Inside our Jan/Feb 2020 issue!


Future fashion leaders

I visited the Villioti Fashion Institute recently, a fashion-design institution founded in Joburg in 2004. What was meant to have been a brief visit turned into an inspiring conversation with Spero Villioti, a prolific designer in his own right. We paged through his archives and walked through the school premises. I entered each room, met students and lecturers, and saw a handful of graduate collections in their early stages.

Days later, during the Viliotti Fashion Institute’s graduates’ runway show, it was touching to see the venue filled with parents who understand their children are on the cusp of launching their fashion careers and have decided to encourage and support them.

I took in each collection, hopeful for the future of local fashion. There’s no shortage of extraordinary design talent in this country. But fashion graduates can’t rely on talent alone to survive because this industry is looking for grit, passion and a unique point of view. The technical and business skills taught at design institutions are an invaluable foundation from which to launch, and sustain, a fashion career.

As it’s the first month of the new year, I’d like to challenge every content creator, retailer, PR agency, and anyone who has a platform, a voice and influence, to support and promote local. Young designers need our support if we want our fashion industry to thrive.

’Til next month!