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Joburg Fashion Week kicks off Print E-mail

It's fashion-a-go-go at Montecasino this week, where the annual Joburg Fashion Week takes place. Spring/summer collections from several designers, from the doyen Marianne Fassler to rising stars like Thula Sindi, will be shown.

Joburg gets all dressed up for Fashion Week last year (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)
Joburg gets all dressed up for Fashion Week last year
(Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)

FASHIONISTAS, celebrities, designers and Joburg's glitterati are expected to fill Montecasino Piazza this evening for opening night of Joburg Fashion Week, which takes place over the next four days.

Held annually towards the end of July, this year it runs from Wednesday, 23 July to Saturday, 26 July. The opening show begins at 6pm. On show are the spring/summer collections of some of the country's brightest designers, from established names like David Tlale to up-and-coming couturiers.

Expect glitz and glamour, fashionable designs and some wild couture.

"The four-day fashion fiesta will afford fans a tantalizing glimpse of the hottest home-grown trends that will enhance Joburg's image as a hotbed of edgy urban fashion inspiration," reads a press release on the Joburg Fashion Week website.

Sashaying down the catwalk, gorgeous models will display trendy designs by fashion doyenne Marianne Fassler, Sun Goddess, Hip Hop, Spero Villioti, Craig Jacob, David Tlale, Deon Redman, Vukani Creations / Mzansi Designers, MosewaMosa, Thula Sindi, Carducci and Peroni "Fashion in the Street", among others.

Joburg Fashion Week is sponsored by the City, in partnership with Audi, the car company; L'Oreal Paris, the cosmetics company; Montecasino, the venue; commercial radio station, Metro FM; television station, SABC 3; beer company, Peroni Nastro Azzurro; and cellphone group, Virgin Mobile.

It is founded, owned and operated by African Fashion International (AFI), a fashion production and management company spearheaded by Precious Moloi-Motsepe. Well known as the wife of billionaire Patrice Motsepe, Moloi-Motsepe is a trendsetter and a successful businesswoman in her own right.

The company aspires to improve the quality of fashion design output in Africa, promote African brands, and boost the profiles of fashion designers on the continent. Fashion Week acts as an opportunity for top and nascent designers to showcase their collections, on one of South Africa's most sought after platforms.

"I am inspired by the talent of South African Artists and designers," notes Moloi-Motsepe. "I believe that it is only a matter of time before we have a few South African designers exporting to big fashion houses overseas."

Unique designs
It is their unique designs that set them apart, she says.

On the catwalk during Joburg Fashion Week 2007 (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)
On the catwalk during Joburg Fashion Week 2007
(Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)

The fashion world is always looking for new talent, and AFI is dedicated to unearthing and exposing this new talent, Moloi-Motsepe explains. "We hope that by giving a national broadcast platform to these incredible budding designers we can increase awareness of their garments and, in so doing, build their brands and businesses."

Sindi told So Joburg, the new magazine launched by the Joburg Tourism Company, that the fashion week was a platform of great exposure that had helped to establish his name in the fashion world.

Joburg was the fashion capital of Africa, he said, where almost all trends were set and kept alive. "Nowhere do people make more effort to look good and really stylish than in Joburg ... in Joburg we use the outward image to advance our careers and even our love lives."

From tonight, Montecasino Piazza will be turned into a sea of colour and design, peopled by models, fashionistas, beauty queens, sportsmen, trendsetters and the like.

Renowned local designer Tlale says that he draws inspiration from fashion week. He notes that the change of the venue - it was previously held in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton - presents freshness.

"It will be beautiful and classy, no doubt."

Fashion shows run from 6pm to 8.30pm on weekdays, and on Saturday, the final day of the fiesta, collections will be shown from 4.30pm to 9.30pm.

Joburg Fashion Week is on at Montecasino Piazza from Wednesday, 23 July to Saturday, 26 July. Tickets are available, at R100; tickets for the full four days are R400. Booking is at Computicket, on 083 915 8000 or 011 340 8000, or through the Computicket website.

For the show schedule and further information, visit the AFI website, call 011 779 1190, fax 011 779 1037, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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