African Fashion International (AFI) willbe hosting the Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Cape Town (MBFWCT)from 7 – 10 August 2013. Close to thirty localfashion labels will display their upcomingSpring/Summer 2013/2014 collections atthe home of Cape Town Fashion Week, theCape Town International Convention Centre(CTICC).In line with AFI’s theme for 2013, the eventwill celebrate the strength of “Fashion, Art &Design” in the City of Cape Town leading upto the city’s status as the World Design Capital2014. The event, taking place in “Women’sMonth”, will also highlight and salutethe impact that the fashion industry has onthe lives of women.MBFWCT kicks off on the 7th August witha Gala dinner hosted by the offi cial eventpartner, the City of Cape Town, at the historicCivic Centre. The evening will include a fashionpresentation from two emerging designers.
One of the designers showcasing is EarnestMahomane, a developmental designerbeing mentored by one of fashion’s foremostcreators and MBFWCT’s event producer,Gavin Rajah. Also showcasing will be headdesigner Kelly Davids’ emerging fashion label,MilQ and Honey.“Mentoring young up-and-coming designers,and providing them with access to topindustry experts and opportunities, has beenintegral to AFI’s way of developing the industry,”says Bella Cebekhulu, Business DevelopmentManager at AFI. She adds that “AFIis grateful to the many designers and fashioninsiderswho remain open to welcoming newtalent and sharing their skills with them.”AFI has also curated a strong showing ofsuccessful women-led design businesses includingJenny le Roux at Habits, Gabi Rosenwerthat Rosenwerth and eponymous labelsStefania Morland and Cheryl Arthur.
“We areespecially excited that, in keeping with ourcompany’s culture of empowering women,we can honour the pillars of the fashion industry:the female entrepreneurs and designleaders;the consumers who drive the successof clothing in this country; and the unsungheroines behind-the-scenes,” says Kyle Boshoff,Communications Offi cer. In valuingthese heroines, AFI will also be presenting anexhibition titled “Women Behind the Seams”.Staged in the form of an art gallery display,the exhibition was conceptualised by MBFWCTCreative Director, Gavin Rajah and willcelebrate the women ‘behind the designer’;these are the women who translate a creativevision into the garments that walk down therunway. This exhibition is the starting blockfor a year for a coffee table book, using theseimages as well as shooting other women inthe fashion industry.
These profi les will includefashion entrepreneurs, designers, models,producers and hair and make-up artists.This ongoing project will be fi nalised in August2014 and released to celebrate Women’smonth once again.As part of their CSI initiative, AFI willagain this year treat three women from theNGO, the Clothing Bank, to a complete makeoverin an effort to applaud their hard-workand success at using the clothing industry tocreate a sustainable living for themselves andtheir families.Menswear, which is receiving heightenedimportance internationally, has also not beenignored this season. Men’s apparel will berepresented by Fabiani, Ruald Rheeder andAdriann Kuiters as well as AFI Fastrack™2012 winner Kim Gush; Dax Martin and CraigPort will be catering for women’s and men’sranges.
The closing day (Saturday 10 August)will open with a celebration of Johannesburgbaseddesigners looking to speak to a nationalcustomer base, including David Tlale, ThulaSindi, Loin Cloth & Ashes and Morphe.Other notable designers include Lalesso(whose designs have been lauded by internationalstyle icon Kimora Lee Simmons) andnational retailing fashion label Tart, as well asthe other exciting S/S collections from LaraKlawikowski and Goat Clothing (both showingunder AFI Next Generation), DanielleMargaux, Non-European, Shana, Lo, SpiltMilk, Michelle Ludek, Leigh Schubert, Tartand Lazuli.This season’s shows will be produced byrespected industry-experts, producers DeonRedman (Deon Redman Creative Productions),Mary Reynolds (Tramps) and Jan Malan(Umzingeli Productions). The three will bejoined by Group of Creatives (headed up bySimon and Jennifer Deiner). Heading up theteam is CD, Gavin Rajah Concepts, whose directionon the look and feel of the event willspeak to the “Fashion, Art & Design” theme.