It was all about seeing and witnessing cutting edge trends in the making, from vibrant African prints, florals to stylish exclusive creations, witnessing models strutted nothing but the best that our local designers had to offer over the three days on the #DFF2021 catwalk that was hosted at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 15 -17 December.

Brought to you by the eThekwini Municipality, this red-carpet event, which was attended by local celebrities as well as leaders within local government and the fashion industry, was the culmination of a three-day long joint celebration of fashion and business.

The Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) celebrated the important connection between the creative industries and the drive by the eThekwini Municipality to grow and support sustainable businesses and create jobs in the region.

The DFF traces its roots back 10 years when it grew out of the Durban Business Fair. It has come a long way since 2012 when it took place over a single evening with just six shows and 12 designers. This year’s DFF included at least five shows per evening and featured over 50 designers ranging from the Class of 2021 designer mentees, to emerging and established designers.

The main objective must be noted that the entire fashion value chain – from raw materials to the factories that produced textiles to the distribution channels that took manufactured products to the consumer – contributed significantly to the economy of the City, furthering the creation of jobs and helping to alleviate poverty.

This event not only celebrated the trailblazers in the fashion industry but also provides the perfect platform to urge South Africans to support local enterprises by buying locally produced goods.

During the lifetime of the DFF, the Municipality has invested hugely in rejuvenating and supporting the fashion industry in the City and facilitated the entrance of around 2000 new fashion designers, over 200 models (from the New Face Model search programme) and over 40 makeup artists (from the cosmetic classes offered to previously disadvantaged) on this platform, which many graced this year’s catwalk, with the theme aptly entitled “Reflections”!

The Durban Business Fair took place four days prior, emphasising once again how the economy of the city and the future of this key sector are inexorably linked.

To sum up the past three days and “reflect” on the success of the sold-out shows, the eThekwini Municipality’s Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise Development Deputy Head, Nonku Mthembu said that she was extremely pleased with this year’s event and was super impressed by the collections that were shown. She commended the mentees and the other designers for their high standard of workmanship and professionalism.

“This year’s participants set the bar extremely high, and we were proud to feature their collections on the DFF runway. We look forward to seeing them realise the vision for the DFF by growing their businesses so that they become trailblazers within the broader fashion sector,” she added.

Catch all the recent fashion action from the #DFF2021 on the Facebook page: DurbanFashionFair or on Twitter / Instagram @Dbnfashion_fair or #DFF2021 / #madeindurban / #supportlocal

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