Durban – A mix of fresh new faces and well-known fashion names is planned for the Durban Fashion Fair, that opens at the ICC on Thursday. Established designers Terrence Bray, Thula Sindi, Colleen Eitzen, Kathrin Kidger, Karen Monk -Klijnsta, Amos, Palse, Carducci, Viyela, C Squared, Brenda Quin and Ruth Rankin will share the runway with international designers, among them Abrantie – The Gentleman, She by Bena, Shadow, Rebelious Klothing, Charity Nyirongo, Clemas and Milan’s Massimo Crivelli, who was the guest international designer for 2012.
The fair will also showcase emerging designers including Nguni Shades, St Luke, Shaun Dugen Majola, Sandile Mlambo, Ayanda Mthembu and Duke Mngadi, interns including Zarth and Sibu Msimang, and talented young designers.
There will be a new generation of models, too – nine will make their modelling debut at the event, alongside professional models.
An interesting feature in the selection of models was the inclusion of the “plus-size or fuller-figure” category by some of the designers who will be represented by Bongiwe Hadebe, Salomie Crawford, Zama Mabaso and Simnikiwe Mkhize.
The fair will integrate fashion development, exhibitions, 16 fashion shows and encourage the culture of entrepreneurship, as well as facilitating access to markets and networking opportunities.
Since the inception of the event, the city of Durban has sent a group of designers to Milan on an internship programme and has produced more than 100 successful young designers who are making their mark in the industry.
“The fashion industry is one of the major contributors to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and it continues to face challenges that require collective collaboration to make it a success,” says eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo.
“It is in the city’s interest to make this industry successful and sustainable. The city has invested over R10-million into the fashion development initiatives and programmes that include business management training, fashion shows, mentorship and international fashion internship.
“It is the city’s role to provide a conducive and an enabling environment for our designers while, through Durban Fashion Fair, we continue to provide opportunities to access markets, including exploring physical and online shopping platforms.”
On Sunday pop-up shops will enable more than 50 exhibitors to showcase their products from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free. Show tickets, at R100 or R50 for pensioners, are available at Computicket.