As a Business Support Tourism Markets Unit (BSTMU) – the team have been managing the following programmes:
· Fashion Development Programme
· Creative Industries Programme
· Youth Entrepreneur’s and International Trade Programme.
The fashion development program designed for the City of Durban has been running since 2011 and has yielded positive results for local and African designers and models.
To ensure the success of the fashion development program, the BSTMU has successfully introduced new elements annually.
The most significant has been the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) which has seen over 1000 South Africa designers, African designers and European designers showcase their collections to local and international fashion media, fashion buyers and consumers. The DFF has generated over R100 million worth of PR value during its lifetime.
Aware that many good young designers lack strong business skills, the unit also implemented the DFF Mentorship programme which prepares and supports young fashion entrepreneurs who are committed to creating sustainable careers within this highly challenging industry.
Looking to downstream career options closely related to fashion design, they went on to introduce the new face search which focuses on creating opportunities for young people who would not have ordinarily been able to pursue modelling careers. This entails the scouting new and aspiring talents and training them via a 2-month boot camp. Many are included in the DFF model pool and go on to join professional model agencies.
Other programmes that have been incorporated into the DFF include an international internship programme (Milan, Italy) and the creation of the DFF Emporium, a retail space that sells clothing supplied by designers affiliated to the fashion development program.