Lindeka Duma announced as VDJ Young Designer Award winner

Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion student Lindeka Duma has been announced as the winner of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, based on the raceday theme “Birds of a Feather”.

Duma stunned the panel of judges, made up of industry experts Leigh Schubert, Greg Wallis, Nonku Mthembu, Lara Klawikowski and Derrick Mhlongo, with a black guinea fowl-inspired body suit design overlayed with lengths of handmade platted rope to form a colourful bodice and a show-stopping big hat, all using locally-made Shweshwe fabric.

Lindeka Duma (Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion) modelled by Merlin (Models International).

“It was quite remarkable and had such presence,” said Wallis. “The judges were unanimous in their decision.”

The win for Duma continues the rollercoaster ride for the Pietermaritzburg based fashion academy as fellow classmate Vincent Orishidere took the first runner-up place, with Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design student Zandile Mahlasela securing the final place in the top three.

Orishidere made his mark with a bold menswear design that sported vibrant burnt orange and beige detail in it’s contemporary urban streetwear feel.

“Again the judges all agreed on this one as the runner up,” said Wallis. “The finish on this outfit was exceptional, and it was a strong statement for menswear.”

Mahlasela turned heads with her intricate ice blue design that incorporated hundreds of hand-made triangular feathers, each individually constructed before being incorporated into the overall garment.

“The colour, graduation and spacing was incredible,” noted Wallis.

“The standard was exceptionally high this year, and in having to decide on the top ten and top three it was veru difficult as they were so many great entries that showed good research and thought processes, but sadly couldn’t find a way into the next round,” said Wallis.

The rise of Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion as a force to be reckoned with in KwaZulu-Natal fashion circles started with Leona Pillay winning the student designer competition in 2016, paving the way for the emergence of talent like Martin Steenkamp, who now lectures at the college.

For winning the competition Lindeka Duma will receive R10 000 in cash with the compliments of Schweppes and Gold Circle, a R5 000 gift voucher courtesy of Gateway Theatre of Shopping, a Samsung Galaxy S9, a R3 000 Kryolan hamper, voucher and R1 500 SKIN by Aldytha hamper. From Hair Inc, R 12 000 worth of haircare for the year and iBalance is offering a body mapping valued at R 1000, plus a Myoko scalp massager. A two nights accommodation at a local hotel stay to the value of R 5000 – sponsored by Bold Travel & Technology  and a holiday beach bag including cap, towel and luggage lock from World Leisure Holidays.

The first runner-up Orishidere will receive R3 000 in cash with the compliments of Schweppes and Gold Circle, a R2 000 gift voucher courtesy of Gateway Theatre of Shopping, a R2 000 Kryolan Hamper, voucher and R1 200 SKIN by Aldytha Hamper.

The second runner-up Mahlasela will receive R2000 in cash with the compliments of Schweppes and Gold Circle, a R1 000 gift voucher courtesy of Gateway Theatre of Shopping, a R1 500 Kryolan Hamper, voucher and R1 000 SKIN by Aldytha hamper.

The winning college Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion will also receive a R30 000 grant from Gold Circle to be used to support the programmes and structures in place to develop the design students.

The judges:
1. Leigh Schubert has a long relationship with the Vodacom Durban July. She was the winner of DFF’s prestigious best collection on show in 2020 and a 2021 Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer.
2. Lara Klawikowski was introduced to the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award which she won in 2008. She joins us as an Invited Designer, andhas just shown her upcoming collection at SA Fashion Week.
3. Derrick Mhlongo, well known Durban fashion figure, fashion stylist, producer and owner of Iindoni Models.
4. Greg Wallis, well known industry businessman, mentor and teacher to young up coming fashion designers. He has been a long time supporter of both the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award and DFF’s mentorship programme.
5. Nonku Mthembu, the deputy Head of the SMME Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit at the eThekwini Municipality, representing fashion partner Durban Fashion Fair.

Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair
Winner: Lindeka Duma Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion)
First runner up: Vincent Orishedere (Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion)
Second runner up: Zandile Mahlasela (Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design)

Image credits:
Photographer : Sean Laurenz
Models : Iindoni, Models International
Makeup : Make Up Your Mind – Aldytha Da Silva
Hair : Hair Inc – Claire Swart
Shot on location at the Ohlange Museum in Inanda

History beckons at 2021 behind-closed-doors Vodacom Durban July

For the second year in a row the Vodacom Durban July will be run behind-closed-doors at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, but the looming clashing of the thoroughbred titans over 2 200 metres has created an unprecedented amount of global interest in the race.

With one of the most competitive fields in decades, history beckons for a number of icons of the sport entered for the main race that gets under way at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

The Justin Snaith-trained defending champion Belgarion will start eyeing a rare back-to-back victory in the Vodacom Durban July, and if he passes the winning post first he will be only the sixth horse to win the race twice and the fifth to win it two years in succession.

Belgarion’s stablemate Do It Again is well poised to live up to his name, having won the race twice before, in 2018 and 2019, and should he add the 2021 crown to his impressive list of achievements he will be the first horse in history to win the July three times.

Do It Again and Charné Charlton, wearing a Kathrin Kidger gown. Hair:Entropy. Model Extreme Model Management

He will be ridden by ace jockey Richard Fourie, who will become the first jockey to win a hat-trick of Vodacom Durban Julys, having won on Do It Again in 2019 and Belgarion last year.

If he wins it will take him to four July wins in total, along with joining Piere Strydom, Anthony Delpech and Harold “Tiger” Wright, and one short of the all-time mark held by the legendary Anton Marcus.

Justin Snaith has four runners in the eighteen-strong field, and if any of them comes home to win the Vodacom Durban July he will become the first trainer in 108 years to win the race four times in succession, joining Fred Murray as the only trainer to have achieved this feat. Murray trained and owned every winner from 1910 to 1913.

If Snaith succeeds on Saturday afternoon it will take his total tally of Vodacom Durban July victories to six, and just one shy of the record held by Hall Of Fame trainer Syd Laird and equal with the legendary Terrance Millard.

For the local racing fans there are three KwaZulu-Natal trained runners in the race – She’s A Keeper, Matterhorn and Tristful, vying to become the first locally trained winner of the race since the Dennis Drier-trained Spanish Galliard in 1992. Cape-trained horses have managed to win the Vodacom Durban July every year since the 2014 inaugural running on the new narrower track.

The widely fancied Rainbow Bridge, trained by Eric Sands can become the first top weight to win the Vodacom Durban July since Do It Again triumphed in 2019. Should Rainbow Bridge be led into the winners enclosure on Saturday afternoon, his jockey Luke Ferraris will become the first teenager to win the race for 52 years, Alan “Snowy” Reid being the last to have done it on Naval Escort in 1969.

Also enjoying support from the punters is Got The Greenlight who will be attempting to overcome the longest layoff for a winner for 87 years. No winner since Sun Tor in 1934, who came off a 161 day layoff, has come off as long a layoff as Got The Greenlight’s, which will be 63 days by July 3.

Another milestone will be set alongside the track where the evergreen photographer Anita Akal will be photographing the big race for the fiftieth time.

Across the country the race is providing a beacon of hope and excitement to a nation in the grips of the adjusted level 4 lockdown, and Vodacom Durban July parties are being planned in lounges, observing all the expectations of social distancing, complete with fashionable outfits based on the raceday theme “Birds of a Feather”, and all the lavish catering and hospitality associated with Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event.

Invited Designers wow the Vodacom Durban July

The raceday ensembles and showstoppers showcased by the five designers chosen for the Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer Showcase, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, based on the raceday theme “Birds of a Feather” have been released on the eve of the 125th running of the Vodacom Durban July.

Leigh Schubert

Leigh Schubert, who has been a trailblazing Durban designer for many years has an association with the Vodacom Durban July going back to 2002, and relished being part of the Invited Designer line-up once again.

“I am crazy about birds so the theme was perfect for me. I have bird prints on the wallpaper and the ceiling of my store!” she said. “So it was easy for me to take quite a literal interpretation of the theme.

“I made a feather fabric print and then cut out feather patterns to create a 3D effect. I strive to make something that is striking but still accessible and wearable,” she added.

Lara Klawikowski

Capetonian Lara Klawikowski took her inspiration from the Parrot Tulip as a basis of an ensemble she describes as bird-like and botanical. After her critically acclaimed flower-inspired range seen at SA Fashion Week, her thinking turned to the similarities between plants and birds. “This gave me an amazing colour pallet to work with,” she said.

Staying true to her signature upcycling style she used recycled plastic and offcuts of fabric collected from clothing factories to construct her garments.

“Material that otherwise would have ended up in a dump now becomes part of something beautiful for the Vodacom Durban July, which is exciting. It makes what we do sustainable and responsible.”

Having won the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Awards more than ten years ago, her first appearance as an Invited Designer was exhilarating. “It feels like a whole new level!” he added.

Hangwani Nengovhela

Gauteng based Hangwani Nengovhela, the force behind the label Rubicon Clothing, took a creative journey with the theme that started with flocks of flamingos and then connected this with a KwaZulu-Natal maritime element.

“I started with the flamingo colours and hues and the re-imagined this into turquoise ocean colours. I like to get people to dream!”

Having decided to use soft tulle to resonate with fishermen’s nets, and turquoise dyed ostrich feather, together with layering to reflect the ocean floor and delicate scallop prints and a sport lux visor, she was elated to have the final photoshoot done on the iconic pier in Umhlanga with the Indian ocean backdrop completing the look.

“These are tough times we are going through, but this this showcase has left me feeling energised and positive,” she said. “I hope as designers we can pass some of that positive energy to every else in our country.”

Zama Mathe

Zama Mathe, of the Zarth Designs label, thrived on a literal, feathery take on the “Bird of a Feather” theme, using breezy lightweight tulle to create a flowing elegant trio of garments in turquoises and pinks.

“I was looking to show freedom, lightness and precision, with the beautiful colours inspired by the birds,” Mathe added.

Sandile Duke Mngadi

Durban designer Sandile “Duke” Mngadi, the man behind the Duke Clothe Your Soul brand, chose his inspiration from the Southern Carmine Bee-eater for his bold range.

He started by repurposing an old sari and then working with duchess satin, satin twill, he created lavish layered flowing genderless garments in white, pink and cerise.

He added that he worked on a concept of “Birds of the same Love” to make a statement against violence being perpetrated against members of LGBTQ+ community.

“Fashion is art and art is a movement and we as a brand want to stand up and say ‘Enough is enough’ and we choose to do it through fashion,” he added.

Image credits:
Photographer : Sean Laurenz
Models : Top Notch Talent, Extreme Model Management, Iindoni, GIO, Boss Models
Makeup : Make Up Your Mind – Aldytha Da Silva
Hair : Hair Inc – Claire Swart
Shot on location on the Umhlanga boardwalk, city centre, Danté restaurant and on a yacht off Durban.

Durban Fashion Fair protégées unfurl their wings

Durban – The eight emerging Durban designers hand-picked to form part of the Durban Fashion Fair Rising Stars Collection have unveiled their creations just days before the Vodacom Durban July.

The thriving Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) incubator has produced numerous designers who have successfully established their businesses and built their brands under the guidance and mentorship offered by the DFF programme, underscoring the city’s reputation as a hotbed for fashion design talent.

Each of the eight emerging designers was hand-picked from the 2020 DFF Mentorship programme to create a raceday outfit based on the theme “Birds of a Feather” and when they were revealed, they showed an exciting diversity of creative interpretations and high quality of construction of the final garments.

Judaine Naidoo’s bold black and white design echoed the concept of Yin and Yang and was based on global bird migration patterns.

“Black feathers represent protection and spiritual wisdom and the white feathers represent purity and alignment,” said Naidoo. “For me these colours represent a balance of the positive and negative.

“In the same sense, birds of a feather flock together. How you look is how you feel. Individuals with the same pursuit and motivation meaning people who are like minded would stick together.

“Just as birds migrate to better conditions I will naturally move towards the positive and what’s going to help me achieve,” he added.

Mbali Zulu’s intricate lace bodysuit and flared chiffon skirt with an intricate beaded corset are all based on the endangered Tinmeh African grey parrot.

“I have tried to transpose the beauty of this bird to women, and I have utilized feathers to exude modernism, glamour, drama and seduction,” said Zulu.

“The corset is beaded with wooden beads and is low in front and high at the back and comes over the face of the model as a beak of the bird. It represents how free the parrot is when it is flying. It also has to protect itself from humans that are hunting it to extinction.

“The design and transparency of the lace body suit with its long sleeves represent the freedom of flying. The turtleneck is a symbol of the loss they have survived to the point of extinction.

“The flared chiffon  skirt is longer at the back like tail of a bird, and is inspired by the dark grey colour of the Timneh Parrot which looks like it is black,” she added.

For one of the driving forces behind the Durban Fashion Fair programme Nonku Mthembu, the deputy head of the SMME Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit at the eThekwini Municipality, the new platform with the Vodacom Durban July provides a robust stepping stone in establishing the next generation of design talent.

“For me, the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Experience DFF’s Rising Stars Collection category is extremely important to us as the eThekwini Municipality as it gives us an opportunity to highlight how our programs are well thought-out and well-structured empowerment tools to connect designer learnings from the moment of training emerging designers to sharpen their business acumen and design skills to them displaying their skills learned on a big and as international a show as the Vodacom Durban July.

“The City’s Fashion Development program, affectionately known as the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) has reinforced the fact that the municipality is serious about fostering Durban’s thriving fashion and creative industry and is dedicated to making this sector one of the economically viable sectors, especially during this time of Covid-19 and the threat it poses to the economy.

“The DFF’s Rising Stars Collection category consisted of eight emerging Durban designers that were part of the DFF Class of 2020 Fashion Mentorship program where we trained and mentored twenty designers and twenty models, amid COVID-19. This is a fashion empowerment program dedicated to giving designers tools as well as the much-needed spotlight as they start their fashion careers,” said Mthembu.

“These are new entrants in the industry and it is exciting to see how they have collaborated to present such an amazing collection instead of individual pieces and competing against each other. Their interpretation of the theme “Birds of a Feather” is on point! It is creative, fashion forward and so Vodacom Durban July! I also like how they have paid attention to detail, texture and colour to show their skills.

“The partnership we enjoy with the Vodacom Durban July through DFF has assisted positioning the City as a destination that is a contributor to the creative design sector, competing equally in the fashion and textile industry, and the city is elevating emerging fashion designers to new heights through the Vodacom Durban July, in spite of Covid-19. For these designers, this is one of their career milestones and a memory to cherish,” said Mthembu.

“A forward-thinking approach needs to be adopted to create an ecosystem that will ensure a financially secure future for the local talent while growing the economy and using the fashion industry to create jobs, and ensure the sustainability of fashion designers. DFF needs to be an active voice within this sector, identify potential impact and position the program and the fashion sector in general as one of the key investment opportunities.

“We have recently seen this happening when we partnered with SASCOC to afford four Durban Designers (youth from the DFF Class of 2020) in collaboration with Mr. Price, to design Team SA kit for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This milestone is a local and international recognition of what we do, and more especially for the designers, and we hope it gives direct ties with the global fashion industry to allow competent designers to participate actively and sustainably in the sector.

“It also shows immense potential for the program and we aim to have more conversations and partnerships that lead to active participation of local designers in the growth of the economy,” she added.

Vodacom Durban July race day will go ahead

Following President Ramaphosa’s National Address last night moving South Africa to Adjusted Level 4 and the media release from the National Horseracing Authority earlier today, Gold Circle can confirm that the Vodacom Durban July race day will go ahead on Saturday, 3 July 2021.

On course attendance at all race meetings in KwaZulu-Natal, from today until further notice, will be limited to essential services personnel; Trainers, Jockeys, Grooms, NHA Staff and Gold Circle Staff required to ensure each race meeting can proceed. No Owners, Gold Circle Members or Box/Suite Holders will be permitted access to either Hollywoodbets Greyville or Hollywoodbets Scottsville until further notice.

The Vodacom Durban July race meeting will be available to view on Tellytrack (DSTV Channel 249) and via the official broadcast on SuperSport 4 (DSTV Channel 204) from 13h00-16h00 on Saturday. The 1st race is off at 11h15 with the VDJ run at 15h00 and the 10th race off at 16h45.

VDJ Milestones that can be reached in 125th renewal

David Thiselton
The Vodacom Durban July is South Africa’s greatest race and some important milestones can be reached in the big race’s 125th renewal this year.

DO IT AGAIN AND RICHARD FOURIE could rewrite the Vodacom Durban July record books on Saturday (Liesl King).

DO IT AGAIN can become the first horse in history to win the race three times.
RICHARD FOURIE can become the first jockey in
history to win the race three times in succession if Do It Again wins and it will be his fourth July win in total, joining Piere Strydom, Anthony Delpech and Harold “Tiger” Wright as jockeys who are one short of Anton Marcus record five victories.
JUSTIN SNAITH can become the first trainer in 108 years to win the race four times in succession, joining Fred Murray as the only trainer to have achieved this feat (Murray trained and owned every winner from 1910 to 1913). SNAITH will join Terrance Millard on six July wins if he does do it, one behind the record seven of Hall Of Fame trainer Syd Laird and equal with the legendary Terrance Millard.
BELGARION will be, attempting to become the 6th horse to win the race twice and the 5th to win it two years in succession.
Belgarion’s owners ALEC AND THE HONOURABLE GILLIAN FOSTER will thus be attempting to become what is believed to be the first to be owners and breeders of the winner for two years in succession.
KOMMETDIEDING can become the first Coloured-owned winner for Ashwin Reynolds although the first across the line in 2014 Wylie Hall would have achieved this feat for Michael Leaf if a subsequent objection had not been upheld.
GOT THE GREENLIGHT can become the first Indian-owned and/or Coloured-owned winner. He is owned by Dayalan Chinsammy and Hassan Adams respectively in partnership with trainer Joe Soma.
GOT THE GREENLIGHT will be attempting to overcome the longest layoff for a winner for 87 years. No winner since Sun Tor in 1934, who came off a 161 day layoff, has come off as long a layoff as Got The Greenlight’s, which will be 63 days by July 3.
LUKE FERRARIS, who rides Rainbow Bridge, can become the first teenager to win the race for 52 years, Alan “Snowy” Reid being the last to have done it on Naval Escort in 1969.
LINEBACKER can join both Big City Life (2009) and Legislate (2014) as horses who have won all of the Grade 1 Cape Derby, the Grade 2 WSB Guineas, the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 and the Vodacom Durban July in one season.
CROWN TOWERS, SOVEREIGN SPIRIT, CIRILLO, BELGARION, NEXUS, RUNNING BRAVE AND TRISTFUL will all be attempting to become the first five-year-old winner since the Mike Bass-trained Pocket Power in 2008.
RAINBOW BRIDGE and DO IT AGAIN will both be attempting to become the first six-year-old winner for 41 years, the Johnny Nicholson-trained Beau Art being the last to do it in 1980.
POMODORO can become the sixth July winner to sire a July winner if his son CIRILLO wins. This follows 1909 winner King’s Favourite (who produced 1915 winner Winnipeg), 1941 winner Sadri II (who produced 1951 winner Gay Jane and 1954 winner C’Est si Bon), 1940 winner Kipling (who produced 1952 winner Mowgli), 1987 winner Bush Telegraph (who produced 1996 winner London News) and 2003 winner Dynasty (who has to date produced 2014 winner Legislate and 2020 winner Belgarion).
DYNASTY can become the first July winner to sire more than two individual July winners if either SOVEREIGN SPIRIT or NEXUS wins and will be the first sire to be on the winner’s roll three times if Belgarion wins.
RAINBOW BRIDGE (bred by Mary Slack and Jessica Jell’s Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Stud) could become the seventh winner bred by the Oppenheimer family following Tiger Fish (1959), King Willow (1965), Principal Boy (1975), Greys Inn (2004), Hunting Tower (2007) and Marinaresco (2017). (The Oppenheimers owned the first five of those and also owned 1992 winner Spanish Galliard).
SHE’S A KEEPER, MATTERHORN and TRISTFUL will be attempting to become the first KZN-trained winner since the Dennis Drier-trained Spanish Galliard in 1992.
KZN and Gauteng together have nine runners who will be attempting to break the stranglehold Cape-trained horses have had since the 2014 inaugural running on the new narrower track.
RAINBOW BRIDGE can become the first topweight to win since Do It Again in 2019.
All horses will be out to break the race record time of 131.76 seconds set by the Mike Bass-trained Trademark in 2001.
ANITA AKAL will photograph the July for the 50th time. Congratulations Anita!

ANITA AKAL will be an on course photographer at the Vodacom Durban July for the 50th time (S’bonelo Ngcobo).

Stars flock together at Vodacom Durban July Gallops

The behind-closed-doors Vodacom Durban July Gallops were held in front of empty stands at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse as the field shortlisted for the 125th running of the iconic race trained on the track .

All of the Summerveld-based thoroughbreds were seen in action, many running with stable-mates, while the gallops of Gauteng-based runners Got The Greenlight, ExpressfromtheUS, Johnny Hero, Shah Akbar, Cirillo, Running Brave and second reserve Shango were televised.

Top weight Rainbow Bridge was the first out at Hollywoodbets Greyville just after 7am and it was clear once again that he is in the form of his life.  The Eric Sands-trained Ideal World gelding was beautifully relaxed in the parade ring and in the gallop.

Last year’s winner, the Justin Snaith-trained Belgarion, put in a fine gallop on his own with jockey S’Manga Khumalo and stable companions Crown Towers and Nexus later strode out well under Richard Fourie (substituting for the absent Luyola Mxothwa) and Craig Zackey respectively.

Dual Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again worked with a companion and put up what many pundits rated the best gallop of the morning.

In amongst the handful of people allowed into the venue for the Gallops were a number of models and designers involved in this year’s Vodacom Durban July fashion programme, keeping the glamour element that is inextricably linked to the Vodacom Durban July alive during the lockdown edition of Africa’s greatest horseracing event.


Pics: Anthony Grote
Racing Pics: Candiese Lenferna

Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award finalists named

Four fashion design colleges secured places in the finals of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, when the judges announced the list of the top ten students on Friday.

Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design, the design college that last year’s winner Sonto Mthembu attended, secured three finalists in Bernadine Singh, Zandile Mahlasela and Mlungisi Mpanza.

Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion matched that with finalist berths for students Acsah Pietersen, Lindeka Duma and Vincent Orishedere, while the new Fezile Fashion Skills Academy is celebrating three finalist in Simangele Ngcobo, Silindile Mzobe and Qhubekani Nzimande.

Another Newcomer Vega makes up the top ten line-up with student Aliyah Hassim.

The ten finalists will be presented at a special COVID-19-compliant fashion extravaganza to be staged at Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Tuesday 29 June, when the top three will be announced. The winner will be announced on raceday, Saturday 3 July.

The winner will receive R10 000 from Gold Circle, a two night local hotel holiday from Bold Travel, a year of Hair by Claire from Hair Inc and a range of other prizes including hampers from Kryolan and Skin by Aldytha. Each of the ten finalists will receive R2000 from Gold Circle.

The ten finalists in the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair are :Bernadine Singh, Zandile Mahlasela, Mlungisi Mpanza (all Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design), Simangele Ngcobo, Silindile Mzobe, Qhubekani Nzimande (all Fezile Fashion Skills Academy), Acsah Pietersen, Lindeka Duma, Vincent Orishedere (all Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion) and Aliyah Hassim (Vega).

Student designers spread their wings

Twenty students from four design colleges across KwaZulu-Natal celebrated being named in the semi-finals of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, with a marked shift in the colleges enjoying a share of the limelight

With DUT students noticeably absent, second year fashion design students from the Lindiwe Khuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design, the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion, Vega and the Fezile Fashion Skills Academy accounted for the twenty semi-finalist berths.

The students designed a raceday outfit based on the theme “Birds of a Feather” and provided the trademark cutting-edge creativity and technical innovation that the competition has become famous for.

Greg Wallis, one of the five-strong panel of judges that had to whittle the entry of 73 garments down to the twenty semi-finalists, said he was excited to see the emergence of fashion design talent from newer colleges in the region.

“It is quite amazing how every year the students rise to the occasion, and no matter what the theme is, they interpret it in their own way, and I must say that the research and thought processes that have gone into the outfits this year was quite incredible,” said Wallis.

“There were several entries from new colleges and they featured in the top twenty, which is really exciting” he added.

“The energy and excitement amongst the students was incredible and when the semi-finalists were announced the way the students came together, whether they had won or lost, was overwhelming,” said Wallis.

“It reinforces the fact that Durban is a real hotbed of fashion design talent, and it never fails us,” he added.

The twenty semi-finalists in the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, are:
Mlungisi Mpanza, S’busiswe Dube, Nomathemba Zikhali, Portia Mkhize, Bernadine Singh, Zandile Mahlasela (all Lindiwe Khuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design) Qhubekani Nzimande, Silindile Mzobe, Sduduzo Ntanzi, Gcina Ngcoya, Simangele Ngcobo (all Fezile Fashion Skills Academy), Phumlani Buthulezi, Nomfundo Meyiwa, Acsah Pietersen, Vincent Orishedere, Nombulelo Ngcobo, Lindeka Duma, Thando Nguse (all Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion), Tashriq Chanderlal, Aliyah Hassim (both Vega).

Five Invited Designers announced for Vodacom Durban July

With exactly a month to go to the 2021 running of the Vodacom Durban July, the organisers of the event’s fashion programme have released the names of five household name designers who will participate in the Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer Showcase, presented by Durban Fashion Fair.

Respected fashion industry trailblazer Leigh Schubert makes a return to the annual raceday showcase event, and will be joined in the five strong line-up by fellow Durban designers Sandile Duke Mngadi, of the Clothe Your Soul label, and Zama Mathe, whose Zarth label has garnered a strong national following.

Another returning industry icon is Johannesburg-based Hangwani Nenghovela, the driving force behind the Rubicon label.

Capetonian Lara Klawikowski, who’s rapid rise to prominence in the fashion industry had much to do with her winning the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award as a student, completes the selection.

The Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer Showcase has always been a highlight of the pre-raceday fashion build-up programme and generates much interest online for the unveiling of the the work of the hand-picked Invited Designers each year.

Fashion programme director Tiffany Prior said that although the current lockdown would limit the chances to see the ranges of the Invited Designers in traditional show format, she expected this to heighten interest in the revealing of their creations through videos and photographs online.

“Whilst 2020 and 2021 have seen a very different Vodacom Durban July Fashion Experience, I am thrilled that our five amazing Invited Designers from Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg have embraced this year’s theme,” said Prior.

“Each of them has a very distinctive creative “handwriting’’ and understanding of the event and I have no doubt we will see beautiful work with attention to colour, detail and texture,’ she added.

“Leigh Schubert won best collection on show at Durban Fashion Fair last year, making her a perfect choice for the event and for our fashion partner,” said Prior. “I love her style and after chatting to her I know that she will deliver a very considered beautiful collection.”

“Sandile Mngadi loves Durban and his label, Duke Clothe your Soul, will stay true to his design vision and definitely add a completely different twist on the theme.

“Hangwani Nenghovela and Rubicon Clothing is an icon brand in South Africa. She has just shown her full collection at SA Fashion Week which was gorgeous. It already has theme-related ideas and I’m certain she’ll expand on these,” said Prior.

“Zama Mathe is always full of surprises with her understanding and love of the Vodacom Durban July. I’m certain we’ll see what she does best,” Prior added. “There is always loads of energy around her collections.

“I am so proud that we have invited Lara Klawikowski to this year’s event. As our 2009 Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award winner, Lara has spent the last decade building her brand and career very successfully.

“The theme this year is so perfect for her and we will see this in her choice of her own fabrications and design ideas,” Prior concluded.