An evaluation study by Renato Palmi of the research house ReDress© on the 2007 MTN Durban Fashion Week that took place over four days in June indicated that the entire fashion week was a resounding success.
The evaluation of the MTN Durban Fashion Week (MTNDFW) was conducted by interviewing fashion designers that participated in the MTNDFW.
The 2007 MTNDFW took place at a new venue (The Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World.) Eighty-two percent of the respondents said that the venue was extremely pleasing and conducive to portraying the uniqueness of Durban. Even though public attendance was good, 41% of the respondents said that they still felt that South African consumers saw fashion weeks as a form of entertainment and not as an important economic sector that contributes to employment and development in South Africa.
An extremely pleasing outcome is the 88% who said that they had noticed a vast improvement in the quality and standard of the garments shown on the catwalk and felt that through the mechanism of the Durban Fashion Week, designers are making great strides in improving the quality of their brands. Eighty-two percent of the respondents said there was no doubt that the Durban Fashion Week has added value to the entire South African clothing and fashion sector and 100% said that they supported the growth of fashion weeks in South Africa, on condition that the fashion events are managed and marketed correctly. A further proviso the respondents said relating to fashion weeks is that these events need and must focus on the business of fashion.
Most of the designers said that they had during the course of the MTNDFW received some form of media coverage in print, radio and TV. A total of 65% of the respondents said that their participation in the fashion week had resulted in establishing new prospective business opportunities, while 100% said that participation in the 2007 MTNDFW had provided them with an ideal platform to market their brand label.
Extrapolation of the responses indicates that the MTNDFW has firmly established itself on the local and global fashion calendar as a serious facilitator in the development of fashion in South Africa.