Fashion by numbers – a sneak peek behind Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2016

Designers, models, and sponsors collaborate day and night to create a fashion spectacular 

MAC and ghd behind the scenes
MAC and ghd behind the scenes

03 March 2016 – Models stride seamlessly down the runway – a sleek white canvas where perfectly coiffed hair and beautifully made-up faces provide the backdrop for the hottest, newest fashion trends to grace the shelves of favourite boutique stores, influencing the local fashion scene for the months – if not years – to come.

MAC behind the scenes
MAC behind the scenes

African Fashion International’s (AFI) Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2016 (MBFWJ) is a career highlight for many aspiring designers and models, and it takes a team of dedicated stylists, sponsors and personnel to create the annual fashion spectacular and to make the event worthy of its stellar reputation as a showcase for leading local design.

Make up sketch
Make up sketch

AFI Group Marketing Manager Sizwe Nzimande offers some insights into just what it takes to pull off a fashion event of this magnitude, as well as sharing insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of the fashion event that’s penned into everyone’s calendars:

Did you know?

  • About 8000 people will be privy to South Africa’s top designer showcases during MBFWJ
  • Around 100 of South Africa’s best models will walk 15 shows over a three-day period – talk about a bevy of beauties in one fabulous place!
  • Months of planning go into a single fashion show, but each showcase only lasts about 10 minutes
  • It will take 42 M.A.C make-up artists working for 84 hours each over the three days of MBFWJ to create the beautiful faces that grace the runway
  • Predicting the bold and dark lip colours which are hot on trend in the 2016 fashion scene, M.A.C will use a palette of at least 48 lipsticks
  • It will take 25 ghd hair stylists working 675 hours over nine-hour shifts to create hair styles that will complement the design language of each designer’s range
  • With current trends leaning more towards textured looks and away from straight, blunt styles, each styling team spends around two hours planning every model’s look and then executing it in minutes in the highly stressful backstage environment

“MBFWJ would not be possible without with the collaboration of brands, companies and people that work tirelessly to create the showpiece for Africa’s refined fashion” says Nzimande.

Model prepping
Model prepping

“AFI’s partnerships with Mercedes-Benz and Sandton City’s Nelson Mandela Square, are integral to keeping in line with our vision of showcasing the best of South African fashion at the country’s most intriguing venues. This year’s Joburg event is going to set the tone for the 2016 fashion season, with the country’s leading designers using the event to launch their most inspiring collections to date.”

This year’s fashion spectacular will take place at Sandton City’s Nelson Mandela Square, the home to some of the country’s most exciting restaurants and fashion boutiques, now putting its spectacular recent refurbishment on display for all MBFJW visitors.

“AFI has built solid, longstanding partnerships with leading brands and properties that believe, as we do, that fashion has the power to challenge convention, stimulate debate, and build relationships that bridge otherwise unchartable waters,” says Nzimande. “We are looking forward to seeing these relationships in action at the fashion event of the year at MBFWJ, and in the future too.”

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