Fashion fever hits Johannesburg

Millicent Kgowedi

2 August 2007

It will be a feast of fashion for Johannesburg's residents this August, as the country's foremost designers flock to the city, when it hosts both the Joburg Fashion Week and the Sanlam South African Fashion Week toward the end of the month.

The Joburg Fashion Week runs between 22 and 25 August at the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, with the spotlight on four South African designers returning from the Paris Fashion Week.

David Tlale, Thabani Mavundla, Craig Jacobs and Thula Sindi are set to wow enthusiasts with their spring and summer collections, hot of the Parisian catwalks.

Organisers will install a glass ramp in Nelson Mandela Square and all shows will be broadcast live to an audience of more than 3 500 people, through televisions placed around the shopping centre.

Besides the Paris four, South Africa's foremost design talent will show their collections, including Sun Goddess, Philosophy by Jenni Button, Kluk CGdT, Hip Hop by Cheryl Arthur, Habits by Jenny le Roux, Couturier Spero Villioti, C Squared Carducci,

Others include Eboka by Fred Eboka, Port by Craig Port, Kobus Dippenaar Atelier, Marianne Fassler, Wonderbra, Zinzi Couture and Paul van Zyl with Uwe Koetter, and Vukani Range Creations by Sonwabile Ndamase.

"We are expecting a turnout of about 11 000 people in total to attend Joburg Fashion Week," said Joburg Fashion Week spokesperson Tessa Kidd.

Regarding the Johannesburg city council's sponsorship of the event, mayoral committee member for finance, Parks Tau, said that the city believed it was an essential market for the fashion industry and that such events would provide a "significant and strategic boost for the creative economy of South Africa".

"Joburg Fashion Week provides a world-class stage for our leading designers. We believe this event will help to position local designers to compete more effectively in what is an increasingly fast-moving and global marketplace," said event owners African Fashion International's chairperson, Precious Moloi-Motsepe.

"The leadership of our best designers will ultimately inspire other designers and add further fuel to our creative economy."

Sanlam Fashion Week
Doubling the fashion dose, an impressive line-up of international speakers, including designer Alexander Koutney, will bring fresh perspectives and world-class expertise from fashion capitals like New York and Paris to the four-day Sanlam South African Fashion.

Starting on Wednesday, 29 August at the Sandton Convention Centre, the week will feature talks by experts and showcases the designers' summer collections.

More than 30 designers are taking part, including Black Coffee, Lunar, Sun Goddess, Mantsho, Marion and Lindie, Ruby, Bongiwe Walaza, JJ Schoeman and Craig Native.

A series of seminars run by academics will touch on topics such as the government's game plan for the fashion industry, branding, changing trends and the future of fashion, while panel discussions will include manufacturers and suppliers, designers, agents, department stores and buyers.

According to the organisers, there will be a fashion exhibition alongside the runaway collections where visitors will be able to network with more than 120 labels and brands.

Fusion workshops
In addition, 15 South African crafters and designers who participated in the Department of Arts and Culture's Fusion Workshops, held in all nine provinces earlier this year, will exhibit their designs. These workshops brought together designers and rural crafters, to create innovative items.

Booking for the seminars is essential, and tickets range from R300 to about R600. There are discounts available for group bookings.

The Sanlam South African Fashion Week, now its second year, kicks off at 1pm on 29 August, with the last event finishing at 9pm. On the other days shows will run from 5pm to 9.30pm. Tickets are R150 for all shows and R50 for exhibitions.

Tickets to Joburg Fashion Week shows are R55, with the shows running from 4.30pm to 9.30pm daily. Tickets are available at Computicket, on 083 915 8000.

Source: City of Johannesburg

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South African Fashion Week: a four-day fashion extravaganza (Graphic: SA Fashion Week)
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