AirportIn previous years, we have sent a group of  10 young and emerging designers for a 2 month internship programme in Milan, Italy.

The City of Milan is one of the major fashion capitals in the world. It has contributed and influenced the international fashion industry.

When talking about Italian fashion, the world has associated Italy with style, trends and quality, for over a decade. Hence, the City entered in discussions with fashion institutions in Milan to create an opportunity for Durban designers to learn how the Italians have been able to create a name for their fashion, the world over and how have they been able to establish sustainable fashion businesses.

The Italian fashion brands have a presence in many countries and have been able to create employment opportunities in Italy as well as in other countries like China, Turkey, Philippines. We hope that we can be the window for local business to explore that opportunity and even export our production to Italy, providing them with unique African products.

The benefit of the Milan internship was the exposure of the different levels of the value chain each designer received – from concept to supply, the experience of fashion at an international level, interaction with internationally recognized designers and working with various fashion houses, attending fashion shows and visiting various fashion studios.

For the past few years, the focus of the mentorship programme was to further develop the business of fashion within the South African borders, however, in the future, the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit hope to re-establish the international internship in other fashion capitals of the world.