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).