Fashion brings about change that can have a huge impact on our economic and social lives. A key element in the success of any creative fashion design industry is the luxury, ready-to-wear sector. It creates wealth and employment for the entire value chain, from the textile designer to the service sector. Designers too, must embrace ongoing change, inventing unique creations while simultaneously building their own businesses. They must also create clothes for everyday life and not only for important occasions – increasingly few and far between. Above all we need to create a culture of excellence. South African designers are talented and have a right to claim their place within our fashion history. However, many are focused on a “single-client” approach and we need designers to realise the power of the middle luxury market too – and to embrace it without loosing individuality and originality. Ultimately, designers need to take responsibility for their own futures and the success of their business while realising they have the power to lead South Africa in fashion design while also creating thousands of jobs.
Lucilla Booyzen, Director, SA Fashion Week