Up until now, the fashion fair has been part of the annual Durban Business Fair. This year, it has become a standalone event on Friday, September 21st.
This year's theme - "Today's Past is Tomorrow's Future" - has not only been chosen to pay homage to the rich legacy of South African fashion and design but also to inspire emerging talents to be open up to future trends and developments within the field of design. By embracing these in the collections on the Durban Fashion Fair runway, they can begin to find their place within the fashion value chain in the City.
Fashionistas and fashion fundis can catch up with the Durban Fashion Fair spectacle at four shows at various times on the day. The Young Designer show will run from 14h30, the Emerging Designer show from 16h30, the Invited Designer show from 18h30 and the International Invited Designer show from 20h30.
Behind the scenes and the swish of garments and clicking of heels, the eThekwini Municipality will tackle the nuts and bolts of a trendy but tough industry. A five day business workshop and conference for emerging SMME designers will be held from September 15th to 21st. This will be presented by internationally acclaimed stylist, Helene Blignaut.
The annual Durban Business Fair will run from September 21st to 24th and will include a fashion pavilion that will promote over 30 designers. With a strong belief that promoting Durban designers cannot stop at the end of the runway, Sindi Shangase, Business Support Program Manager for the eThekwini Municipality Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit, says that an on-going fashion academy and international internship programme will see successful candidates that perform well during the business workshop making their way to Italy for a two month long programme that will hone their skills for the fashion industry.
"What better way to promote local designers, link the creative industries to local and international retail opportunities, access international markets and train emerging designers than by holding workshops that can create a real sense of the 'business of fashion'? This is a sector that is not just about looking good but doing good business in every sense of those words," she says.
Shangase also added that she expected the Durban Fashion Fair to become an iconic annual event on the designers' calendars and a week of fashion inspiration for which the City will be known.