A) What African Fashion International (AFI) Stand For?
African Fashion International’s (AFI) objective is to be a catalyst for the development of South African and on a broader level, African Fashion, incubating young designers, showcasing and promoting established designers in a world class manner, creating sustainable commercial opportunities for Designers. AFI’s key platforms Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks Joburg and Cape Town, and AFI Fashion Week Africa, not only incubate and/or up-skill young designers through our programs Fastrack and Next Generation (NextGen), but they also are a gateway for South African and African world class, luxury fashion to travel to the world and for the world to experience it at its best. This is all in an effort to fulfil AFI’s key objective of being the “Gateway to African Fashion”.
B) Our Position on Intellectual Property (IP) Infringements.
AFI Fashion Week platforms aim at unleashing design talent, innovative thinking and commercial success within the fashion and related industries such as fabric design and manufacturing, show production, show hosting, photography and cinematography to name a few. With this objective in mind we therefore as a company discourage any form of plagiarism of other Designers work without acknowledgement. We deem this as antithetical to the developmental and commercial opportunities we create for Designers and the industry at large and it creates a disingenuous competitive edge which must be discouraged.
Infringement on IP is a growing threat globally. It is counterproductive to the success of the Fashion Industry as it undermines creativity and deprives the Industry and Designers of commercial gains ensuing from their innovations. AFI therefore encourages the reasonable enforcement of IP rights in Fashion and the appropriate acknowledgement of designs, if and when they draw inspiration from already existent designs.
C) Our Commitment to Ensuring IP Education and Protection.
As a major player in the African Fashion Industry, AFI decided to raise awareness of this particular challenge in order to discourage Designers from infringing on other Designers IP and help them know how to protect their own IP from being infringed. To this effect, we have partnered with leading IP specialist law firm, Adams and Adams, to bring their knowledge and awareness of IP in the Fashion Industry to our Designers. We will also be working with global multi-sectoral, inter-dependent entities within the Fashion and Creative Industries to discourage misconduct, and to ensure that our Designers are protected against IP theft, as well ensuring that they themselves do not infringe IP knowingly or otherwise. In addition we will communicate the AFI Vision and Values to all our Designers in an effort to ensure that they all subscribe to the principals of authentic, innovative and original design practices. AFI will continue to promote, develop and distribute fashion from South Africa and the Continent to ensure that Africa becomes a leading player in the global fashion market place.