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More than 34 designers to showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg

The dates for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ), have been set and more than 34 of the country's top designers are lined up to present collections in 15 shows at the Sandton Convention Centre over three days, from 20 to 22 March, 2014.

The runway will feature a stellar collection showcasing the likes of Marianne Fassler, David Tlale, Stefania Morland, and Leigh Schubert as well as the many exceptional newcomers included in the 2014 line-up.

More than 34 designers to showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg

Menswear will also receive a substantial showing in the form of collections from 10 leading labels, such as Fabiani, Augustine, Ruald Rheeder, Laduma and Viyella, as well as the four emerging menswear designers featured in the African Fashion International (AFI) Next Generation incubation programme.

Other elite labels showcasing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2014 include Abigail Betz, Morphe and Avant Apparel from Johannesburg; Shana, Selfi and Tart from Cape Town; and Pretoria's Irmgard and Tsotetsi KL.

Unprecedented talent lined up this year

"Each year, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg offers a national opportunity for established and up-and-coming local designers to showcase their new autumn/winter collections. The unprecedented talent lined up this year proves that South Africa's fashion industry is growing from strength to strength," said AFI's executive chairman, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.

As fashion is an extension of cultural expression, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2014's theme, "Creative Freedom: Under the Pillars of Fashion, Art and Design," will celebrate the 20th anniversary of South Africa's democracy.

In keeping with the theme, MBFWJ is intended as an equal-opportunity platform to foster creative independence amongst the new generation of talent in the fashion and design industry. As such, the Fastrack, Next Generation and FashionTalks programmes, which all feature in the 2014 MBFWJ line-up, aim to identify enrichment opportunities for young, up-and-coming designers in the fashion world.

"Through these initiatives, the South African fashion industry will be supported, aiding efforts to bolster the industry as a whole, thereby benefitting the entire economy," added Dr Moloi-Motsepe.

The 10 finalists of the AFI Fastrack initiative, now in its fourth year, will have the invaluable opportunity to showcase their own designs on the same runways as renowned labels. The FashionTalks seminars, meanwhile, are themed "Cutting from New Cloth: Innovation in Fashion" and extend AFI's mission to promote new talent on a global platform through educating the local design community on the importance of cultivating innovation and sustainability.

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