The meteoric rise to fame of young Pietermaritzburg fashion designer Martin John Steenkamp will continue when the energetic 27 year old gets to show his talent as part of the new “Amazing Africa” showcase at the Vodacom Durban July this year.

It extends a remarkable journey with the Vodacom Durban July fashion programme that started when Steenkamp stood out as a notable talent from the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion in the 2015 Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award and won through to the final ten.

A year later he was back on the fashion stage at Greyville Racecourse as he won the Best Menswear competition, and last year he was included in the designers approached to show in the “Timeless Collection” and won second prize in the Classic Racewear for Women raceday competition.

“The Vodacom Durban July has always been platform that allows designers to be expressive and fashionably creative, and I am humbled to have been a part of the event every year,” said Steenkamp.

As a young man from the Eastern Cape Steenkamp always knew that a career in fashion design was what he wanted most, but it took several years and perseverance to save up enough to allow him to enrol at the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion Design.

His talent was shaped by Priscilla Bhika who steered him into opportunities with the Vodacom Durban July fashion programme and the Durban Fashion Fair that have played a major part in honing his talent and set up his Martin John brand.

“In my final year I read about the great things the Durban Fashion Fair has done for brands such as Zama Mathe of Zarth designs and Mxolisi Luke Mkhize of House of St Luke. And most importantly the knowledge that was shared from great industry insiders such as Terrence Bray and Greg Wallis, who knows the ins and outs of production planning, pattern making, costing, and the role of a designer in a business,” said Steenkamp.

Steenkamp is now a lecturer at the Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion Design, and significantly students from his college for the first time dominated the list of semi-finalists in the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award.

As the Martin John Steenkamp star continues to rise he happily immerses himself in his students efforts to follow in his footsteps, and those of fellow Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion Design students like Leona Pillay, who won the Young Designer competition in 2016, he knows that he journey with the Vodacom Durban July could still have another important milestone.

“I love getting involved with the Vodacom Durban July and it is an honour to be invited to part of the showcase events. Maybe one day I will be asked to be part of the Invited Designer Showcase. Maybe. One day..” he muses.

It will certainly complete the whirlwind rise of Martin John Steenkamp’s star at the Vodacom Durban July.

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The Vodacom Durban July takes place at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday 6 July 2019.

More information can be found at