VASALYA MOODLEY

Calling on all young South African fashion designers – Pick n Pay Clothing’s mentorship project is here to showcase your talent. In conjunction with Atelier Gavin Rajah, the Futurewear Project was founded as a springboard for rising designers to release their clothing lines.

Pick n Pay Clothing has previously sold limited collections from young local designers in collaboration with Rajah and it was met with a good response from customers. The Futurewear Project was created to “support more local talent – and local suppliers who produce the garments – while also providing [their] customers with access to designer clothing that is affordable for all”, explained Pick n Pay Clothing general manager, Hazel Pillay.

The aim of this mentorship project is to hone the skills of the chosen designers, as creatives and entrepreneurs. The designers are mentored by local fashion icon Gavin Rajah. Rajah is a creative director, businessman, philanthropist, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Through the Futurewear Project, he strives to “foster collaborations that promote the SA industry”.

The aim of this mentorship project is to hone the skills of the chosen designers, as creatives and entrepreneurs.

The fashion industry and economy are ever-changing. Rajah expresses that in this flexible market, the Futurewear Project intends to supply the demand of new-age designers to keep up with the changes. Not only will the mentorship refine the creativity of the chosen designers, but it will also equip them with practical business skills. The wholesome training of the Futurewear Project marrying creativity and commercial sensibility seeks to prepare the designers for the industry.

The mentees’ respective clothing lines will then be launched at selected Pick n Pay Clothing stores. The first designer line to be showcased is the Julia x Pick n Pay Clothing collection, from up-and-coming swimwear and apparel designer, Julia Buchanan. Buchanan’s landscape-inspired line was successful, nearly selling out in less than a month of its release. More collaborations are on the way, the next being that of Katekani Moreku. Colourful hats and prints made from upcycling textiles are the signature of Moreku’s clothing.

It appears that the Futurewear Project pursues two things: to support local designers and suppliers, as well as making designer clothing accessible to consumers. The mentorship helps local designers get their businesses off the ground and entrenches valuable entrepreneurial skills to maintain their brand in a changing economy. Pick n Pay Clothing and Gavin Rajah intend to make sure that South African talent does not go unnoticed. The collections can be found in selected Pick n Pay Clothing stores and online. So, if you would like to partake, the link www.capetownresort. co.za/futurewear/ contains all the information you need about the mentorship and how to apply.

Photo: Madhuri Rambaran

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