Dani Bitzounis, Cari St Quentin, Sindi Mbobo and Aaliya Randeree have been elected as the top four designers to join the AFI development programme, Fastrack.
The young designers were announced during the AFI Cape Town Fashion Week, right after the showcase of AFI Prive. Prive is an AFI in-house label which one of these contestant might win a chance to design for in August.
The current Prive designers are Tayla Nguskos and Chesney Williams, who won the Fastrack programme in 2015.
“I’m walking on air. I’m so excited. The process was quite short but very overwhelming, I’m super excited about the results and I can’t wait to start the programme,” Cari said.
“I’m extremely excited to be a finalist, it is a once in a life time opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with my mentor, learning from her as I grow as a designer and hopefully be as good as her one day,” Aaliya said.
Dani said she is grateful and blessed to be part of this experience. “I’m highly excited to learn and grow, not only as a designer but as a person as well. I can’t wait to introduce my sense of style to the fashion world and hopefully go global,” Dani said.
Sindi who is base in Cape Town said being elected as part of the top certifies that hard work does pay off. “I’m quite excited to be part this programme, overwhelming with joy. I’m looking forward to grasp every knowledge passed down to me because that will help develop my brand as a designer,” he said.
AFI Prive designer Chesney congratulated the young designers and told them that the only way to make is to learn a much as they can. “Being part of Fastrack will get them the best opportunities and put them in a position to learn from the lead designers in the industry.”
“My advice to them is to always put their heart into their work and just absorb as much as they can, and enjoy because this is truly an incredible experience,” Chesney added.
One winner will be announced in August at the end of the mentorship programme. The winner will get R15 000 and a New York trip.