LOCAL Fashion Designers have applauded the eThekwini Municipality for opening up opportunities for them during the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) that took place from 22/25-08-2013 at the Durban Exhibition Centre.
 
The event was a huge success and the designers couldn’t stop complementing the Municipality as this was a great platform for them to showcase their creativity along with other esteemed South African designers.
 
This year, the most exciting aspect of the DFF was the very exclusive Buyers Lounge, which hosted top local and international buyers and afforded local designers the opportunity to interact and market their brands and to also form some great retail partnerships.
 
Saturday’s show by David Tlale titled “Fashion by the Garden” which took place at the garden outside City Hall was a major highlight of the week and attracted a large crowd.
 
Tlale’s stunning garments reassured the crowd that he is indeed one of the best designers in South Africa and the emerging designers can learn a lot from him.
 
Gert Johan Coetzee, another SA’s top fashion designer, who is known for dressing the host of Top Billing Bonang Matheba and other celebrities, inspired many emerging designers and made the crowd go crazy with his dazzling dresses he showcased at the Fair.
 
Fashion Designers were all happy about the planning of the DFF and agreed that everything was professional. Many of them revealed that they made more than R10 000 in sales during the four days of the Fair.
 
The unique talent of a Durban based fashion designer, Zama Mathe of Zarth Designs, who is one of the beneficiaries from the Municipality’s Fashion Development Programmes amazed the crowd as they were clapping non- stop to her creative designs which have a powerful African flavour.
 
Zama said, “Another best part of the DFF was also the fashion workshops which were very educational and assisted designers in becoming better entrepreneurs.”
 
Amongst the topics that were discussed during the workshops was the understanding of fashion business, integrating the various facets of the industry from Design to Business, how to access local and international markets and the challenges of progressing from a studio designer to being a retail brand whilst maintaining your studio clients.
 
DFF Programme Manager Sindi Shangase said, “I am proud and happy about the turnout of the event. The designers were satisfied and I am also happy because our vision of seeing Durban leading in fashion creativity and latest trends within the space of five years is slowly becoming a reality. Durban will one day become the fashion capital of Africa.”
 
Shangase said as a way forward the DFF team will meet and analyse the full four days of the Fair to see what they can improve in the next DFF because their main aim is to grow local designers so they could become financially stable and contribute to the City’s economy.
 
For more information please contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or email: thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Sane Shandu on 031 311 4806/072 572 8658 or email: sanelisiwe.shandu@durban.gov.za