The Vodacom Durban July crowns pre-race day fashion champions

Seen as a vital stepping-stone for any career in fashion, the Vodacom Durban July pre-race day fashion competitions, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, came to a dramatic close with Leona Magdelene Pillay and Kimosha Ganas been named as winners of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award and Fashion Challenge respectively.

Designers had to dazzle the judges on the technicality of their outfit, how well they innovatively interpreted the theme and if they succeeded in creating a raceday ensemble that effortlessly portrayed the stylish and sophisticated spirit of the Vodacom Durban July.

It was up to the local fashion connoisseurs, made up of Invited Designers Francois Vedemme and Kathrin Kidger, Sindi Shangase from the Durban Fashion Fair, East Coast Radio presenter and media personality Terence Pillay and Fashion Editor of Grazia, Nonkuthalo Thithi, to decide the fate of which creations lived up to the tough brief.

Judge Sindi Shangase explained how, “The quality and the concept of each designer’s outfit in relation to the Vodacom Durban July fashion theme, ‘Leader of the Pack’, set the winners apart. And lastly, how well the garment is constructed.”

Trumping scores of other fashion students from around the province Leona Magdelene Pillay was crowned the winner of the Young Designer Award, her royal blue and beige ensemble winning herself a once-in-a-lifetime accompanied trip to the New York Fashion Week.

“My design was inspired by the Queen of Spades, who is seated right next to the strongest card of the pack, the King of Spades. I believe that behind every successful man is a strong women.”
Victory was also on the cards for Kimosha Ganas, her futuristic inspired outfit with geometric prints helping her to take home first prize for the Fashion Challenge. Beating other aspiring designers and out-of-province students Ganas was visibly overwhelmed by her win and actually dreamt the night before that she had taken home first prize.


“I wanted to do something trendy and high fashion and used the diamond shape as my inspiration. I also wanted to incorporate some fun and popping colours.”

The 2016 Vodacom Durban July was staged at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday 2 July 2016. More information can be found a

Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award presented by Durban Fashion Fair:
1. Leona Magdelene Pillay (DUT) (model – Mahlatse)
2. Shéskia Aprakshya Ramnath (DUT) (model – Saskia)
3. Athenkosi Mfungula (Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion Design) (model – Mbiyashe)

Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge Award presented by Durban Fashion Fair:
1. Kimosha Ganas (model – Alex)
2. Mbaliyethu Zulu (model – Leah)
3. Clara Vach (model – Tyler)

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