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"Pop-up" boutique at Cape Town Fashion Week

The African Fashion International Boutique, an innovative "pop-up" version of a retail store, is offering the public a range of fashion from more than 20 of the country's most acclaimed designers at the AFI Cape Town Fashion Week, Cape Town International Convention Centre, from today to 14 August, 2010.

Located at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where Cape Town Fashion Week is currently taking place, the boutique will enable visitors to browse and buy items from individually branded designer stalls showcasing clothing, jewellery and accessories, while relaxing in a lounge area and enjoying refreshments.

The designers to be featured in the boutique are: David West, Carducci, Viyella, Abigail Betz, Michelle Ludek, Tart, Errol Arendz, David Tlale, Ruff Tung, August, Abigail Keats, Blue Collar White Collar, Heni, Caramia J, Distinctive Wear, Mememe, Thula Sindi, Vanessa Djaba, Panama Kasasa, Maiasha, Di Queen, and Beloved Beadwork.

A natural progression

The boutique concept was a natural progression for AFI, which has been nurturing local design talent for the past five years. "We have been diligently working on the development of local fashion talent over the last half decade, and the boutique was a way to take our contribution to the next level" explained AFI executive chairperson Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. "Not only does this concept offer instant shopping satisfaction to those wanting to treat themselves to some designer wear; this is just the cherry on top. What's most important is that we are creating retail opportunities for designers who may not have the infrastructure to sell their work otherwise. The boutique further serves the purpose of expanding the market for well-established designers.

"Furthermore, our partnership with the Cape Fashion Council has seen us springboard many young designers through the Graduate Show sponsored by Foschini as well as the Emerging Show sponsored by Woolworths, with the most noteworthy being Cari Stephenson's label Tart. Her first show at Cape Town Fashion Week, two years ago, launched Tart as a real fashion force and exporter. Last but not least, the boutique aims to add an additional revenue stream to designers to further the development, commercial viability and sustainability of South Africa's fashion industry."

Development of the local industry

With a strong focus on the development of the local industry, AFI has also partnered with The Clothing Bank, which is a non-profit organisation that supports unemployed and marginalised mothers, who would otherwise battle to find employment. Through its 12-month training programme, it empowers unemployed, single mothers through enterprise development. The Clothing Bank also provides much needed support to other Not for Profit Organisations (NPOs) and Government Welfare Institutions by supplying them, on request, with their clothing needs.

Furthermore on the development aspect, the AFI Boutique provides employment for students by giving them an opportunity to work in and understand the intricacies of the fashion world.

AFI Cape Town Fashion Week runs at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 12 to 14 August, 2010. For more information, go to

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