Are you going to be the next rising star?

(Durban) – Are you an up and coming designer or fashion house and looking to take your brand further? With 2018 just around the corner, you may be in need of gaining inspiration, guidance in the business of fashion, wanting to know what it is that buyers are looking for or simply wanting to fine tune your “fashionista” skills. If this is you, then the Durban Fashion Fair wants to mentor you!

The 2017 DFF Rising Stars Winners from the DFF Mentorship Programme: Leona Pillay, Athenkosi Mfungula and Claudia Novuka.

As part of the Fashion Development Programme, eThekwini Municipality is once again opening its doors to all the next “Fashion Designer Rising Stars” who reside within the greater eThekwini Municipal area to attend a presentation on Thursday, November 9th, 2017.

To further grow the fashion sector in the City, the Municipality will be hosting a 10-month long Fashion Mentorship Programme to capacitate fashion designers with skills in order for them to remain competitive in the industry.

The Municipality initiated the programme to equip and expose fashion designers to various business and fashion skills which will enable them to be innovative and enhance their businesses. The programme will also help facilitate market and networking opportunities leading to growth and sustainability of the emerging fashion designers businesses.

Before they started their respective journeys in the 2017 Mentorship programme, the three Rising Stars were asked what they hoped to achieve from it:

According to Athenkosi Mfungula from Lamontville, he wanted to gain more insight into costing and pricing of a garment and improve in quality control of the garment construction and understand themes and trends.

Claudia Novuka from Glenwood said that she needed direction to fine tune her vision for her brand as well as sharpen her business skills according to this industry. She also wanted to know what retail outlets look for in order for a designer to have their creations sold in outlets.

Durban’s Leona Pillay was eager to learn more about fashion on a business level, but also wanted to be mentored by great designers, and learn to create structured designs with good quality, using different methods.

Unanimously, not only did they each learn what they had hoped for, but the programme has given them a platform which has opened a number of “fashion doors” for them.

The eThekwini Municipality invites fashion designers or fashion houses to be part of the 5th instalment for the 2018 Durban Fashion Fair Mentorship Programme.

The programme will focus on four pillars, namely business development, participation in the Durban Fashion Fair, participation in the Fashion Pavilion during the Durban Business Fair and access to a wider market which will see designers have contact with international markets.

A detailed presentation about the programme will be held on Thursday, November 9th between 09h00 – 11h00 at Hall 9A in the Botanic Gardens Conference Centre, situated on John Zikhale Road in Berea.

The Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit programme manager, Sindi Shangase, who is spearheading the Durban Fashion Fair, said the fashion sector continues to be one of the key drivers of rapid economic growth linked to job creation.

“Due to technological advancement, the fashion sector has also undergone significant changes and has become a fast-growing sector internationally,” she said. Shangase added that the mentorship programme will provide opportunities for designers to learn both business and fashion trends which can open business opportunities for them.

For more information and enquiries regarding the Fashion Mentorship Programme contact Nondumiso Mhlongo on 031- 311 4578 or e-mail: Nondumiso.Mhlongo@durban.gov.za