What is the selection process for designers to show at SSAFW?
There is no selection process for showing at SSAFW other than proof of a sound, established a business for your label, or brand that design fashion looks and manufacture quality tops, hoodies, skirts, dresses, jackets, kawaii panties, etc. As a registration requirement they request information like; how long have you had the label, where are you distribution outlets, how large is your distribution network, and what are your marketing objectives? Then they use this information to place your label/brand in the most appropriate show slot during SA Fashion Week. SSAFW focuses on “the business of fashion” rather than just a show platform for your collection.
If you are a young designer. How do you go about launching your label at SSAFW?
For first-time designers, it is usually recommended that they take part in the exhibition/trade fair linked to SSAFW before showing a collection. The exhibition is a good way to get your foot in the door and, more importantly, test the potential of your merchandise. Thereafter, first-time designers then take part in a group show (ie: shared 3 designer packages), gradually working their way up, each year, to their own show. It is interesting to note that while most young designers all want their own show, established designers actually prefer sharing the responsibility of a two designer show. This allows them to balance showing a collection, whilst maintaining stock flow, studio staff, as well as keeping the costs of producing the new collection reasonable (things many young designers do not factor in).
How do you enter for the Elle New Talent competition?
The Elle New Talent Competition is launched at the end of February, and the competition entry deadline is at the end of April. A call for entries is made through Elle Magazine in their April edition, and SSAFW also sends out a brief to young designers on our database. The competition is only open to postgraduate designers who fall within a five-year period of leaving college. It is a platform for new talent to launch themselves, and their label, to the SA fashion industry and media.
You need sponsorship to show your collection. Can SSAFW help you with this?
SSAFW is reliant on sponsorship itself and is unable to dedicate its time to finding individual sponsorships for designers. However, various companies who are keen to get involved in SSAFW do approach us with potential sponsorship for designers. Once they get a brief from the company, then they assist them by forwarding names of designers who are compatible with their marketing objectives. They then make the final selection. If SSAFW is successful in finding and placing a designer with a sponsor, then that designer is only liable for a standard registration fee of $5000. If a designer wishes to register for a show slot, without a confirmed sponsor, then that designer must pay 50% of the registration fee, on registration, into a SSAFW account. Should no sponsorship be found for that designer, then the fee would be refunded to the designer on the closure of the show schedule.
How do you keep up to date with information regarding the fashion industry?
SSAFW releases a newsletter 4 times a year with information about SSAFW and related fashion opportunities.
What happens after I show my collection at SSAFW?
While collections stay to be only shown once a year, SSAFW operates all year round to provide designers, who are registered with us, additional business opportunities both locally and internationally. They keep designers up to date with export opportunities, show and trade fair opportunities and other business ventures with related industries like the textiles sector, manufacturers and retail and chain stores. They also assist designers with the DTI when they export, or travel to international trade fairs.