Seven finalists have been selected for the 2014 Elle Rising Star Design Award, in association with Mr Price. This year African Fashion International (AFI) presents the award and the finalists will show their designs at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa 2014, where the winner will be announced.
For the first time, designers from across Africa were invited to enter. As in previous years, the panel of judges had a difficult task when it came to selecting the seven finalists. Elle South Africa's publisher Gisèle Wertheim Aymés says, "We are greatly encouraged by the number and quality of entries. Our judges were rigorous in ensuring the finalists are indeed some of Africa's finest rising design stars and interestingly enough, the shortlist is dominated by entries from the Western Cape.
"We look forward to seeing the talent of these top seven come to life on the ramp during AFI's Mercedes-Benz Africa Fashion Week Africa in October and finding out who the winner will be."
Of this year's finalists, Elle editor and Rising Star judge, Emilie Gambade, says, "Judging the applications is an inspiring process, paging through the storyboards, the selection of fabric swatches and the technical sketches, but it's also a serious and a difficult one as we were looking for the crème de la crème of fashion design on the continent. For the first time, we received entries from outside of South Africa and, while none of them made it to the final selection, it's our fervent desire to embrace more African entries in 2015.
"The seven finalists stood out because of their uniqueness and the care, passion and relevance that were evident in their storyboards; we are now looking forward to see how this translates into garments and flourishing careers."
Style curator and fashion consultant, Jackie Burger adds, "The 2014 finalists represent the new generation of designers with a unified modernist vision, a focused confidence and definitive design signature."
Mr Price trend director and Rising Star judge, Joanne Frederic says, "The brief for 2014 allowed the entrants the freedom to create their own ranges that are a reflection of their design aesthetic and what they want to stand for as a brand in the fashion industry. There were several strong standouts displaying creativity and a strong technical knowledge. These storyboards left us at a loss for words and we are counting down the days to seeing their vision on paper become a reality on the ramp."
- Charis Dawson, Cape Town, South Africa - Collection: Digital Opacity
- Frances Pauls, Cape Town, South Africa - Collection: Modern Eclectic
- Jeandri Britz, Paarl, South Africa - Collection: Solid Exterior
- Kelli Botha, Cape Town, South Africa - Collection: The androgynous inside
- Michelle van der Westhuizen, Cape Town, South Africa - Collection: Coast-to-Coast
- Nadia Viljoen, Pretoria, South Africa - Collection: Unfortunate Art by Natsie
- Tamara Cherie Dyson, Cape Town, South Africa - Collection: Geometrics
Stay in the #RisingStarAfrica2014 loop @mrpfashion, @ellemagazinesa and @afi_sa on Twitter and visit www.elle.co.za to see the Elle Rising Star Design Award 2014 journey unfold.