South African Fashion Week is the optimal platform for a designer to start, develop and grow their businesses from. We are the only business-to-business platform that markets and promotes designers throughout Africa and are the authoritative voice on the business of fashion. We started 2017 with ambitious goals and have achieved all of them. We have strengthened our networks, created income streams for the designers, facilitated and promoted collaborations on all levels and integrated labels with local manufacturers.
We believe that by fostering sustainable partnerships between the various sectors of the fashion supply chain, we can better promote an image of excellence within the industry, that will bring out the creativity and business sense among our talented designers. We have put business strategies in place that deliver sustainable marketing platforms for our designers.
I am particularly proud of our 21 Steps to Retail education programme. This innovative course allows post-grad students and young designers to be mentored in all fields, from design to retail, in 21 stages. More than 60% of designers that completed the 21 Steps to Retail programme are now retailing in top stores.
Fashion Week recognizes the power our diversity holds in the fashion sector – still one of the most socially inclusive industries in the country.
Although designers have shown menswear collections at SA Fashion Week since its inception, 2017 saw the 5th year of two days entirely devoted to menâ€™s dress, also one of fashionâ€™s fastest growing markets in South Africa.
SA Fashion Week Menswear Collections have created the buzz that was needed to stimulate awareness around the importance of menswear. It has generated overwhelming publicity that has energized and stimulated the market.
There are an estimated 71 established menswear labels in South Africa.
29 Menswear designers showed their collections at SA Fashion Week during 2017.
11 Designers have their own stores.
The estimated collective publicity for the SA Fashion Week Menswear Collections amounted to R35million.
Through exposure to buyers and Pop Up Shop consumers, ladies wear designers have continued to grow their businesses in 2017. They are making it in fashion, supplying brick and mortar and online stores, as well as stocking their own boutiques. With the focus on market research through the different retail streams created by SA Fashion Week, the designers are getting to know which retailers are appropriate for their brand, and what the needs of their target markets are. SA Fashion Week has created role models â€“ entrepreneurs that have found success that lies within the contemporary, middle and high-end fashion markets.
There are estimated 148 established Ladies Wear Labels in South Africa.
58 Ladies wear labels showed their Collections at SA Fashion Week during 2017.
19 have their own stores.
The MINI Scouting Menswear competition is the opening show of the SAFW Menswear Collections. It was initiated in 2012 and continues to showcase and promote new designer businesses. It raises the profile of emerging menswear designers, introduces them to the buyers and media as well as supports them in their breakthrough into the retail market.
It also recognises outstanding talent, lifts them into the spotlight and helps them cope with establishing their brand at an early stage.
Established by the SA Fashion Week in 1993, the New Talent Search is the most prestigious fashion awards in South Africa. Being a finalist or a winner in the New Talent Search is an important milestone in any designerâ€™s career.
Since its inception, the success stories include: Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee, Terrence Bray, Maya Prass, Roman Handt, David Tlale and more recently Take Care, Anmari Honiball and Jenevieve Lyons.
The SA Fashion Week Student Competition is open to final year students at any of the Fashion Colleges or Universities in South Africa. It identifies the designers of the future, and for the designer is a stepping-stone to running a successful business and a great way to stand out from the crowd and create brand awareness.
SA Fashion Week calls upon students to exercise their innovation, skills set, tertiary practice and creativity. Over 32 institutions are included and finalists selected represent the institutions listed below.
The finalistsâ€™ garments are exhibited at the SA Fashion Week Designer Pop Up Shop in Brooklyn Mall in August and at the SA Fashion Week AW18 Collections in October.
This Competition is an entry point â€“ the first contact designers have with the media, consumers and buyers. Spotlighting the designers at such an early stage of their career gives SAFW the opportunity to nurture the talent we have, making sure that they stay connected.
SAFW initiated the Brooklyn Face of Fashion in 2014, in partnership with Brooklyn Mall. The aim is to build the model industry, continuously discover new faces that can promote, excite and project the ideas of the designers in their collections.
Twenty girls are selected to be part of the Fashion Installations at Brooklyn Mall during the Pop Up Shop and Student Competition Installation at the SAFW Designer Pop Up Shop. This is their first entry to modeling.
One winner is announced on the final day of the SAFW Brooklyn Pop Up Shop and walks away with the first prize, which includes, a year contract with Ice Models, an opportunity to cast for the SAFW Autumn Winter Collections and R10 000 gift card from Brooklyn Mall.
Trade shows are the most effective way for designers to boost their brand awareness among retailers. It has been an integral part of our vision to build a trade event that would offer improved business-to-business opportunities to our Creative Fashion Industry, similar to that of our international counterparts.
Buyers are looking for something new and fresh to attract their customers, now more than ever.
The SAFW TRADE EVENT is designed to be an intimate, networking-friendly and neutral trading ground for all designers in Africa. It offers a broad spectrum of the various designersâ€™ pricings; optimizing the buyers purchasing power and boutique owners attendance.
The exhibiting brands are carefully curated, ensuring that they are retail ready with sound business processes in place, that will enable them to deliver according to order.
The Trade Event provide visibility, a credibility boost, networking time, opportunity to form new relationships with clients and vendors, a chance to generate leads and a soft entry to the media.
Seven years ago, SA Fashion Week initiated the first designer Pop Up Shop. Presently SA Fashion Week runs four designer pop up shops per year: the Designer Pop Up Shop, Luxury Pop Up Shops and the Menswear Pop Up Shop.
With the rise of online retailers, the importance of a physical presence, where people actively experience a brand, has never been more important.
The SA Fashion Week Designer Pop Up Shops assist designers to test new markets, identify, connect and interact with their target market, the media and above all generate sales.