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Joburg launches iconic fashion week in style Print E-mail
20 February 2013

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Johannesburg’s Mary Fitzgerald Square in the Newtown Cultural Precinct will be transformed into a high-fashion kaleidoscope for the African Fashion International’s (AFI’s) upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg (MBFWJ).
 
The three-day fashion extravaganza – whose line-up includes the creative brilliance of designers such as David Tlale, Gavin Rajah, Suzaan Heyns and Fabiani – kicks off on March 7. This was announced at a glamorous launch – attended by high-profile designers and dignitaries – at the Wits Art Museum on Monday night.
 
“The MBFWJ provides a valuable opportunity for local designers and those in the clothing and textile industry to be exposed and granted access to global markets and decision-makers. Fashion is the ultimate lifestyle springboard and this exciting event is a wonderful way to showcase Johannesburg as the ultimate lifestyle destination,” said Phelisa Mangcu, acting chief executive officer of the Johannesburg Tourism Company.
 
The glitzy affair will provide a unique opportunity to cement Johannesburg’s role as a fashion capital and hub on the African continent as well as a lifestyle destination. 
 
Siphiwe Ngwenya, acting chief executive officer of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), announced exciting developments for the fashion industry.
 
“We are aiming to revolutionise Gauteng and by partnering and focusing on working with the fashion industry, we aim to boost growth and revitalise the dying manufacturing industry. As the GGDA, we are planning on establishing a fashion council that will work towards securing and organising funding and support for local budding designers. We are also working towards revitalising the City’s existing fashion district,” he announced.
 
The decision to return to the inner city for the MBFWJ 2013 Autumn/Winter collection is in line with AFI’s aim to provide support to the city’s young and aspirational entrepreneurs. The move will enable the AFI to engage with up-and-coming designers by facilitating a skills exchange using AFI platforms, specifically the AFI Fastrack and AFI Next Generation initiatives.
 
“Moreover, holding this prestigious event in Newton will see a flood of urban trendsetters into the area, promoting it as a secure, attractive and commercially viable place to network,” said AFI chairperson Precious Moloi-Motsepe.
 
“My heartfelt belief, underpinned by research and market understanding, is that Africa holds the promise of a positive future for the production and consumption of luxury goods and fashion. Joburg, as more than Africa’s leading international business and networking hub, holds the key to this promise. The city is a world-class fashion and shopping destination and cultural centre and its designers are shining stars whose futures in the global market look increasingly bright.”
 
The MMC for Economic Development, said partnering with AFI to host these leading fashion events puts Johannesburg on a global platform as a fashion industry leader, along with cities such as Berlin, New York and London.
 
“These showcases of excellence in fashion design provide unprecedented opportunities to communicate a strong message that Johannesburg is well and truly open for global fashion design businesses, providing a unique lifestyle destination for fashion tourists and buyers.” 
 
THE SHOW IN A GLANCE
Thursday, 7 March
18:30 - Grapevine/Khosi Nkosi
19:45 - Avant Apparel/Tart
21:00 - Stefania Morland
 
Friday, 8 March
18:30 - Life by Andre Martin/Ruald Rheeder
19:45 - David Tlale
21:00v- Thula Sindi
 
Saturday, 9 March
14:30 - AFI Fastrack (in partnership with the GGDA)
16:30 - AFI Next Generation (in partnership with the GGDA)
18:00 - Suzaan Heyns
19:30 - Gavin Rajah
21:00 - Fabiani
 
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