Durban July 2015 | Star student designers steam into town

Only the classiest and most innovative young designers were invited to dine at the Captain’s table with just twenty-five breath-taking designs sailing their way through to the semi-finals of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer competition.


Just under one hundred fashion students from technikons and design colleges across KwaZulu-Natal flocked to the annual competition with their race day ensemble that reflected both the fashion theme of ‘The Captain’s Table’ and encompassed the true spirit of South Africa’s most prestigious horse racing event.

Waves of blue, an old Greek sea captain, elegant dinner looks and even the captain himself were just some of the many inspirations shining through the student’s’ unique designs. One aspiring designer chose to delve deeper into the maritime theme by constructing their garment from a ship’s structured design while another created an outfit centred around the golden champagne served at the Captain’s Table.

Tensions ran high as nervous students exhibited their dream designs to the high powered panel of judges, consisting of Invited Designer Haroun Hansrot, Durban Fashion Fair mentor Greg Wallis, Monica Holman from Gold Circle, Sindi Shangase from Durban Fashion Fair and Tiffany Prior, Fashion Programme Director of the Vodacom Durban July.

Wallis, along with the other judges, was blown away by the high quality of the student’s designs. “I was most impressed with all the designers, whether they were chosen or not, they really understood and stuck to the brief,” said Wallace. “Some of them interpreted the theme in mysterious ways, which is so exciting to see.”

Holman echoed this statement saying, “It has been the best year so far. The designers truly grasped the brief, understood the theme and really pulled out all the stops.”

Judges were partiality selective with their choices this year, opting for designs that pushed creative boundaries but still fitted into the creative brief. Both Hansrot and Shangase were blown away by the handiwork and immense detail put in by the young designers.

The top twenty-five entrants proceed into the semi-finals on Friday June 12, with the ten best heading onto the runway on June 17 & June 19. Winners will be announced on race day and will take home the grand prize of R10 000 compliments of Gold Circle.

Tickets for the spectacular Vodacom Durban July Fashion Experience Shows are available through or Thobeka on 031 314 1645.

The twenty-five semi-finalists are Nqobile Nxumalo, Brumhilda Fomunyuy, Martin Steenkamp, Gerna Mongezi, Sheilla Shelembe, Tracy Mwelase, Tamyln Bergoff, Carla Gerstmeier, Clara Vach, Aphelele Chonco, Maxine Thyssen, Lerato Hlalele, Athfnkasi Mfungula, Thando Ngqasa, Phrwokuhle Sithole, Londiwe Hadebe, Luthando Ximba, Nduniso Madonsela, Alexander Cox, Grayson Smith, Pearl Gumede, Dineo Mote, Joslyn Jacks, Dakota Baptist.

Thanks so much for reading, hope to see you again :)

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