The highlight of the annual Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) is undoubtedly the DFF Recognition Awards – and the good news is that we won’t be losing out on this year’s edition despite all the disruptions caused by Covid-19! 

The Awards will be an important part of the DFF Class of 2020 Fashion extravaganza that is taking place at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Friday, December 11. 

A feast of creativity and colour, the much-anticipated event will give Durban Fashion Fair (#DFF2020) Class of 2020’s designer mentees an opportunity to showcase their creations on the ramp. Their garments will be modelled by this year’s new face models who have been given a chance to strut their stuff after receiving extensive training organised by eThekwini Municipality. The training programme included model boot camps and skills development opportunities that have given these aspiring youngsters a peek into a career in fashion that they would never have thought possible. 

Most importantly, eThekwini Municipality through the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit, will be recognising the achievers in the local fashion industry through the DFF Recognition Awards. Watch out for the Best Ladies’ Wear Collection, the Best Menswear Collection, Durban Designer of the Year, the Fashion Innovator, the Collection of the Week and more.

The judges who will be working feverishly behind the scenes to make these important decisions include: 

Judge: Zodwa Kumalo Valentine
  • Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine is Group Native Content Editor at Arena Holdings for titles including Business Day, Financial Mail, Sunday Times and Sowetan LIVE. She has been a speaker at the Street Food Festival and Business of Design, a judge at the South African Fashion Week New Talent Search and was one of the 38 curators of the World Design Capital. She has written for and edited several international and local publications and was part of the digital team that launched the content hub on Woolworths’ online portal.
  • Former Editor-in-Chief of GLAMOUR South Africa, Asanda Sizani, has held positions such as Fashion & Beauty Director for ELLE and Fashion Editor for Woolworths’ W. She has also written for Fashion Tribes, a book on global sub-cultures, and served as curator for Design Indaba and Africa Fashion Week Berlin. She has also edited a range for the fashion retailer Topshop, consulted for brands such as Consol, Yardley, MaXhosa Africa and Unilever and fronted campaigns for Woolworths, to Diesel and KISUA. She accepted the Media & Advertising award at the 2017 Standard Bank Rising Star Awards which recognise excellence in young leaders. 
  • A returning Judge and previous Sponsor of DFF Menswear Category, fashion retail professional and senior operations manager for the Foschini GroupThemba Mthethwa, brings experience in trend analysis, Fashion Retail management, and coaching to the awards. A public speaker, with multiple qualifications from different institutions including South African Institute of Management, University of Pretoria, University of Stellenbosch, owner of the Valley Lounge and Founder and Owner of Son of Jane Studio and Gallery.
Judge: Themba Mthethwa

Remember, all Covid 19 restrictions will be in place, so don’t miss out on the fashion action on Friday, December 11th from 18h30 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Book now as seats are limited. Tickets for the evening are on sale via or at Pick ‘n Pay outlets at R150 per person.

Keep in touch with the DFF via their DFF Facebook page: Durban Fashion Fair or on Twitter / Instagram @Dbnfashion_fair or #DFF 2020.