DURBAN – On June 2, at Inkosi Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre the 2016 Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) was launched in a glitzy event. The fair is set to take place from August 31 to September 2, 2016 under the theme ‘Beyond Threads’.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said DFF is part of the city’s successful Fashion Development Programme which is marking five years of existence this year. The programme, said Shabalala, has already started to yield positive results in the form of newly established businesses such as online shops and boutiques. Shabalala said these businesses translate to job creation and contributes to the City’s gross domestic product.
“These positive results are a sign of our efforts as the City has invested more than R25 million to the fashion programme. These programmes comprise of internships, trainings, networking sessions, access to markets such as participating in high profile fashion shows and lifestyle programmes,” added Shabalala.
She said over 500 designers have been empowered and skilled through the programme. She added that the Milan, Italy, internships have been offered to 46 designers.
Sindi Shangase, who manages Arts, Craft and Fashion within eThekwini Municipality said this year’s DFF will have about 50 designers, including five designers from neighbouring African countries. The three-day event will have 17 shows, all starting at 5pm until 10pm.
The event will conclude with the second DFF Recognition Awards which will honour outstanding designers and to encourage other designers to work harder.
“In a bid to fast-track the success of the industry, we are planning to add retail development programme. We will also establish a manufacturing incubation facility as part of expanding the programme and to ensure that more components of the industry’s value chain are developed,” added Shangase.
She said if this is successful, the city will be able to close the unemployment gap and be steps closer to becoming Africa’s fashion capital.
Shangase then challenged everyone to emulate the recently implemented SABC radio music strategy which advocates for 90 percent local music to be played on SABC owned radio stations. “The fashion sector needs to adopt this concept. This will encourage people to buy more local products opposed to international,” she added.