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South African designers take on Pure London

Fifteen South African fashion designers have shown off their style this week at Pure London, one of the UK's most prestigious fashion trade events where over 700 brands were expected to exhibit their work.
Highlighting the industry’s established and emerging designers, Pure London is at the forefront of capturing the surge of current street trends in the fashion industry. The event aims to celebrate the work of fashion designers worldwide.

KZNFC support


The KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council (KZNFC) facilitated the travel and accommodation of the designers and fashion exporters, and gave them a send-off in Durban ahead of the event which ran from 23 to 25 July 2017.

The mandate of the KZNFC is to support and uplift the design and fashion sector of KwaZulu-Natal to ensure that the number of designers that receive support from the Council grows each year. Strategic programmes are delivered for junior, emerging and established designers with a focus on previously disadvantaged individuals.

Exhibitors


Thembeka Vilakazi - Yadah Praise Exclusive Designs
Jenet Azor - Cookie Cutter
Christopher O' Connor - Jensen Belts
Chan Michael - Reptile Trading
Robyn Mcmillan - Amanda Laird Cherry
Sandile Mngadi - Dukedom Group
Fiona Spolander - Fiona Spolander Promotions
Larisa Terblanche - Larisa Moda
Vanessa Schubert - Leigh Schubert
Mike Narainsamy - Manufacturing House of Mike
Pinky Dlamini - Modesta Creation and Designing
Shaun Dugen - Nguni Shades SA
Sagren Naidoo - Twinkle Shoes t/a Elefante Shoes
Willem Boshoff - Burgundy Collective
Zama Mathe - Zarth Designs

International opportunities


Xolani Zulu, acting MD of the KZNFC, said “The Pure London trade show is important for any business, as it is in a commercial location and invaluable for designers who are making inroads or researching fashion trends."

The KZNFC also collaborated with the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council on its international trade show missions in order to open up more designers to international opportunities and expand the amount of trade shows per year. Zulu added that the KZNFC would track the progress of the designers after they have returned to ensure that they improve where necessary and dedicate consistency where the Council has done right.

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The council’s current chairperson, Zola Shabangu, added, “The KZN Fashion Council’s mandate is to develop export ready, globally competitive designers from all the 11 municipal districts of the province. We also serve as a vehicle for the national footprint of development. We have now been tasked with facilitating communication with designers from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Pretoria.”

Lethabo Maseko, project manager for clothing and textile at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (KZN EDTEA) encouraged the designers to use the opportunities given to them grow their brands and to fly the South African flag high. “Do your best to market yourselves, establish contacts and make sure that you are able to sustain them. Wear your garments and show that you are proud of your own creations,” she concluded.
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