WATCH four emerging designers compete for the sought-after title of AFI Fastrack – Young Designer of the Year 2021. This six-part mini-series provides an inside-look into the workings of the South African fashion industry, with designers participating in three challenges to win the creative affections of viewers – their most crucial judge.
Airing weekly on YouTube, every Monday and Tuesday from 6 December until 21 December, African Fashion International (AFI) presents a thrilling stand-off of fashion. Young designers are competing for a share of a total cash prize of R100 000, with the winner taking 50% and the remainder shared amongst the runners-up as start-up capital to invest in their brand and an exclusive retail opportunity with AFI’s House of Nala concept store.
Challenging designers to stretch their creativity toward trends that reflect our current climate, the Fastrack runway is a showcase of affordable sustainability, power looks that embolden an evolving work-life balance, and an extraordinary presentation of Fashion Week capsule collections, all with an edgy, Afro-centric twist.
Contestants competing this season is Keneuoe Mhletswa from Lesotho; Siyabonga Mtshali from Richards Bay; Cheron Dreyer from Cape Town; and Shamyra Moodley from Cape Town. Judging their style choices is designer Marize Bolton, who is joined by the AMEN duo, Brad and Abiah.
The reality-series extends the reach and influence of Africa’s emerging designers by inviting you, the viewer, to predict the winner. Cast your vote HERE and stand a chance to win weekly prizes and a cash prize of R5000 at the show’s finale.
Promoting the launch of the series, founder and chief executive of AFI, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe remarks, “Africa’s burgeoning cohort of young designers are offering a refreshing and thoughtful take on style. Their unique fusion of Afro-centric and western youth culture is escalating in global appeal. Together with AFI and House of Nala, Fastrack is a programme that supports designers while also supporting access for a growing market of diverse people who are interested in the creative perceptions coming the continent”.
Watch the Fastrack Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9DPoyKYMxk
Comments from Judges
Brad and Abiah
“There is honestly nothing more exhilarating than watching the crop of emerging designers introduce themselves to the industry. It was great to see their passion, excitement, and all their hard work come together backstage as they prepared to showcase for the first time at a world-class fashion show. I hope viewers will see the amount work, hours and skills needed in order to make a name for oneself in the fashion and creative industries,” writes the design duo Brad and Abiah.
Fellow judge Marize Bolton adds, “I hope that people will see how much hard work goes into creating something and how much garments should be treasured and valued and taken great care off. Showing people the gruelling process behind each item that hangs on a hanger in a store, making them aware of the fact that each item has gone through many hands and should therefore be cared for. I always focus on the process, if one can see, understand and respect a process that is when learning happens. I hope that people will learn about the process of creativity, the process of how a designer works, the process of how clothing is made, and the process of being a young designer that has the guts to follow their dreams”.
About AFI Fastrack
Launched in 2008, AFI Fastrack is a national graduate fashion platform. Designed to run as a year-long programme, all emerging designers are paired with industry mentors, and access marketing, sales and showcasing opportunities through AFI’s House of Nala concept store and bi-annual Fashion Weeks.
The title AFI Young Designer of the Year has launched winners into international networks, including household names Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu.
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