With the winter fashion season fast approaching, organisers of the national Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, have set the stage for the storyboard-based competition that will be judged on 11 May, and will once again offer excellent prizes and great exposure on one of the year’s brightest fashion platforms.


The competition is unique in that it allows an unfettered opportunity for designers from every walk of life to create a storyboard design that reflects the 2017 raceday theme “The Colour of Magic”, hoping to make the top ten cut that will then proceed to complete their outfits for the final judging process.

“The Fashion Challenge is a vital component to the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Experience, as it bridges the gap between the young and very established designers and allows anyone to enter, no matter what their fashion qualification,” said Fashion Programme director Tiffany Prior.

“At least half the entries come from outside of KwaZulu-Natal, as this is the one ‘open’ opportunity for any designer, professional or amateur, to get involved with the Vodacom Durban July fashion programme,” she added.

Prior said the competition requires the designers to design a raceday ensemble that is stylish, fashionable and encompasses the spirit of Africa’s Great Horseracing Event, The Vodacom Durban July.

“Fit, quality and finish are very important,” said Prior. “All aspects of the look – the hat, accessories, shoes and overall grooming – are very important, as this is part of the judging criteria.

“It is absolutely essential that the theme, ‘The Colour of Magic’ is followed and that the design reflects it.

“It is also essential that the entrants understand that this is a fashion competition. Stay away from anything that is too theatrical or Avant Garde and definitely nothing gimmicky,” said Prior. “However, the ‘unexpected’ will score points!”

She pointed out that the subtle references to the word ‘red’ should not be taken too literally. “This brief is not necessarily about the colour red, it is about ‘magical’ fashion and design work.

“Judges will be looking for garments that are on trend and beautifully executed, with an emphasis on being beautifully dressed.

“The design is for an upmarket raceday, not an evening event,” she concluded.

The storyboards need to reach the ICE Models office in Durban before 4pm on 9 May on the 1st Floor, Unit 6, Stadium Building, Lion Match Park, at 892 Umgeni Road. All the competition entry details are available on the event website.

The winner will receive a cash prize of R5000, the first runner up R3000 and the second runner up R2000, in addition to an extensive hamper of further prizes and products from the fashion programme sponsors.

“The real prize however is the value of the exposure that the designer receives through the media spotlight on this event,”
said Prior.

“This competition  has a fantastic track record of star performers going on to establish themselves as big names in the fashion design industry, and almost without exception, they credit the exposure they enjoyed from the Vodacom Durban July in helping build their profile and kick-start their careers,” she added.