Johannesburg, Gauteng, 13 June 2016 – African Fashion International (AFI) is pleased to announce the realignment of its Fashion Week properties, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.
As part of the realignment, AFI will reintroduce Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ) for the Spring/ Summer season, in August 2016, at Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City.
This strategic shift by AFI is motivated by two factors: Johannesburg is the economic hub of South Africa, with the largest number of targeted consumers in the fashion industry; and Spring and Summer are the longest seasons in Sub-Saharan Africa, and therefore contribute to the longest and most profitable commercial season in the retail sector. The profitable Spring season extends through to the December buying peak.
African Fashion International understands that it should be sensitive to the way people consume fashion, with the acknowledgement that the success of the designer extends far beyond the catwalk.
By placing the Spring/Summer Fashion Week in Johannesburg, AFI aims to lift retail activity and allow local designers to optimally align their collections to meet the demands of the local retail and climate cycles. Repositioning Fashion Week is crucial to the progression of African fashion designers, giving them an opportunity to increase and sustain their margins.
Designers have the benefit of a direct-to-consumer model via AFI’s platforms, their own studios, and their adoption of e-commerce platforms for their brands. By building strong ties with the consumer, designers are better placed to respond effectively to consumer demands. AFI is determined to help designers meet these demands, by ensuring that collections best reflect seasonal needs, are shown in the most logical places, and are exposed to the widest audiences.
To ensure all parties are fully informed of the revised scheduling and its impact, African Fashion International has consulted industry-wide, including its Fashion Week headline sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, on the Fashion Week realignment. The business imperatives involved and the potential benefits of this strategic shift have been welcomed by designers and suppliers.
Mercedes-Benz has long been an avid supporter of the fashion industry the world over. The privilege of partnering with such an esteemed brand makes AFI all the more determined to bolster its Fashion Week platforms.
“Accessing appropriate markets at the optimum moment in the fashion cycle will reduce the investment risk for designers,” notes Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, AFI’s Founder and Executive Chairperson. This change underpins the overall vision of the founder, who envisages designers being enabled to maximise their turnover, and smaller operations expanding from in-house production to commissioning larger production facilities.
“African Fashion International has always seen itself as the pioneer and purveyor of African luxury fashion,” says Dr. Moloi-Motsepe. “We strongly believe in the potential of refined African fashion, and are committed to promoting it.”
AFI has long understood the potential that lies within African fashion, as it continues to invest deliberately in the talent and craftsmanship of designers, while developing a commercial platform to merge the gap between the designer’s studio and the consumer’s closet.
African Fashion International (AFI) was established to market African talents and ignite local and international attention towards the African fashion industry. The company led the way by introducing desperately needed international platforms to showcase authentic African brands; the initial platform being the first ever Cape Town Fashion Week. As a result of its success, AFI attracted the attention of Mercedes-Benz. The luxury car brand saw value in investing in AFI’s platform, by collaborating with the company to establish Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ) and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT).
Within its development strategy, AFI’s Fastrack™ initiative identifies and invests in the best of the continent’s young designers, by providing them with direct access to: mentorships, media exposure and business acumen, through yearling programmes that prepare them in navigating the fashion landscape. In addition to this development platform, AFI’s Young Designer of the Year competition annually rewards outstanding new talent, with the annual winners and runners-up going on to run their own fashion businesses. Over the past six years, AFI’s Fastrack™ incubator programme has so far assisted in developing the careers of 75 new talents.
Spring/ Summer Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg will take place August 11-13, 2016.
Visit www.africanfashioninternational.com to find out more about media registration and the official Fashion Week schedule.
Diana Demba, AFI Marketing Coordinator
African Fashion International
011 324 1521
Vuma Reputation Management
+27 78 621 9096