“The Vodacom Durban July was really where it all started for me as a designer. I won the Young Designers Competition in 2011 in my second year of studies and it really opened up many doors in the industry,” explained ace fashion designer Tamara Chérie.
Now returning to the Vodacom Durban July as one of eight prestigious designers in the Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer Showcase, Presented by Durban Fashion Fair, the talented creative is excited to showcase her interpretation of the race day theme, ‘Leader of the Pack’, a collection she hints is, “an unbeatable hand.”
The Port Elizabeth-born creative understands the invaluable experience of fashion competitions, like the Vodacom Durban July fashion programme, as a springboard into a myriad of other fashion platforms as they illuminate skills such as, “time management, confidence, presentation skills, what designs work best for ready to wear and what designs work best for runway.
Both the competitions and the shows are such great platforms for both emerging and established designers to really push their creativity to the limit. The event is definitely one not to miss!”
These fashion competition experiences stitched with her learning’s from her fashion studies at the Design Academy of Fashion (DAF) and Btech from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) as well as her relentless dedication to her craft has helped the young designer sew her fashion dream into a reality.
In her short career Tamara has already showcased her refined, sophisticated and contemporary designs on national platforms including AFI Africa Fashion Week, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg, SA Style Awards and SA Wool Week.
“As my career progresses, so do my accomplishments and achievements, so it is quite difficult to just pinpoint one proudest moment. But most probably both winning the Elle Rising Star Design Award in 2014 and then getting my first produced collection into stores,” explained the Cape Town based designer.
Her own label, Tamara Chérie, is currently stocked in boutiques in Cape Town such as AKJP Collective in Kloof Street, and Johannesburg, such as ANTS in Parkhurst, with new stores stocking their designs in the upcoming months.
For those looking to succeed in the difficult fashion industry Tamara advises to, “Find the balance between creativity and business viability and you can make it happen. If you’re not selling, you don’t have a business. If you want to be a designer, just keep pushing, it’s a tough industry but it’s worth it.”
With Tamara’s first Vodacom Durban July right around the corner on July 2, all eyes will be the spectacular collection she creates.