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African Fashion International closed year on a high note

Mar '12
Africa Fashion Week 2011 continues to be praised, as having the strongest designer line-up since its inception and exhibiting the strength of African fashion to the global community. This is apparent in the global recognition that the designers are still garnering.

Michael Roberts, Editor-at-Large of Vanity Fair, a judge at last year's Fashion Awards and a selection panellists for 2012 was so impressed by the world-class talent that he produced a photo shoot for the Telegraph UK and L'officiel magazine while still in South Africa.

After much speculation on what the BIG news could possibly be from AFI , they finally announced at the media launch on Thursday the 16th of February that Mercedes Benz South Africa is the new Title Sponsor for what was formally known as Joburg Fashion Week, Cape Town Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week. The announcement was met with great applause at the launch as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Style Edition was revealed.

“I have no doubt that this collaboration will have an important bearing on not only South Africa' s economy but also the continent and contributes to our international standing in the fashion world” Dr Precious Moloi Motsepe said in her speech during the launch.

AFI's mission as the premier fashion events and promotions company on the African continent, is to take African fashion to the world.

AFI presents African fashion and creative talent in a manner that makes local talent globally relevant and ensures that the world has market access to African product and design. Through its numerous Fashion Weeks and initiatives, AFI opens up the continent to commercial projects, both locally and internationally, increasing the geographic reach of Africa's fashion and the market access to the continent's apparel.

Mercedes Benz is an international luxury brand and has partnered with other fashion weeks hence raising their profile. Since Spring of 1994 in Manhattan's Bryant Park, New York Fashion Week welcomed Mercedes Benz on board and the global event has risen to being one of the coveted fashion event of the year.

Both AFI and Mercedes-Benz South Africa are respective market leaders in their own industries which made the partnership a natural fit. With such strong influence in their respective markets the continent is primed to benefit from what this synergy will do for Africa as a whole.

Over the past 10 years the clothing and textile industry has been under great pressure competing with subsidised industries in the East and in turn directly affecting our industry. As of December 2011 the procurement policy was put in place to help stabilise the clothing and textile industry in South Africa and thus help create jobs.

According to the procurement regulations as mentioned by President Jacob Zuma in the State of Nation address in February, “government aims to empower the Department of Trade and Industry to designate specific industries where local content is to be prescribed”, an example of this is that all government and quasi government organisations must wear locally made garments.

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African Fashion International

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