Student fashion designers competition saved during lockdown

After the successful staging of the ‘behind-closed-doors’ Vodacom Durban July, plans have been finalised for the completion of the fashion programme that has become synonymous with the annual raceday with the staging of the important Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award competition.

Traditionally hosted in the months leading up to the raceday and with its winners unveiled on the day of the Vodacom Durban July, the student designer competition will hold its initial judging on 17 August and final adjudication phase taking place at a virtual show on 25 August.

“This competition is such an important opportunity for the next generation of fashion designer stars that, like the horseracing industry and the successful Vodacom Durban July last month, we simply had to find a way to make it happen this year,”

said fashion programme director Tiffany Prior

“In this difficult year it would have been easy to cancel this competition, like so many other things have been cancelled. Instead Gold Circle’s response was ‘how can we do this?’”

said fashion programme director Tiffany Prior

she added.

With most colleges and technikons under lockdown, the challenge has been to create a practical structure for the initial judging process.

Sunthra Moodley from the Durban University of Technology, which traditionally makes a major impact on the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award says the competition is a key part of their student designers’ syllabus.

“DUT has been fortunate to have been a part of this event for many years, first with our third year students, and in recent years with our second year students participating,”

“We have had students winning the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, and we have also had graduates winning in the other categories of the competition.

“The competition themes over the years have stimulated students to think out the box and explore and experiment with fabrications, fabric manipulation techniques and printing, design and style details.

“Students have enjoyed the challenge of participating against other design schools in the province, and for the platform provided to showcase their designs. The sponsorship of prizes has been very much an incentive, and students have appreciated the exposure to the design industry. DUT is extremely grateful to Gold Circle and the VDJ for providing this platform for up and coming designers,”

says Moodley

she added.

The first round of judging will take place at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Monday 17 August, where twenty finalists will be chosen to proceed into the semi-finals later in the day.

That process will reduce the entry to ten finalists whose designs will be showcased at a virtual show on Tuesday 25 August, where the winner will be announced.

More information can be found at

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