Edcon Design Innovation Challenge – 21 Steps to Retail
Diogenes once said that “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth” and educating and empowering the youth is exactly what Edcon aimed to do when they launched their Design Innovation Challenge in September 2016.
Not only are these young, up and coming designers being taught valuable retail and business knowledge and skills in a matter of months that would otherwise take years to gain, but Edcon has also embarked on growing the local textile and manufacturing industry by having 50% of it’s clothing produced locally.
16 Graduate students from various design colleges and universities are currently on a one-year internship with Edcon where they are exposed to the full spectrum of the retail industry. The Design Innovation Challenge included 21 Steps to Retail, a three month training course facilitated by Runway Productions (organizers of SA Fashion Week). During the three months they visited textile factories, received a surprise and inspirational visit from local designers and of course attended lectures during which valuable knowledge was shared and gained.
The 21 Steps to Retail challenge saw the 16 interns present their design concepts and calico collections to various members from both Edcon and Runway Productions.
Their final product and completed ranges were showcased during a fashion show which was held on 28 June 2017 at the Apartheids museum in Johannesburg. Attendees included dignitaries from the UN, Proudly South African and various members of the media and fashion industry.
The fashion show saw a video clip of each designer explaining the inspiration behind their range before their spectacular creations were put on display for the world to see.
Maps Ralephenya – COURT 75
This range is ideal for lazy summer days with it’s lose fitting, flowing garments that simply oozes relaxation.
Faseegha Hassen – NONCHALANT
I adore the layering of the garments which makes this linen range so versatile. I am not a summer person but with this in my wardrobe, I might just make an exception.
Michelle Dindi – SCARLET x HAZE
This range oozes femininity with it’s soft color palette and soft textured fabric.
Noxi Helu – Helu
The gorgeous lace detail on each of the garments is evident of it’s all in the detail. By adding the touches of lace it elevates the simplistic garments to another level.
Nelly Makola – GIFI JACO
The use of the blue and white print is so clever and unifies this range. Whilst the oversizes cuts adds an element of relaxation and comfort, the frills adds a touch of femininity.
Tracy Mwelase – TREY DIAMOND
Can I have all of these please? I absolutely love the colors, lines and fabrications of this collection. This range is the epiphany of class and sophistication.
Hlengiwe Gavu – Redemption
The use of pastels in this range is absolutely delightful and a breathe of fresh air. I am crazy about the ruffles and love how it adds both texture and subtle volume to the pieces.
Kea Maphologela – Kea.M
I absolutely love how the pleats add textures to the garments in this range. This collection for me embraces the strong female that makes a statement once she enters a room. And which girl doesn’t like sparkly things?
Nobuntu Mbhele – I am
Gents, summer is coming and with this range you will be super cool on those hot days.
I really like the clever use of lines on the garments to break the solid items as well as the use of two contrasting colors on the garments or outfits to create dimension.
The pop of red adds that unique element on this ready to wear everyday range.
What better way to wear denim than head to toe? I absolutely adore the use of zips on the garments. And who ever said that jumpsuits are just for ladies?
Lameez Stoltenkamp – Urban Outlaw 69
This relaxed everyday range can be dressed up or down and is so versatile. I especially love the oversized lightweight jackets and clever necklines that can be converted and worn as a hoodie.
It is easy to see why Lameez won the grand prize with her designs.
Shaylene Morris – BI PAREL
I was fascinated by the volume and texture created by the jackets and shirts and this was balanced perfectly by the cleaner lines of the pants, a delightful combination.
Shay won the third prize with her collection.
I love this streetwear range, especially the use of the different fabrications that would not normally be associated with streetwear. The color combinations and textures take this collection to a new level. This could definitely be worn literally everywhere and by anyone.
You can never go wrong with black. Keeping the pants simple with dramatic jackets and shirt was a sure winner. I love the grunge aspect of metal combined with different fabrications giving the collection a rock-n-roll yet sophisticated look and feel.
Arnold was the runner up for the event.
It was evident from their ranges, why these 16 young designers were chosen for this challenge and why they are a force to be reckoned with.
The talent shown by these young designers were mind blowing and I am sure we will be seeing a whole lot more from in the future. I know for a fact that I will be wearing a few of their outfits and can’t wait to see what they come up with next, how about you?
Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts so please do comment in the section below.
Remember, support local #proudlySouthAfrican