SM fashion #CPT
#MBFWCT17 | Who approved this location?
25 | 03 | 17
African Fashion International (AFI) has long since become a troubled fashion week hosting company. This week was nothing surprising to say the least as my surprised reaction had already worn off. When @AFI_SA announced on their timeline MBFWCT17 will be held in Camps Bay, the first question I had was "In March, The last weekend of March, why?"
I have been bone-picking AFI's structure for the past number of years,from the recent level of "exclusivity with Fastrack" to the question of how and why designers are not benefiting from AFI's Fashion week's. The delivery of fashion week has been unsatisfactory for over 3 years, not to say that before that African Fashion International was doing a great job with Fashion week, no.
AFI has been bad since the start of my fashion week coverage in 2011. every opnce in a while they would pick a good PR company, that covers all the basics and the event would be well organized to some extent, but nothing great, just good to work with for that period and for me as a writer, I would mostly console myself by saying it is for the designers, about the designers and I should write according to that in celebration of the designers. Every other trickling fraction of dissatisfaction would most often be mentioned on my twitter timeline while I publish a full review of a designer's showcase excluding an over-view of the event organizers.
But now, what if, the designers are financially affected by the decisions made and taken by the AFI executive teams? What if for a number of years designers have been affected by AFI's relatively poor level of event management?. What if this week's train of events is the final straw for many of the designers?
AFI had the formidable return of Gavin Rajah to showcase. The Stunning and never aging Jenni Le Roux also brought Habits Fashion onto the platform. They had Cleo Droommer who had, for a number of years gone off the fashion week grid with a notable last collection being a collaboration with Mr Price. AFI had David Tlale who by the looks of it saved day two of #MBFWCT with an off-location show and a selection of guests that can not stop singing his praises.
Now my point of annoyance is within the frame of the person who signed off on Camps Bay show grounds as the best option for Fashion week. How is the world did the entire AFI team sit down and determine it was a good idea to host fashion week on the last week of March, in Camps Bay? probably can not fully blame the events team as most if not all of them are Joburg people who do not know much about Cape Town, this is probably going to read as an insult but most Joburg based people who only come to Cape Town during the December Summer seasons do not care for Cape Town beyond the Met. Most of them do not even think that the Cape Town winds are that deep so now it is a matter of "Why did Bryan Ramkilawan sign this off as a good idea? "
As a person who has lived in Cape Town, taught in Cape Town. With over 20 years in the Fashion industry starting with his fashion design education in KwaZulu-Natal and his post as a Creative Design and Computer Studies lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) followed by his publicized co-founding of the Cape Town Fashion Council and his tenure as CEO of the council for a number of years.
How in the world of whirlwinds did he agree to this ? how would you not even consider a closed location? what happened to the CTICC as the location of choice? and if things went sour there , why not choose the Old Cape Town library? why not go for the many spaces within the inner city of Cape Town?
AFI has managed to inconvenience not only the designers but the contributors of Fashion Week like, photographers, writers, supporters and international guests.
I have long since become a least favourite of the African Fashion International brand on the basis of how irritated I can be with the organization, and I fear that with every new Marketing/Media/Brand liaison from the brand, most often I become that one blogger who is pestering them with questions that matter.
Last year I questioned most of their moves and the most recent one was the appointment of Bryan Ramkilawan announced at the re-positioning of Fashion Week media event last year. With this fashion week being his first official one as CEO, I remarkably feel it is fast becoming a royal mess.