The annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ), in partnership with African Fashion International (AFI), will strut its Autumn/Winter collection at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown Cultural Precinct with two other shows on off-site venues from 7-9 March 2013.
AFI seeks to position fashion as big business with much potential, by attracting the city's talented and successful designers. The lineup of designers this season, which includes David Tlale, Thula Sindi, Suzaan Heyns and Fabiani, is testament to its commitment to excellence in presenting the best in creative innovation and commercial success.
In cementing Joburg's role as a fashion capital, AFI is excited by its partnership with the City of Joburg. "Partnering with AFI to host these leading fashion events puts Joburg on a global platform as a fashion industry leader, along with cities like Berlin, New York and London," says Ruby Mathang, MMC for Economic Development at the City of Johannesburg.
"These showcases of excellence in fashion design provide unprecedented opportunities to communicate a strong message that Joburg is well and truly open for global fashion design businesses, providing a unique lifestyle destination for fashion tourists and buyers."
By taking the show to Newtown, a modern, aspirational capital of art, fashion and design, AFI aims to support the city's young and aspirational entrepreneurs. This event will help it engage with young up-and-comers by facilitating a skills exchange using its properties, specifically the AFI Fastrack and AFI Next Generation initiatives. Moreover, holding this prestigious event in Newtown will bring urban trendsetters into the area, promoting it as a secure, attractive and commercially viable place to network.Development initiatives
In 2013, AFI plans to concentrate on growing fashion as a contributor to South Africa's economy. In doing this, AFI is partnering with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency on two development initiatives:
- Fastrack - The national graduate fashion platform that offers emerging young designers the chance to gain exposure with fashion week through seminars, workshops and career advice
- The Next Generation - A platform that offers graduates from the Fastrack programme an opportunity to elevate their fashion businesses through continued growth opportunities like the recent mentoring programme.
AFI executive chairperson, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe says: "My heartfelt belief, underpinned by research and market understanding, is that Africa holds the promise of a positive future for the production and consumption of luxury goods and fashion. Joburg, as one of Africa's leading international business and networking hubs, holds the key to this promise. The city is a world-class fashion and shopping destination and cultural centre and its designers are shining stars whose future in the global market looks increasingly bright."