Part of this year's SA Fashion Week, being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg 27-30 September 2012, will be the showcasing of the finalists of the inaugural Renault New Talent Search.
The six fashionista finalists, inclusive of one design duo - Crystal Birch and Elmé Bekker for Birch & Elm - are Cindy Leigh Armstrong, Laz Yani, Jamal Nxedlana for Missshape, Joel Janse van Vuuren and Zanozuko Sithetho for Scorzch.
Top models at the opening show on the catwalk will reveal these finalists' designs. The winning designer will receive the full support of SAFW, which includes one shared show at the Spring Summer 2013 Collections, free space in the Buyers Lounge and the SAFW Pop Up Shop as well as a shared show at the Autumn Winter 2014 Collections. In addition, the winner will receive R25 000 in cash from Renault South Africa, the use of a Renault Mégane Coupé and representation from The Fashion Agent for one year."Highly competitive fashion arena"
"On behalf of the company, I would like to congratulate our finalists and wish them every success in their quest to entrench their own labels in South Africa's highly competitive fashion arena," says Fabien Payzan, VP of marketing for Renault South Africa.
"As a people-centric brand, a key element of the company's vision is to support new and emerging talent and with design integral to both cars and couture, we are delighted to be bringing some of our trademark French flair to the table in partnering with SA Fashion Week in the search for new talent."
The SA Fashion Week Renault New Talent Search targets young designers with existing labels explains convenor Dion Chang, founder of Flux Trends. "This is not about being a famous designer, we want to know whether entrants understand the industry."
"There's more to the competition than a good portfolio," says Payzan. "Fashion is a business like any other and a key criterion for each of the entrants was to provide us with a strategy on how they intended to build their brand."Phase two - design
Phase two of the competition will see the finalists assemble in Johannesburg where Renault will give them a creative challenge, which will determine the theme of their final collections. Each will then have just over eight weeks to produce an eight-garment competition collection.
"All that can be revealed at this stage is that the challenge is specifically conceptualised to ensure the finalists compete, showing their individual handwriting, rather than designing for a prescribed theme - which all other design competitions do," says Payzan
Headed up by Chang, the competition's judging panel includes Sandra Rogers, executive manager trend and design at Edcon, Jacques van der Watt, designer for Black Coffee, The Fashion Agent's Annette Pringle, Milisuthando Bongela, fashion blogger and owner/buyer at Mememe, Bryan Ramkilawan, CEO of the Cape Town Fashion Council and Renault South Africa's Lee-Anne Stanton.
"This is how legends are born: ordinary people who step into a world of imagination, and stretch themselves into the art of the possible, the art of the exceptional, the art of innovation and progress. Change is driven by people," concludes Payzan.
For more, go to www.safashionweek.co.za