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GFW opens fantastic opportunities for South African designers

May '08
Six leading South African designers and 10 top SA models recently dazzled audiences in China with their signature fashion designs during the South African Week celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and South Africa.

Abigail Betz, Stoned Cherrie, Clive Rundle, Bongiwe Walaza, Thula Sindi and Amanda Laird Cherry blazed a trail across China's four major cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou; and sparked great excitement and interest amongst Chinese fashion industry stakeholders.

Mr. Tiger Lee, president of the Guangzhou Fashion Association who spearheads the Guangzhou Fashion Week (GFW), believes that the exposure gained will open up fantastic opportunities for South African designers to make their mark in the Chinese market and is also keen to facilitate the supply of small fabric runs to local designers by Chinese textile manufacturers, thus allowing designers to source a greater variety of high quality fabric.

With access to such rich fabric at their fingertips, South African design is definitely set for a face lift. Abigail Betz is one of the designers who is particularly keen to explore the opportunities in China and has been invited to show at the Guangzhou Fashion Week summer collections in December.

Another noteworthy observation came from Jenny Chu- editor of the New Express Style Weekly, the fashion and lifestyle supplement of the Yangcheng Evening News, one of China's major newspapers with an approximate circulation of 1.3 million, who believes that the South African designers offered a refreshing “newness” in their combination of textures and coloration.

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