Fash­ion guru shows young de­sign­ers ropes

Daily Dispatch - - News -

aimed at iden­ti­fy­ing, men­tor­ing and train­ing up­com­ing de­sign­ers from the Eastern Cape in the art of fash­ion de­sign, gar­ment pro­duc­tion, busi­ness and mar­ket­ing.

The 10 will get a chance to show­case their work at the sec­ond an­nual Buyel’Ekhaya Fash­ion Show tak­ing place on De­cem­ber 15.

Other de­sign­ers who will be ex­hibit­ing their work in­clude Sindi, Lad­uma Ngx­okolo of MaXhosa, David Tlale, Gert-Jo­han Coet­zee and Taibo Bacar.

Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Fes­ti­val founder Nomsa Mazwai said the vi­sion has al­ways been to turn the Eastern Cape into the cul­tural mecca of South Africa and have now added the fash­ion com­po­nent to this big event.

“Fash­ion and style have be­come im­por­tant pur­vey­ors of so­cial and cul­tural mean­ing in mod­ern so­ci­eties, where cloth­ing has be­come a global lan­guage that plays a ma­jor role in iden­tity for­ma­tion and per­sonal self-ex­pres­sion.” Mazwai noted, how­ever, that though she came across many tal­ented de­sign­ers in the Eastern Cape , there was a gap in terms of mak­ing the leap from study­ing fash­ion to run­ning a busi­ness.

“Most as­pir­ing de­sign­ers pos­sess the tal­ent and some ac­quire the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, but what lacks in most pro­grammes is the ex­po­sure to a qual­ity and well-fin­ished prod­uct, which is nec­es­sary to en­sure that learn­ers de­velop into com­mer­cially vi­able busi­ness own­ers.

“This is even more so in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in the Eastern Cape, Lim­popo and KwaZulu-Natal, where tal­ented young fash­ion grad­u­ates have aban­doned all hope of trans­lat­ing their pas­sion into gain­ful em­ploy­ment and can be seen work­ing as petrol at­ten­dants and cashiers,” she said.

Through the de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme, the 10 de­sign­ers have had an op­por­tu­nity to see how the in­dus­try is run and will have ac­cess to Sindi even af­ter the fash­ion show. Speak­ing to the Dis­patch Jack, who is from Dim­baza, said Sindi taught them a lot about the in­dus­try.

“We got to see how things are done in the in­dus­try and he told us about the im­por­tance of brand­ing,” he said.

Jack said they were also taught about the im­por­tance of us­ing gen­uine fab­ric for their gar­ments.

“Peo­ple have skin can­cer and the fab­ric used to make their clothes is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor. We were taught about the im­por­tance of us­ing au­then­tic fab­ric,” he said.

An­other up-and-com­ing de­signer, Kenyane of Mdantsane, said she learned the im­por­tance of net­work­ing and grow­ing one’s busi­ness.

“He told us as startup de­sign­ers we don’t have to get a stu­dio – we can work from home and look for shops that fit our de­signs,” she said.

The bud­ding de­sign­ers, who will be com­ing back to the prov­ince to­mor­row, said they were work­ing on their gar­ments that will be on show in De­cem­ber. —

Pic­ture: MARK AN­DREWS

GOLDEN OP­POR­TU­NITY: Ten young de­sign­ers in a men­tor­ship pro­gramme take a selfie with David Tlale

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