105 student designers from six different KwaZulu-Natal colleges and technikons descended on Greyville Racecourse for the first round of judging in the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, which ended in 25 outfits being shortlisted for the semi-finals.

A high powered panel of judges that included the respected likes of Terrence Bray, Greg Wallis, Sindi Shangase and Gold Circle’s Monica Holman, gradually whittled the massive entry down, to whoops of delight and wails of disappointment.

The twenty five top students go through to the next round of judging on Monday 12 June, before the top ten proceed to the lofty Vodacom Durban July Designer Showcase shows.

“The entry is not only bigger than last year but extends to more design colleges, which is a fantastic barometer for the health of the fashion designer industry in KwaZulu-Natal,” said fashion programme director Tiffany Prior.

“That was a lot tougher than I thought it would be,” said Terrence Bray.

“Both from a technical point of view and the interpretation of the theme “The Colour Of Magic”, it was very difficult to reduce this big entry to twenty five from the thirty that we had shortlisted,” he added.

The finalists in the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair:
Nduduzo Mgobhozi, Nasreen Paruk, Katekani Moreku, Ntokozo Ndimande, Ntokozo Khuzwayo, Siphesihle Zikhali, Zamabhele Ntshangase, Sbonelo Sisobo, Sakelesiwe Mbatha, Nokwethaba Mazibuko, Sinethemba Mthethwa, Hlengiwe Mdunge, Siphesihle Mdletshe, Noxolo Khumalo, Casey Rae Hutchinson, Sinethemba Nduli, Kirsten Godfrey, Sbonelo Sisibo, Bongekile Funeka, Jade Campbell, Mnotho Ngema, Thabani Khawula, Khulekani Mzwandile, Sinethemba Hlela, Mnotho Ngema.