AFI to Crown AFI Fastrack Prize 2023/24 Winner in June

AFI to Crown AFI Fastrack Prize 2023/24 Winner in June

Johannesburg, South Africa – (27 May 2024): Africa Fashion International (AFI) will announce the AFI Fastrack Prize winner at an event to be held on 21 June 2024.

The AFI Fastrack Prize is a prestigious award given to the best young fashion designer in South Africa, following a rigorous competition and a 12-month incubation period in the business and sustainability of fashion.  

The Fastrack programme, established in 2011 by AFI, has to date trained more than 40 designers in the business and sustainability of fashion. The success of the programme can be seen through some of its luminaries including Shamyra Moodley of LaaniRaani (2021), Thebe Magugu (2015), and Rich Mnisi (2014). 

The emerging designers gain exposure and opportunity to connect with global networks that catapult their brands towards global recognition.  

Following a showcase in Abu Dhabi at the AFI Forbes 30/50 Fashion Experience in March 2022, the five-year-old LaaniRaani brand facilitated an opportunity to stock at the prestigious department store, Galeries Lafayette in Paris.  

As the winner announcement for 2023/24 approaches, AFI also celebrates AFI Fastrack Prize alum Thebe Magugu, who has had a meteoric rise in the industry and recently opened his first exclusive flagship retail store, Magugu House, in Dunkeld, Johannesburg.  

The finalists have been carefully selected from 233 applicants and have gone through an intensive 12-month training program that includes mentoring, executive training and business management, networking, and market exposure.

Additionally, there was opportunity to acquire entrepreneurial knowledge by participating in webinars tailored to enhancing their business acumen within a competitive industry.  

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe with AFI Fastrack Prize alumni in 2021 at Joburg Fashion Week
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (centre) with AFI Fastrack Prize Alumni:cKene Mhletswa, Cheron Dreyer, Thebe Magugu and Shamyra Moodley at AFI Joburg Fashion Week 2021. 

Says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Founder and Executive Chairperson of AFI: “The vision for the AFI Fastrack Prize, is to identify, mentor and incubate a new generation of designers who will shape the fashion landscape globally. AFI works with designers to heighten their commitment to quality, excellence, and sustainability from an environmental, heritage, ethics, and financial perspective.”  

The designers will showcase their final collections in front of a diverse panel of judges, who will be looking for designers who share AFI’s passion for quality, creativity, heritage, as well as sustainability in its broad terms of innovation and saleability.   

The AFI Fastrack Prize Finalists (L-R): Mawande Mbawuli, Xolani Magadla, Botshelo Molete, Kgotsofalo Monyamate, Thandazani Nofingxana, Loice Dube, Mimangaliso Ndiko and Xhanti Mpu. They will be vying to be named the winner of the AFI Fastrack Prize 2023/24 in Johannesburg on 21 June 2024.
The AFI Fastrack Prize Finalists (L-R): Mawande Mbawuli, Xolani Magadla, Botshelo Molete, Kgotsofalo Monyamate, Thandazani Nofingxana, Loice Dube, Mimangaliso Ndiko and Xhanti Mpu. They will be vying to be named the winner of the AFI Fastrack Prize 2023/24 in Johannesburg on 21 June 2024. 

Having advanced to the final round, all designers have gained valuable experience through their participation. The winning designer awarded the grand prize will receive a package of prizes valued at R150 000. 

This year’s finalists are Botshelo Molete of Mekhukhu (Northern Cape); Kgotsofalo Given Monyamate of Articles from MARS (Gauteng); Loice Dube of Lo'Ice (Gauteng); the design duo Xolani Magadla and Mawande Mbawuli of Xolani Mawande (Western Cape); Xhanti Xabiso Mpu of XHVNTI (Western Cape); Thandazani Nofingxana of Abantu (Eastern Cape); and Mimangaliso Ndiko of Sixx6 (Gauteng). 

The AFI Fastrack Prize 2023/24 finale design challenge and theme is ‘30 Years of Fashion Freedom. 30 Years of Fashion Expression,' celebrating South Africa's 30 years of democracy and its influence on fashion. 

“I am very excited about the AFI Fastrack designers. I believe that this next generation of designers will influence the fashion landscape over the next 30 years and AFI will work with them in this pursuit!”, adds Dr Moloi-Motsepe. 

Product from the show will be available for pre-order from 21 June 2024 at House of Nala, in Sandton City.  

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