African Fashion International (AFI) has reiterated their longstanding partnership with the Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) to present a specialized showcase for emerging designers at the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town which takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) from 25-28 July.

The valuable platform will feature five designers chosen by the AFI panel of leaders in the fashion media and clothing and textile industry, with the criteria being the designers’ ability to mould their fashion brands into sustainable business platforms.

The five chosen designers are Pumeza Mekuto of Black Coal Clothing, Celeste Lee Arendse of Selfi, Robyn Victor of August Clothing, Tarien Malherbe of Non-European and Maloti Mothoni of Strato.

“AFI’s intention, in association with the CTFC and associated fashion schools, is to empower the fashion leaders of tomorrow and provide room for the healthy growth of the South African fashion industry. With its theme of “Icons In The Making”, Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, hosted by the City of Cape Town, brought to you by AFI, looks forward to showcasing this new group of exciting designers,” says African Fashion International (AFI) Global Brand & Marketing Manager, Allana Finley.

With 18 shows over four days, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town presents a theme of “icons” – from  fashion to cars and venues – to add an extra dimension of global relevance, innovation and lifestyle to this, one of Africa’s premier fashion events.

“The CTFC’s mission is to mould the Western Cape fashion industry into a sustainable, desirable and cutting edge entity on a national and international basis.  Our fundamental strategies aim to turn key emerging brands into sustainable businesses by identifying and providing them with viable resources and opportunities – in turn cultivating the success of the fashion industry as a whole,” says Cape Town Fashion Council CEO Bryan Ramkilawan

“The CTFC emerging designer showcase at the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town synergizes well with our strategy to enhance media, public and buyer awareness of these selected designers. Our fabulous five designers – with their tremendous capability and creativity – are the perfect fit to this year’s theme “icons in the making”.”

First launched in 2003, Cape Town Fashion Week was one of the first events to be held at the CTICC  and this is the first year under its new title, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town.

The CTFC’s newly implemented Fashion Cluster programme, meanwhile, aims to promote the growth of local design brands which are manufactured in South Africa, focusing primarily on designers but including retailers, media and support institutions as development partners.

Qualified design brands that are part of this Cluster will benefit directly through an improved understanding of how to grow a successful clothing brand, be able to apply for financial support to investigate new retail partnerships and gain access to a wider variety of fabrics in small quantities at better prices and with faster response times.

The emerging designers showcase at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town takes place at the CTICC on July 27, at 15.30 at the CTICC.

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