As the fashion challenge theme for this year, “AFRO-ATHLEISURE” will inspire designers to come up with original designs to produce garments that embrace the traditional style of horse racing, paying homage to the athleticism and skill displayed by the jockeys. The expected result is an enchanted assembly of authentic Afrocentric garments that radically transform horse racing attire towards traditional cultural aesthetic.
According to Xolani Zulu, the interim Managing Director of the KZN Fashion Council, the fashion theme will be extended beyond the Dundee July to cover the entire rural horse racing calendar. This saw fashion designers from participating districts given training by the KZN Fashion Council, to interpret the theme and gave them guidance to create and style looks that will be of high quality and eligible to compete on any respected fashion platform.
The above mentioned theme is intentionally and specifically targeting both the commercial and the developmental opportunities presented by the event of the magnitude of the Dundee July, and by extension, the rural horse racing cluster in its entirety.
Selected designers from the fashion challenge will be targeted for further specialized mentorship and incubation, empowering them to supply rural horse racing uniforms and related promotional merchandise, in a partnership between the KZNFC, DSR, EDTEA and LED’s from participating municipalities.
Though it is based in Durban, with eThekwini Municipality as one of its founders, the KZN Fashion Council is also funded by the provincial department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. This explains the busy calendar; after successful Durban July fashion shows with KZN Tourism, KZNFC has been preparing designers in uMzinyathi District Municipality for the upcoming Dundee July.
At the end of July the organization will be sending 15 designers to exhibit local fashion at Pure London , in the United Kingdom.
Zulu believes that empowering designers is at the heart of the Council’s operational strategy and as such, the platforms like the Dundee July do well to also prioritize designers and their creative work. “Our Dundee July activities and participation is well placed to develop, profile and empower our beneficiaries, they are the stars of the Dundee July 2017 Fashion Element and Show, “.