Lights, cameras, and walk!
For most people who are fashion lovers, being part of the biggest fashion shows has always been a dream. But the reality is, not all of us can break it into the fashion industry as models or designers. However, there are two interesting careers within the industry for those who are truly into fashion and want to run the show.
At the African Fashion International (AFI) Joburg model casting recently held in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, I chatted to Jan Malan, AFI creative director, and Andiswa Manxiwa, former runway model and now casting director.
Malan is one of the most credited directors in the industry. He works extensively with New York Fashion Week as he does shows with them every season. He has also produced big fashion shows in Africa, particularly Botswana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
WATCH: Jan Malan's directed fashion show, AFI CTFW 2017
Manxiwa used to be one of the hottest runway girls. She joined show production in 2004 after being recognised by Malan. She worked for him for about six years, first as a runner and then evolved into choreography before going solo. Under Malan, Manxiwa was one of the model scout judges for the Face of Africa and that’s how she got the eye to choose the best runway girl.
Although Malan and Manxiwa’s jobs are different they do have some similarities, and that is looking for the best runway models.
And while I thought being a runway model requires one to be tall and slim, the directors look for more than just that.
When selecting models, you have to look for the ones with confidence.
“Firstly, the model must have confidence and they need to walk well. They also need to conform to the international modelling standards that all designers adhere to. We prefer models that are taller than 1.75, relatively slim girls as well as curvy models and they must have really beautiful skin,” says Malan.
As a creative director, Malan is responsible for working out the scheduling and overseeing the production of all the shows. Manxiwa on the other side has to negotiate rates with the agencies if need be, and confirm the bookings of all the models.
WATCH: How to walk like a runway model
Now, to follow these careers, there isn’t really a degree to study, you must have some creative flair in you and be interested in music. But what you can do is intern with people who do show production and if you want to advance, you can study event management or marketing.
AFI Joburg AW/19 is set to take place on the 4th to 6th October 2018. Visit www.africanfashioninternational.com for more information.