Fashion splashes out all over city


THE city will take centre stage during Joburg Fashion Week (JFW) as renowned designers – including Abigail Betz's Cloth & Ashes, David Tlale, KlukCGD, Stefania Morland, Suzaan Heyns, Tart and Thula Sindi - showcase their autumn/winter collections.


Models decked out in leotards canvassing the city skylineModels decked out in leotards canvassing the city skyline

A new look was announced for Joburg Fashion Week 2011 at a star-studded launch party on 18 January at Randlords in Braamfontein.


The highly anticipated fashion extravaganza will be restructured to ensure it not only promotes leading and new generation fashion design talent, but also inspires consumers to get excited about their city.


Sponsored by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and other City departments, this year JFW will take to unique catwalks, including at the Bus Factory, the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Constitution Hill. It runs from 15 to 19 February.


Other sponsors include the Johannesburg Tourism Company and the City of Johannesburg.


Thanduxolo Mendrew, the JDA's acting chief executive officer, was extremely excited that fashion week was moving into Joburg's inner city.



"London Fashion Week alone is worth £30-million annually to the London economy, while New York Fashion Week brings in approximately $770-million. This evidences the importance of the respective fashion weeks' major contribution to the local economy through exports, job creation, skills development and tourism," he said.


In line with the new changes, African Fashion International (AFI), the owners of Joburg Fashion Week, restructured sponsorship for all fashion weeks, allowing more brand value, consistency and innovation. It aims to fast forward the local fashion industry in a meaningful way.


Thanduxolo Mendrew, JDA's acting chief executive officer is all smiles at the launch partyThanduxolo Mendrew, JDA's acting chief executive officer is all smiles at the launch party

In one change, fashion week has been extended to four days this year, with three shows a night. It will begin with a graduate day at the Fashion Kapitol, which will be officially launched on the day. It will be an entire day dedicated to fast-forwarding design students' careers through mentorships and knowledge exchange.


The Fashion Kapitol is in the heart of Joburg's fashion district. It contains the first public outdoor fashion ramp in Johannesburg, as well as 30 shops, offices, studios, a restaurant, a small square, an amphitheatre and an arcade linking Pritchard and Market streets.


A JDA project in line with the City's Growth and Development Strategy, the fashion district incorporates some 26 city blocks, bounded by Jeppe, End, Commissioner and Von Weilligh streets.


The chairperson of the AFI, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, said: "This year we have looked to the city for inspiration and our selected designers will showcase their autumn/winter collections at iconic heritage venues throughout the city, from the Bus Factory in Newtown to Constitution Hill [in Braamfontein] … We've chosen to collaborate with the JDA and the City of Johannesburg with the aim to foster partnerships rather than sponsors."


She added: "For decades, leading nations have looked to Africa for inspiration. AFI strongly believes in 'packaging' our local design talent in an inspiring way that is made easily accessible to the international market, to stakeholders who can make the meaningful connection between our talent and the endless opportunities that exist through globalisation."


Inner city Joburg would be infused with fashion fever, Moloi-Motsepe said.


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