ON THE RUNWAY TO SUCCESS.
Four young South African fashion designers will present their much-anticipated capsule collections in the final phase of this year’s African Fashion International (AFI) Fastrack™ Programme on 1 November, Day Four of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa (MBFWAfrica) 2014 at Melrose Arch, Johannesburg.
The AFI Fastrack™ winners – Jessica Ross, Naazneen Kagee, Rich Mnisi and Tuelo Nguyuza – were announced earlier this year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg, where the 10 finalists were pared down to just four winners.
Since then, under the tutelage of leading established South African designers, Jessica, Naazneen, Rich and Tuelo have been hard at work – training in business acumen, merchandising and design techniques in order to create their own commercial capsule collections – in a bid to win the final, coveted accolade of AFI Young Designer of the Year 2014.
“AFI is proud to present the fourth year of the AFI Fastrack™ national fashion design acceleration platform. Nurturing and developing exceptional emerging South African talents by offering them the opportunity to launch their careers underpins AFI’s primary mandate: To grow and sustain the African fashion industry.” says AFI Group Marketing Manager, Sizwe Nzimande.
For MBFWAfrica, the winners will each have to present their own AFI Fastrack™ Private Autumn/Winter Womenswear Capsule Collection. Using pre-determined colour & trend forecasts, the promising young designers have each been tasked with creating an eight-piece line that is innovative, creative and commercially viable.
In addition, the challenging brief demands that they design high-fashion garments that are both affordable and internationally on-trend, which exude sophistication and appeal to a broad target market at the same time.
The young designers’ business sense will also be held up to scrutiny as they are each expected to present a one-page Marketing Plan, line sheet and costing sheet to determine the commercial appeal of their collection.
“We are aware that the assignment given to our Fastrack™ winners is a considerable one but we believe that each of them is more than up to the task. When the AFI Young Designer of the Year 2014 is announced, they will have proved, beyond doubt, that they are ready to enter the big leagues of the fashion industry.” adds Sizwe Nzimande.
AFI can confirm the following design inspirations from the four competing designers:
Capetonian, Jessica Ross promises a collection inspired by Russian orthodox churches and their rich, luxuriant colours. Fellow Mother City native, Naazneen Kagee, meanwhile, has hinted that her Capsule Collection was inspired by traditional Russian dress, whilst Joburger, Rich Mnisi, will present OATH, a line inspired by the American film, Dark Shadows. Finally, Pretoria local, Tuelo Nguyuza, found inspiration in the deep, rich colours and earth tones of the Sahara Desert along with various subtropical elements.
Jessica, Naazneen, Rich and Tuelo will unveil their collections alongside the continent’s leading designers, on Day Four of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa 2014, Africa’s premier annual sartorial event, which takes place from 29 October to 1 November at Melrose Arch, Johannesburg.
The AFI Young Designer of the Year 2014 award will be presented at the annual Africa Fashion Awards on 2 November, with one of the four also walking away with a R 10 000.00 cash prive from AFI, a design masterclass from Mercedes-Benz a full trends and colour resources for 2015 from Dystar- Colour Solutions International and an opportunity to launch their Brand at Mercedes-Benz fashion week Cape Town or Johannesburg under AFI Next Generation Showcase.