Cape Town’s Fashion Council catapults local fashion designers onto the global stage


Paying stylish homage to the city’s award as the Design Capital of the World 2014, the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival vogueishly delivered Africa’s first-of-a-kind fashion film extravaganza.

Cape Town Fashion Council CEO, Bryan Ramkilawan commented, “Our mandate, with the support of the national government, is to facilitate the growth of the local fashion industry through focused intervention programs, promoting designer brands and stimulating job creation, so we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Adrian Lazarus, founder and CEO of the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival. The collaboration between fashion and film is an internationally proven one offering a unique platform that allows designers to immediately showcase their world-class collections on an international stage.”

Mercedes-Benz South Africa, headline sponsor of the event holds an established international alignment with the fashion industry as a central component of their lifestyle marketing activities, and Selvin Govender, Divisional Manager, Product and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars comments in agreement, “This inaugural festival has provided an excellent platform that will continue to grow and bring the world of fashion film and fashion design ever closer."

Headquartered in Harrington Street – known as “the spine of The Fringe” – Cape Town’s new innovation district, the Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) is the first industry association of its kind in the country. Representing over 400 members including local fashion brands as well as clothing and textile stakeholders, its core objective is to develop, support and grow the bustling national fashion sector.

Ramkilawan continues, “Fashion weeks definitely have their place, but the Cape Town Fashion Council believes that the online viral reach of fashion films offer a broader and more inclusive audience, especially in alliance with delivering content to over 100 million viewers across 120 countries. In this way, people feel a personal connection to the designer brands offering young graduates a fast track commercial path for their talents” He also hinted at further entrenching fashion film into the South African culture: “We are currently embarking on a series of fashion films that will be used as promotional material and snapshots to attest to South African fashion as part of our international export program.”

The festival served as an engaging platform that eloquently promoted creative freedom, art and exquisite design alongside inspirational talks, installations by top designers, fashion films, the stylish design features of the Mercedes-Benz model line-up, and pop-up stores from the Cape Town Fashion Council designers. The pop-up stores featured collections from designers such as David Tlale, Gavin Rajah, Milq and Honey, Label Collections, Craig Port, Jo Carlin, Selfie, Spilt Milk Designs, CSquared, Lara Klawikowski, Shirt & Co, Jagadi Couture and Hannah Collection.

He concludes: “We want to tell a fashion story while developing entrepreneurial and technical skills which will enable our designers to compete with the best in the world and grow the amazing talent pool and fashion industry that we have in the country.”


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