Breaking news is that MERCEDES-BENZ whose three-pointed star is synonymous with iconic global fashion events is now the title sponsor of the newly announced Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks – Joburg, Cape Town and Africa.
Behind all of this is African Fashion International (AFI), spearheaded by Chairperson Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, a driving force committed to taking African Fashion to the world.
The announcement was made jointly by AFI and Mercedes-Benz SA at the media launch of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2012, which will take place between the 7th and 10th of March, hot on the heels of New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. Dr Precious spoke on how pleased AFI were to have Mercedes-Benz on board and the doors this opened. Dr Zimmermann CEO of Mercedes-Benz SA expressed how delighted Mercedes-Benz were to be involved and to have an active roll in supporting African fashion. He also introduced the magnificent new Mercedes-Benz C-Class 180 Sedan Style Edition. Adding to the glamour of the evening was the presence of Miss Universe Leila Lopes and Miss South Africa Melinda Bam.
What does this all mean? For South Africa, it is acknowledgement through the global fashion platform of the famous star. For our fashion industry it is a powerful practical and media space to display and promote its commercial potential, and for designers it a portal to recognition and career opportunities. In a nutshell it is an entry card to the global fashion stakes, it puts us in the race and the rest is up to us. How well we fare will depend on a sustained and coordinated effort by our government, fashion councils and big business to recognize, nurture, encourage, grow and financially invest in our undoubted talent.
Last year fashion week went to the inner city, spreading itself out at a number of town venues and places of interest, designed to highlight the realness of Joburg, taking fashion to the community, ending with an extravaganza on the Nelson Mandela Bridge. The event occasioned much excitement, international celebrities, lively discussion and debate. Some loved it; others felt its logistical complexity was one step to far. Either way, credit must be given for creative thinking and challenging new frontiers.
This year the event returns to a more formal setting, but is spiced up with an innovative and stylish venue – the Hyde Park Corner Roof Top, under the stars, in a specially prepared marquee that will host an audience of up to 700 fashion hungry enthusiasts a show. The event, which commences on the 7th of March, comprises 21 shows spread over 4 days, featuring designer headline icons, rising stars and young talent blasting off their careers. Visit www.africanfashioninternational.com for the show schedule.
Of course, the big question on every fashionista’s lips is what we can expect in the way of trends and creations this winter from our designers. An intriguing aspect of this is that the international 2012 fall fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris all conclude before the Joburg show. This will certainly provide direction, but to what extent South African designers will follow or diverge will only be known on the night. Another much anticipated comparison will be the standard of creative design and quality.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg is one of those special social events on the calendar not to be missed by those who love fashion. So book your diary, glam up for the occasion and loose yourself in a kaleidoscope of fun filled fashion experiences.
Tickets to see the Abigail Keats / Leigh Schubert shows (Sat, 10 March 2012, 21h00) are available for purchase at here You’ll have to register first if you don’t already have a Webtickets.co.za login – but hurry, tickets are selling out fast!