the designs showcased.

Some designers, such as Santo Mphamo, 20, and Teboho Maduma, 22, of Santo-Sdizo Fashionz, wanted to reach a wide spectrum of people.

“We wanted to accommodate everyone,” Maduma said.

The two featured plus-size styles in their line that was meant to connect the ghetto to the suburb.

The young designers began studying fashion in 2008 while in Grade 11.

With hard work and inspiration from their parents, they were able to get to where they are today.

“It’s our passion,” they said. “We live fashion.”

Thursday was the only sold-out night for the fashion weekend. Many late-comers arrived an hour after the show started.

One early bird, Jabu Mlangeni, 30, came with some friends because of her love of fashion.

However, Mlangeni found joy in more than just fashion, as she marvelled at the work of local designers and models.

“Soweto is not the place where dreams won’t come true,” she said. “It’s a place to empower people.” - The Star