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May 18th, 2012

Soweto Fashion Week this May includes Design Bursary

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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Taking place from 24th to 26th May at the Soweto Hotel will be Soweto Summer 2012 Fashion Week will bring visitors some of Soweto’s hidden talent – designers with creations that are of international standards and edgy.

The show will feature a ‘surprise’ opening ceremony, over 15 designers throughout the three days and end on a high as one designer will walk away with a design and construction bursary from InScape Design College.

One truth holds for most of the designers, the South African fashion industry is tough to crack with minimal resources. Most of these designers have had to do with minimal equipment and an almost zero budgets in the hope of growing internationally one day. Educating one-self further whilst trying to make money with a career that requires a lot of hand-hours is hard as well. Support for these designers is a definite necessity for all the designers.

Support has come through from different people for these designers. InScape Design has chosen to give away a half bursary worth R11 500 to one of the designers for a Design and Construction course.

Gepardissima, a proudly South African jewellery brand has also come to the table and sponsored all the jewellery to be won by the designers.

Soweto Hotel has sponsored the venue and all make-up will be handled by the Make-Up Issue. The show is still in its infancy but with all the support coming in, it is bound to grow to greater heights.

 “Our vision at the end of this show and all the future ones we will host is to see these designers grow from their current level to a higher one,” explains Stephen Manzini, the 23 year old show Founder. “We understand how hard it is to survive in the arts industry without a huge capital outlay, but we have faith that one day these designers will showcase on international platforms without having to worry about resources, especially financially.”

Brands who will be partaking include Uju Designs by Nomthandazo. Uju means me and you and they are a vintage couture label, catering for both men and women with an African touch straight from ekasi. Their designs are definitely not for the shy. They highlight that the challenges they have had so far include funding difficulties which has prevented their label to broaden their wings and their is  not enough capital to attract more customers. They see the problem being that the Chinese clothes market is putting them out of business and so have a vision to have their collection in retail stores and to get our label out there

Also showing at Soweto fashion designer Ghetto Bling Designer: Thabo, a fashion designer from Soweto who as a designer started doing shows in 2010. His challenges have been that there is not enough time, too many clients and not enough revenue to hire helpers. His take on the SA fashion industry is that it is definitely growing and people are starting to embrace fashion more and more and so visions to have a store of his own and to be respected as a designer

So will you be there? If in town then check it out for sure. Here is a reminder of the details

Date: 24th to 26th May

Location: Soweto Hotel,

Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown


Jo’burg, South Africa

Soweto Fashion Week tickets are available at the door and on Computicket for R40.



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