THE South African Fashion Week's Summer 2010 Collections kicks off next month.

THE South African Fashion Week's Summer 2010 Collections kicks off next month.

The three-day fashion extravaganza at the Forum Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, will see a razor-sharp focus on a new way forward for SA fashion, according to the organisers.

Reputed designers such as DFC by Uyanda Mbuli, Loxion Kulca by Olé Ledimo, Terrence Bray, Rubicon, Thunderstorm and Amanda Laird Cherry, will be on the menu.

"We are redefining the core idea behind the staging of the event to align it firmly with the shared vision we and the participating designers have for tackling the challenges facing local design as we go into the next decade," director Lucilla Booyzen says .

Eleven shows will be staged in three daily segments - morning, afternoon and evening - from March 25 to 27. Collections of 33 designers from across the country will be on show.

Each of the morning and afternoon segments will be followed by a two-hour session where retail buyers and the media will be able to scrutinise each of the collections and interact with the designers.

Two to three evening shows will be staged each night and the collections of those designers will be on view during the following day's sessions.

Booyzen says the tough trading environment of the past year has forced many designers to reassess their business models and to consider additional markets to their current customer base.

A viable opportunity that has emerged from the fashion week's research is to increase their supply to boutique retailers countrywide with exclusive design inputs. A record number of 40 independent retailers per show will therefore attend this year's event.

Booyzen says the show will be an intimate affair between buyers, designers and the media.