With the inaugural Essence Festival Durban taking place until November 13th and hosted at the Durban ICC, Durban Exhibition Centre and the Moses Mabhida Stadium, there will be loads of elements to inform and entertain.

This event serves as the sister event to the annual Festival in New Orleans and with the backing of the eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support Tourism & Markets Unit who have been spearheading the annual Durban Fashion Fair for the past five years, they have put together a specific programme for the festival as well as a Beauty & Style Vertical which will be hosted at the Durban ICC and is free to the public to attend.

On Friday, November 11th there will be a Make-Up demonstration between 12noon and 12.45pm by Make-Up MOB followed by a panel discussion with high profile guest speakers from top Women’s Wear designer (ZARTH) Zama Mathe, to People Magazine Fashion Editor, Suzy Mukendi and American businesswoman and fashion designer, Tina Lawson, known for her House of Deréon and Miss Tina by Tina Knowles, who will be discussing Women, Style & Beauty & what it means between 1pm & 2pm. Mthokozisi Chiyi from uKhozi FM will be the panel facilitor. Design Essentials from the USA will be doing a hair demonstration thereafter between 2pm & 3pm and to round off the day’s activities, the Durban Fashion Fair will put together a fashion show that will not only highlight our local designers, but will also introduce Sister City Lagos Nigerian designers Alaba Adegoke of HUNT COUTURE as well as Victoria Awodi of V’Okesillusion – which is sure to add an exciting international flavour.

One of South Africa’s leading television presenters, radio host and a respected journalist in his field, Jeremy Maggs will be facilitating the panel discussion on Saturday, November 12th starting at 11am. Discussing branding in the ever evolving Fashion Industry & how to keep it relevant will be the Managing Director of Black Box Theory, Yavi Madurai; National recognized ladies wear designer, Thula Sindi together with Nigerian actor & socialite, Ramsey Nouah. Once again, mini fashion shows will take place between 12 noon & 1pm as well as from 4pm & 5pm. USA based Design Essentials will also be performing hair demonstrations and sampling of products between the fashion show times of 2pm & 4pm.

On Sunday, November 13th and rounding off the fashion & beauty segment of the inaugural Essence Festival in the Durban Fashion Fair pavilion will be our very own Zaba Simbine from East Coast Radio who will be facilitating the panel discussion of Men vs Women and what works in terms of current trends & seasonal colours! Voicing their opinions will be men’s wear designer Mxo Mkhize (House of Saint Luke); together with Independent Media’s Lifestyle Content Producer and Social Media Influencer Liam Karabo Joyce and rounding off the panelists will be Vanessa Leisegang who is the operations manager for The Space. This discussion starts at 1pm just after the first hour-long fashion show ends at 12 noon. Design Essentials wrap up the event with their final hair demonstration between 3pm & 4pm and the final fashion show produced by the Durban Fashion Fair stakeholders will begin at 4pm.

Not only does fashion excite, delight, invigorate, motivate – it goes without saying – Fashion & Beauty does stimulate all our senses and in between all the activations, motivational talks and demonstrations, visitors to the fashion pavilion can visit any of the 20 exhibitors showcasing their respective wares from ladies & men’s wear including plus size ladies wear, to leather bags, afro-chic accessories and not forgetting clothing for our little ones.

With free entry into the exhibition, and doors opening at 9am, all are welcome to join in on the movement and come and shop, catch the 18 designers showcasing over the 3 day fashion show activations, two of which have just returned from the inaugural Eiffel Tower Fashion Week hosted in Paris – Eli Ball – made in Africa and Mike Narainsamy as well as enjoy the hair & beauty demonstrations and celebrate all things fashionable which is proudly brought to you by the BSTMU Durban Fashion Fair team.