The final day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017 was postponed due to the weather. Organisers African Fashion International, however, are determined that nothing will stop the designers from having their moment in the spotlight at the Salt River Studios, on 7 and 8 April 2017.
“We felt that the unexpectedly high, gusting winds left us with no choice but to shut down the last show at The Meadway on the evening of Friday, 24 March, and to postpone the final day of the shows until we could reconvene in greater safety for all involved,” says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, CEO and founder of African Fashion International.
Executive decision taken
African Fashion International had been advised by its structural engineers that the marquee structure was able to withstand winds of up to 100km an hour. Despite the fact that the incident had involved winds at less than half that speed, African Fashion International took an executive decision to postpone the remainder of the event rather than risk greater injury to any guest or participant.
“We could not risk any danger to anybody involved – but we were also dismayed that a proportion of the designers and their supporting service industries, from models to makeup artists, might lose their opportunity to display their ranges and talents,” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe. “That is why we have worked tirelessly with everybody affected to reschedule, and we are delighted that a total of 38 designers will be showing at the new, two-day follow-up event this weekend.”
Well-known names to feature
Only one of the designers, whose show was postponed, will be unable to take up the opportunity to show at the rescheduled event. Among the well-known names taking advantage of the chance to show at the Salt River Studios venue are Carducci, Stefania Morland, Craig Port, Laduma Ngxokolo, Taibo Bacar and Ituen Basi, along with fresh young talent such as David Tlale’s intern designers. They will be joined by a range of exciting first-time brands.
Despite the short lead time to reschedule the event, producers Mary Reynolds, Jan Malan, and Deon Redman have been secured and are thrilled at the opportunity to work in this fresh, edgy space. For the anticipated lineup, a percentage of the tickets have been granted to fashion and design students. This is in line with African Fashion International’s principles of ubuntu
, integrity and a passionate pursuit of excellence, as well as its sustained commitment to its Fastrack and NextGen incubator programmes.
Logistical implications eased
“Out of respect for all the designers, AFI made the strategic decision to take on the full logistical, infrastructural, and marketing costs of bringing back Fashion Week,” says Dr Moloi-Motsepe. “The rescheduling is the result of a careful consultation process with all affected designers. We’ve held workshops with the affected pan-African designers to address their concerns. We have also worked on easing the logistical implications of the postponement for them, such as assisting with visa extensions, accommodation and rebooking of flights.”
Many of the designers run small or micro businesses and startups, therefore showing at Fashion Week is a strategic decision based on their business cycle, as it catalyses their exposure and their brands, as well as gives them the opportunity to generate sales and income.africanfashioninternational.comImage by Johhny Lai Sang