The Fashion Fusion Crafters project was launched in partnership with the Departments of Arts and Culture (DAC) and South Africa Fashion Week in 2006. In 2010 they collaborated with Asos.com and Haringey Council to create an exchange program where fashion designers and craftspersons worked together with an aim to excite local consumers and most importantly to generate international interest in South African fashion. As a result this would boost the revenue potential of the crafting community. The winner of the competition of the 2010 International Fashion Fusion competition worked closely in collaboration with ASOS and Jamaican born designer Jessica Ogden, The South African Government and Haringey Council to design a capsule collection using the beading skills of the “Rainbow People” of the Soweta area of South Africa. (2010 competition flyer below…)
This year, 2011 they launch
linking a New Yorker product developer Linda Trau, with South African Shoprite Woman of the Year winner, Lucilla Booyzen to work on an initiative to fuse craft with cutting edge fashion design.
Linda, who uses business as a strategy for the economic empowerment of women in developing countries
will be put in place to help ‘put together a new line of products using indigenous craft skills and techniques, stimulating trade and further developing SA Fashion Week’s commitment to providing a sustainable income to craft groups in rural areas.’
Initially in Feb during South African Fashion Week, they met up with SA fashion designers and looked at the market from retail to factory to design floor and explored various craft potential and ways to develop the fashion export industry. They next will head off to the Western Cape to continue the SA Fashion Week Craft roadshow.
The designers who will participate are:
Amanda Laird Cherry – Gauteng Crafters
Vesselina Pentcheva – Northwest Crafters
Christopher Strong – Western Cape Crafters
Silver Spoon – Eastern Cape Crafters
Rubicon – Limpopo crafters
Clive Rundle – Gauteng crafters
Kottin & Twille – Northern Cape crafters
This type of project is very effective. Having having a positive effect on over 79 established and new designers by helping to generate an income to the crafters and generating an interest of the Fashion Fusion products from overseas in established industries. The program has created 500 jobs in other related industries and included seven designers and 47 crafters in 2010.
The programme spans over six months that includes skills workshops – a maximum of three to four workshops in each province including the fashion shows where the product is showcased to the potential consumers and the media
So you are highly encouraged to watch this space!