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There’s more to AFI Fashion Week than just the runways
Fashion masterclasses, the AFI Designer Marketplace and hospitality packages - plus, how to score front row seats
When you think of AFI Fashion Week, you probably picture tall, graceful models striding down the catwalk in spectacular garments, while the crowd oohs and aahs and cameras flash from all directions. Well, that’s true. But what you might not know is that you can also upskill yourself in masterclasses run by industry pros, purchase your favourite items from the runway at the free marketplace or get a fully immersive VIP experience at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 12-14 March.
WHICH DESIGNERS WILL WALK THE RUNWAY?
Expect colourful couture and elegant models as Africa’s finest designers such as Ituen Basi from Nigeria, Kahindo from the DRC/USA, Nadrey Laurent from Ghana and many more take on this year's theme of designing Africa's future. Below is the full schedule for AFI Fashion Week 2020.
7pm: Gavin Rajah
8pm: Eric Raisina / Kayla Stam
9pm: Nadrey Laurent / Dadeni
6pm: Botswana Collection
7pm: Shweshwekini / Andiswa Apparel
8pm: Michelle Ludek / Leigh Schubert
9pm: Shana / Stefania Morland
6pm: Kahindo / Scalo
7pm: Amen By Brad & Abiah / Urban Zulu
8pm: Ituen Basi / Imprint
SHOP DESIGNERS PIECES FROM THE RUNWAY
If you like what you see, you can give yourself a style makeover right then and there at the pop-up market where participating designers will showcase their talent. The AFI Designer Marketplace is open all three days of the fashion week. Don’t have tickets to the shows? No problem. You can book a ticket for free to access the market. Plus, you can also purchase all of your favourite items online.
PICK UP SOME KNOWLEDGE IN A MASTERCLASS
AFI Masterclass is one of the key offerings for AFI, which aims at encouraging collaborations and developing sustainable businesses, technology upskilling and innovation. AFI will host three masterclass sessions: Fashion and Sustainability, Creatives Corner, and Fashion and Technology.
For the Fashion and Sustainability session, renowned speakers Dr Erica de Greef, Laduma Ngxokolo, Vere Shaba, Tracey Chamber, Jackie May and Dr Esther Mahlangu lead the talks around sustainability in an African context.
The Creatives Corner will explore creativity in art, fashion, and media. Ballerina Kitty Phetla, visual artist Loyiso Mkize ART, designer Sibusiso Mahone, and media executive Leslie 'Lee' Kasumba are the speakers for this session, which takes place 13 March.
On the final day of Masterclass, speakers will delve deep into how technology has changed the creative industry. Rebecca Enonchong, Sihlesenkosi Majola, Busisiwe Mavungu, and Gavin Dudley will be discussing the future of fashion and tech in this session on the 14th of March.
The classes take place from 2pm – 6pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 1pm – 6pm on Saturday. Book tickets for the Masterclasses online.
SCORE FRONT ROW SEATS AND GET VIP TREATMENT
For those with a passion for fashion, the hospitality packages offer the best way to experience the social whirl and glamour of Fashion Week. They’ll put you right in the centre of the star-studded crowd, where the camera flashes never stop - with front or second row seats to the catwalk and exclusive VIP area access. These packages also include reserved parking, VIP lounge access, passes to a dedicated space with refreshments and food, a backstage tour and a dedicated hostess. Prices range from R175 - R2,200 and you can book your AFI Fashion Week hospitality packages online.
AFI FASHION WEEK TICKETS
Dive deep into the world of fashion with early bird group tickets of R900. Day passes are a great way to save money and watch more shows at R300 - R2,000. If you have your eye set on a particular designer, book single event tickets at R250. All AFI Fashion Week tickets are available via Webtickets.
HOW TO ROCK FASHION WEEK LIKE A PRO
- First time at Fashion Week and you’re not sure of the etiquette? AFI has some tips to help you blend in.
Get your tickets early. This way you will secure your seat and you can enjoy the shows without having to stand or hustle your way in.
Even though the front row is the best spot to catch all the action, those seats are usually allocated and reserved for magazine editors and celebrities (unless you get your hands on a hospitality package).
Have fun with fashion. If you have a quirky style or a particular taste for fashion, just go with it. Remember fashion is what you wear, style is how you wear it.
If you are trying to get into the industry, don’t be afraid to mingle and make some contacts in-between shows.
Finally, appreciate the fashion. Pay attention to the show and make notes of what you like and don’t like. This will give you pointers for conversation starters when mingling or networking.
By Daryn Wood
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