The finalists are:
- Anmari Honiball
- Elli-Nicole Sazeides
- Gabrielle Darne
- Jane Elizabeth Kotze
- Ruan Jooste
- Sheena Ann Unwin
- Sindiso Khumalo
- Tamara Cherie Dyson
The winner receives a cash prize of R25 000 and mentorship from Mr Price, Gordon School of Business Science (GIBS) and Talk Shop's Savannah Erasmus. He or she will redesign items from the winning range to be sold in selected Mr Price stores and the retail chain will contribute R6 500 to the cost of making up a range to be shown at the Elle
Fashion Awards in 2013.
The entrants are all final-year design students and fashion design graduates with less than two years' experience. This year, for the first time, they were able to add business knowledge through a business skills workshop, facilitated by GIBS, which all attended. This added to their score as part of their presentation for the final judging.
According to Elle editor, Jackie Burger, "The finalists are diverse; each bringing an individual design point of view plus an on-trend, yet commercially viable aesthetic." Judges
Burger heads up the judging panel, which also includes senior fashion editor Poppy Evans, Mr Price trend forecaster Joanne Frédéric, Dr Nicola Kleyn from GIBS, fashion blogger Sandiso Ngubane, Mr Price trend executive Amber Jones and former winner Anisa Mpungwe of Loincloth & Ashes.
Burger adds, "We work with key criteria, scoring each finalist on a number of aspects, ranging from design intrinsic, quality, commercial viability, presentation skills, business skills, branding and cohesion of the range presented."
Another innovation this year is the inclusion of a magazine reader on the judging panel. The selected reader is Shaakira Chohan, an architect in Johannesburg.
Commenting on the finalists' work she said, "What stands out for me is that each of the finalists' designs is a very personal and expressive creation of who they are. If you had to ask me to match the designers to the designs without any clues, I could easily do it. Their work is true to themselves, who they are and what they are about and, with such authenticity, success is inevitable."
As the show is sold out for tonight, view the designers and their fashions on www.elle.co.za