mzansi out of fashion week

THE organisers of Arise African Fashion Week, African Fashion International, are embroiled in a row with one of their loyal participants in the event, Mzansi Designers.

THE organisers of Arise African Fashion Week, African Fashion International, are embroiled in a row with one of their loyal participants in the event, Mzansi Designers.

Mzansi Designers have pulled out of this premier fashion display, which starts today in Sandton, Johannesburg, after a disagreement over sponsorship.

Lesego Malatsi, co-owner of Mzansi Designers, complained that the organisers did not come on board when they appealed for sponsorship to participate.

Malatsi co-owns the design house with Maki Dikgole.

"We have participated in Fashion Week since its inception at the invitation of the organisers. This time around we asked them to help us cover some of the costs for participating.

"We made our request for coasts to Paul Jackson, chief executive officer of African Fashion International but to no avail," Malatsi said " I mean all along we used our own money, and so it became commercially unviable since we incurred a lot of costs. Also this year, they gave us a Monday slot, which coincides with a crucial Confederations Cup game. This meant we would not have a lot of people coming to see our show"

He said it would cost about R50000 to create the clothes for thefashion show.

"We had already found sponsorship for buying the garments. What we needed was moneyto payi for overheads," Malats said.

Arise African Fashion Week is owned by businesswoman Precious Moloi-Motsepe, chairperson of African Fashion International.

Jackson acknowledged that Mzansi Designers were loyal participants, but that it was too late for them to organise sponsorships for the designers.

"Mzansi reluctantly withdrew for business reasons . They did not have enough funding to create their collection. AFI has not paid any participants at Arise Africa Fashion Week. AFI reluctantly accepted Mzansi's decision to withdraw," he said.

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