African Fashion International has opened applications for their 2022 Fastrack programme. Launched in 2011, Fastrack is a national fashion design development platform, established to nurture South Africa’s young talent. Offered to fashion design graduates in year long programme, the hopefuls are paired with industry mentors who help fast-track their careers through mentoring and business development coaching.
Apart from the mentorship, the graduates are also provided with funding for the creation of their Fashion Week capsule collections, shaping them to independently generate financially impactful returns.
The 2021 winner of the Fastrack programme is Durban-based accountant turned designer, Shamyra Moodley. Alumni of the programme include Rich Mnisi in 2014, Tuelo Nguyuza in 2015 and Thebe Magugu in 2015.
2022 applications are now open, with a closing date of 30 April. Fastrack selects 6 – 12 finalists to showcase their capsule collections at AFI’s lifestyle experiences. Following a process of adjudication and mentorship, the winner is awarded the title Young Designer of the Year, as well as a cash prize to invest in growing their brand. Further leveraging AFI’s sales platforms, the winning designer’s collection will be made available at the House of Nala online and physical concept store.
The selection criteria state that the applicant must be a graduate of a reputable fashion learning institution in South Africa OR a qualified fashion designer. They must also be a commercial ready-to-wear designer and show an understanding of trends, willingness to innovate and originality in their creativity.
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, AFI’s executive chairperson, said of the initiative previously, “AFI Fastrack is a huge part of African Fashion International’s development initiative. We want more of our designers to achieve success in their careers, which means giving them the necessary skills to run a profitable fashion business. When our designers succeed, the entire industry benefits and thus more jobs are created.”
If you think you have what it takes, you can apply for the AFI Fastrack programme here