The iconic Durban Fashion Fair (DFF), brought to you by the eThekwini Municipality, has come a long way since 2012. The very first event took place in a single evening with just six shows showcasing the work of 12 designers. Today, this fashion extravaganza, which has become a highlight on the annual fashion calendar, features an array of international, national and emerging designers showcasing their creations on the catwalk. It takes place over four days with at least five shows per evening and features over 50 designers.
In addition to inspiring Durbanites to discover and support home grown design talent, the DFF also provides a platform to grow the all-important supply chain that underpins the city’s fashion industry. In addition to publicity, designers also benefit from a buyers’ lounge that connects them with retailers.
In addition to adding a little glamour to the city, the DFF plays an even more important role in the evolution of eThekwini as an entrepreneurial hub and investment destination. Business support takes place from the ground up with invaluable mentorship programmes catering to young designers, new faces/potential models wishing to enter the fashion industry and youngsters wishing to complete hair and make- up courses.
The DFF is also not confined to a single week. Throughout the year, the organizers create opportunities for design talents during the run up to the DFF via pop up shops and educational workshops as well as regional fashion fairs.
These spontaneous fashion celebrations may be held at malls across the city such as Junction Mall in Hammarsdale, Bridge City and the KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre Shopping Centre. The DFF team is also on hand to support local designers at major fashion events such as the Vodacom Durban July or even during Fashion Weeks in Johannesburg, Cape Town or elsewhere on the African continent.