The Durban Fashion Fair has fostered ongoing youth development through the introduction of a Mentorship Programme which enables designers / fashion houses within the eThekwini Municipality to take part in a 10-month mentorship programme. The programme sets out to capacitate and empower local designers as well as facilitate market access and networking opportunities in order to help them to create sustainable fashion businesses. The programme highlights the ‘Business of Fashion from á technical point of view (designing, pattern making, garment construction and range preparations) whilst also providing business skills training (preparing a business plan, pricing/costing, marketing, selling & buying).
The eThekwini Municipality has invested approximately R40 million in various fashion development programmes over the past 7 years and has touched the lives of more than 2000 designers, many of which have gone on to not only showcase their creations internationally but had also built businesses and created jobs.