As we begin Day 1 in Johannesburg of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa, we’re excited to see that this platform allows young, emerging designers and artisans the opportunity to showcase their wares to an international audience of editors and buyers.
AFI Fastrack, spearheaded by African Fashion International (AFI), is a national fashion design development platform that aims to nurture and develop South Africa’s young design talent, offering them an opportunity to launch their careers through intensive mentorship and business development coaching. This season 3 designers were chosen to present their ranges – Kyra-Moon Halfpenny, Kim Gush and Wetive Nkosi – all of whom are young women focused on making design a career. The designers varied in skill levels but 2 designers really grabbed our attention with creative fashion reminiscent of New York or London.
Kyra-Moon Halfpenny’s collection drew its inspiration from Indian Bombay while incorporating African flair within the ranges story. Trans-seasonal clothes featuring wool, cashmere, and varying knits were layered generously which reminded both myself and model, Diandra Forrest – who was sitting beside me – a flashback to London Design Legend, Vivienne Westwood. Kim Gush focused her menswear collection on combining the avant-garde with sportswear. Twisted draping, leather work and variations of knitwear are staples within Kim’s work and we hope to see more of her in the near future.
AFI Executive Chairperson, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe says “AFI Fastrack is a huge part of African Fashion International’s development program as we want more of our designers to be passionate about their craft to achieve success”.
We believe that Dr. Moloi-Motsepe and the Africa Fashion International Team have created a phenomenal platform and program that will assist many designers in their goals to create a successful business. Our eyes have been opened to the emerging talent in South Africa and we look forward to seeing Kim Gush and Kyra-Moon Halfpenny make a splash in the near future!