Upcoming fashion designers showcased their garments at the fourth annual Khayelitsha Fashion Week (KFW) at Isivivana Centre on Saturday April 27.
Under the theme, Construction Zone, more than 50 models strut out different garments in full view of a packed audience. The show is a platform which seeks to provide fashion designers and models a rare opportunity to showcase their designs and God given talent.
However, the core aim of this initiative was to develop, expose and prepare these upcoming designers for bigger platforms.
Founding member of KFW, Zuko Langeni, said through the show they wanted to local brands to be established themselves and showcase their latest offerings.
He said part of their mission was to assist upcoming designers to identify their target clients, develop a name for themselves while developing a content marketing strategy.
He said this was the only show in the Western Cape which is seeks to give a platform to township and upcoming designers a platform to show their brands. He alluded that a sad reality was that many upcoming designers were frustrating because they are yearning for such platforms to exhibit their work.
He noted that it was also not easy to break into the industry. However, he said Khayelitsha Fashion show becomes a much needed stepping stone in their careers.
Mr Langeni said they discovered that a number of fashion designers were talented but the problem was that they were working with few individuals in their own cycles.
He highlighted that one of their mission was to change that notion and promote the spirit of working together and expand the cycles of designers. He said they had 17 fashion designers who were showcasing their work and others who brought their own stalls.
He said the entry was free for models and fashion designers because they aim was not to make a revenue but to create a platform.
He said one of the key challenges was funding and getting a sponsorship because it was extremely difficult to host such event from your own pocket.
“We want to grow this event into a bigger event. When we started we had ten designers but now we have grown. At this point in time what we promise for models and designers is exposure. We hope in the future that some of these designers and models to get something out of the show. We want these models to launch their careers from the show. We want their brands to be established,” he said.
But Mr Langeni said among other challenges was the fact that designers had other commitments that creates some sort of communication breakdown between them.
Fashion designer, Lulama Ntise, said he had been creating clothes for himself for years and never really thought that he should create garments for other people. But he said people were always amazed by his clothes and heaped praises.
The 22-year-old said he has no formal education or training in clothing and textile but he has passion and love for clothes. He said he has a nine to five job which helps him to cover up financial costs of buying a material that he needs.
He said he sees himself beyond the limits and wants to conquer the world of fashion. He said such shows empower them as locally designer and many of them don’t have a space and opportunity.
Model, Siphelele Qinisile, said it was important to have such event as it empowers young and local designers as well as models to be recognised world wide.
Ms Qinisile said the show exposes their talent but it was just that no one was there to encourage them to show it off.
Model Olona Njengwa said the shows young people that they could pursue a career in this industry. She said as a plus-size model it was important to be part of such shows as it boost their self-confidence.