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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Hollywoodbets Durban July: Six fashion designers and their thoroughbred creations

High fashion stakes: Take a look at the designers who will 'Ride the Wave' at the Hollywoodbets Durban July Invited Designer Showcase.

Over the years, the Hollywoodbets Durban July has become equally famous for its fashion as for its racing, with fashion-forward outfits, hats and fascinators adding the customary touch of sartorial elegance to Africa’s premier horse racing event.

The Invited Designer Showcase is by far the most glamorous element of the Hollywoodbets Durban July Fashion Experience, presented by the Durban Fashion Fair (DFF).

The designers are handpicked on the grounds of their position in the market, their experience, their relevance on the fashion landscape, as well as their current media profile.

Celebrated designers such as Terrence Bray, David Tlale, Kluk CGDT, Zama Mathe, Ruff Tung, Colleen Eitzen, Paledi Segapo, Sibu Msimang, Duke, Hanrie Lues and many others have participated in this coveted event.

Designer David Tlale poses with models in his 2009 Durban July Invited Designer Showcase collection. Picture: Supplied

Each designer presents a distinct and individual interpretation of the theme and is required to design a capsule collection that consists of a showstopper for an individual, as well as a race day ensemble for a couple. 

Hollywoodbets Durban July Invited Designer Showcase

This year’s chosen six designers have been invited to present their creations and interpretation of the annual event’s theme “Ride the Wave” at a special showing that is likely to set the tone and trend for race-going fashionistas.

Thula Sindi Hollywoodbets Durban July Invited Designer Showcase
Since 2006, Thula Sindi has been ranked in the top tier of South African fashion designers. Sindi will work his magic with the 2024 Hollywoodbets Durban July’s theme ‘Ride the Wave’ at the Invited Designer Showcase. Picture: Supplied

The four designers featured from Durban include well-known fashion rockstar Karen Monk-Klijnstra (KMK) and the legendary Kathrin Kidger, as well as “new kids on the block”, Kwenzi Nkomo and Makhosi Ntshangase (Sistas Felas).

Johannesburg’s fashion stable will be represented by husband-and-wife team Vanya and Thando Mangaliso (Sun Goddess) and Thula Sindi.

Creative mix of fashion forces to ‘Ride the Wave’ at Durban July

The showstopper Hollywoodbets Durban July Fashion Experience Preview Gala of the Invited Designer Showcase will take place at the Gateway Mall in Umhlanga on Friday 28 June and again on stage at the Hollywoodbets Durban July on Saturday 6 July.

“It is a mixed bag as always. We try to make sure that each designer brings something unique, whatever their handwriting or personal brand is, and that each one is completely different from the other five. So that you get a beautiful creative mix,” explained Hollywoodbets Durban July fashion programme director, Tiffany Prior.

“We have two newbies, two from Johannesburg, and some old favourites – like Kathrin Kidger and Karen Monk-Klijnstra. I think between all six you are going to see something quite remarkable.”

Karen Monk-Klijnstra Hollywoodbets Durban July invited designer
Some of the accomplished Durban fashion designer Karen Monk-Klijnstra’s catwalk creations. Picture: Supplied

“A previous winner of the Hollywoodbets Durban July Young Designer Award and both protégés of the DFF mentorship programme, Kwenzi and Makhosi have been included,” said Prior.

“As always, we are trying to make sure that we stay true to the brand and ethos of the Durban Fashion Fair, which is about building the fashion industry and helping individual growth – the Hollywoodbets Durban July Fashion Experience is a huge platform for anyone.”

Kwenzi Nkomo – Indoni Fashion House

Where it all started…Indoni Fashion House’s Kwenzi Nkomo with the raceday outfit designed for the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July Durban Fashion Fair Rising Stars Collection. Picture: Supplied

For Kwenzi this will be her first time as a Hollywoodbets Durban July Invited Designer.

“I am so excited. It’s amazing. It really, really surprised me when I was invited to participate,” the owner of the Indoni Fashion House label enthused.

“The theme means freedom to me and I took my inspiration from the sea shore – the colours of the sand. I used shells and seaweed to represent the highs and lows of my life. Mine is an authentic expression of my life,” Kwenzi explained.

Vanya and Thando Mangaliso – Sun Goddess

Believe it or not, but husband-and-wife design team Vanya and Thando Mangaliso started off by selling skirts out of the boot of their VW Beetle in 2000!

They’ve showcased their powerhouse brand, Sun Goddess, at the London Fashion Week and various fashion shows in places as far-flung as Washington, Stockholm and Singapore.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to participate again. It’s not our first time, but it is still so amazing. The Invited Designers showcase is about inclusivity,” said Vanya.

sun goddess invited fashion designers durban july
Iconic Sun Goddess design duo Vanya and Thando Mangaliso. Picture: Supplied

Thando described Sun Goddess as a quintessential South African luxury brand that is all about uplifting South African aesthetics – telling a South African story.

“We are about local traditions, local cultures and global trends and style. We are more than our creations, the brand has grown and now includes sunglasses and fragrances,” he said.

“When we first started, we asked ourselves, how can we add to the reconstruction of the country – using clothing as a communicator. Many designers start by creating and then go, ‘Who are my clients?’. We did the other way around – we put our clients first.

“We are pacemakers, setting the tone for what is to come with more than 20 years in the industry,” he said.

See you at the races

The Hollywoodbets Durban July (on Saturday, 6 July) welcomes fans back to the 128th running of the iconic race, themed “Ride the Wave” at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse. Limited general tickets, that’ll get you a front row view of the racing action from the grandstand and track-side lawns, live DJ performances, and runway and public fashion competitions, are available at Ticketpro, SPAR Payzone kiosks and selected Sasol stores at R230 and R170 for parking.

  • For more information, visit www.hollywoodbetsdurbanjuly.co.za and stay in tune with The Citizen’s regular updates on all things fashion and entertainment leading up to Durban July event.

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