AFI Fastrack

AFI Fastrack is a national fashion design development platform that aims nurture and develop South Africa’s young design talent.  This platform offers young designers an opportunity to Fastrack their careers through intensive mentorship, business development coaching and mentorship for future success. After a successful first year, AFI FASTRACK is back and promises an exciting and improved opportunity.

AFI Fastrack is spearheaded by African Fashion international in partnership with Foschini. This platform aims to give young fashion design graduates an opportunity to Fastrack their careers through intensive internship, business mentorship.
Submissions are drawn from graduate ranges from students from participating Design Colleges around the country. All Submission undergoe stringent selection processe by selected industry professionals. Twelve finalists are selected who then present their collection at a finale on Fastrack day. Twelve finalists will be chosen to compete at for a cash prize, a coveted internship with one of South Africa’s top Retailer, Foschini.Upon completion of the internship with Foschini the winners will get a chance to develop and launch their capsule collection at Africa Fashion week in October 2012.

African Fashion International
African Fashion International (AFI), founded, owns and operates the African continents most anticipated and directional fashion weeks, namely Cape Town Fashion Week, Johannesburg Fashion Week (autumn / winter) and Africa Fashion Week and the Africa Fashion Awards…in addition to other fashion-related strategic marketing initiatives.
AFI’s vision is to be globally recognized as the leading authority on African fashion. AFI aims to improve the quality of fashion design output from Africa, to promote African brands, and to raise the profile of fashion designers from the continent.


Foschini has been dressing South African women for over 86 years. With over 230 stores in Southern Africa and boasting the second largest departmental retailer of international cosmetics brands in SA, Foschini is the ultimate top-to-toe destination for the fashionable woman.

Foschini is an organisation consistently looking for avenues to nurture design and careers in the retail industry, with in-house graphic, fashion & store design spearheading the efforts. Through representation on the board of the Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) for example, Foschini allows designers to tap into the resources available from a large retailer. In addition to making industry experts available for workshops, work shadowing and internships are available within most of the relevant departments within the Foschini Group (TFG). Foschini also supports retail design through sponsorship of the PG Bison 1.618 design competition. TFG, through its IAMME graduate recruitment program, attracts top students from a variety of academic institutions into all facets of the business, including design, buying, planning, IT, logistics, HR and marketing, making it a diverse and progressive employer, with fresh talent joining the ranks each year.
Through the AFI Fastrack initiative, Foschini proudly Fastracking careers in design.


Aspasia Karas – Editor of Marie Claire Magazine


Karas started her journalism career in 1994 as freelance journalist at the Mail and Guardian newspaper. She continued her career at This Day and later the Sunday Times Magazine before joining ELLE magazine as features editor.  She has also worked as the features editor of The Times newspaper. She also keeps a daily blog of all the latest fashion news and trends on her blog, The Frock Report.  Aspasia joined the Marie Claireteam on 4 January 2010 as the new Editor of the South African edition of leading fashion and beauty title,Marie Claire magazine and her first issue of Marie Claire was the April 2010 issue. Aspasia is a member of the inaugural National Fashion Council.
She has vast experience in the world of fashion

David Tlale – Style Icon and Fashion Designer

Over the five years since he launched his brand, award-winning designer David Tlale has proven that he is indeed a design force with creations that go far beyond expectations.

Since his catwalk debut in 2003, David Tlale has enjoyed outstanding exposure on both local and international catwalks, taking the label to astronomic heights. His, is a household label that firmly stands its own ground among a sea of other labels; this being attributed to the sheer design erudition and precision that challenges mediocrity.

After winning the Elle New Talent competition and being awarded Best new Designer of the Year by the Sunday Times in 2003, David Tlale has soared to achieve many more accolades.

In 2008 David was voted the most stylish person at the annual SA Style Awards, he was also voted Mzansi’s Star Fashion Designer at the Mzansi Star Awards and also nominated at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Awards 2008, along with many other accolades and nominations. He was also invited to judge the Elle New Talent 2008 competition, a place where he began his journey in fashion.

Both daring and dramatic, “David Tlale” is a brand that defies convention and a brand that impenitently employs unpredictable use and understanding of fabric, colour and texture. It is with this understanding that the David Tlale brand developed to be one of the most formidable fashion labels in South Africa to date.

Palesa Gaarekoe- Senior Project Manager at GEDA

Is currently employed as the Senior project manager of Automotive and Creative Industries for GEDA – Gauteng Economic Development Agency. GEDA is an agency of the Department of Economic Development. It is mandated to implement approved departmental policies designed to grow the economy, attract investment and develop sustainable social-economic infrastructure. GEDA’s responsibility is to implement policies in the areas of economic production, investment and trade. Palesa completed her B com Commerce degree at the University of Johannesburg as well as a course in Marketing Management at Damelin.



Mrs Jenny le Roux – Owner and founder of Habits

Jenny’s obsession with fashion started at a young age through a combination of glamorous set step-mothers and being left on film sets while they worked. Growing up in sixties was a brilliant time for Jenny, but her real learning curve came with her fifteen years in the fashion department at Fairlady.

Jenny started her own business in 1986, which was aimed at bridging the gap between chain store and couture. Nine years ago Jenny discovered the world of online shopping and inspired by Natalie Massenet who founded Net-a-Porter, Jenny started an online cyberstore  which is on its 10th year.

Jenny describes her business as “an octopus – it’s not just the thirty-five people that I employ; it’s all the other aspects like printers, dye-houses, trims, pleaters etc”. Jenny supports local run mills despite its challenges and is determined to keep her factory going with the support of her loyal staff.

Some of Jenny’s inspiration draws from the youth –“they are so inspirational and obviously history plays a large part in fashion”; as such Jenny has an operational internship program that is based within her factory as well as within her design team .Habits has been involved in various in store and online campaigns to raise funds and promote awareness of NOAH (Nurturing Orphans of Aids for Humanity). Not only is Jenny an entrepreneur, and supporter of local talent but Jenny is also a multi-award winner; winning awards such as the SANS Directional Award, SABC Lifetime Achievement Award, Fair Lady Best Fashion Brand Award and various other awards.



Johan Crouse – Head of Trends and Design – Foschini     

Being trained in the arts in the early 80’s, Johan ended up teaching Art at school and later being an Art lecturer at Cape Town College.

He furthered his studies by studying Textile Design. After that in the mid 90’s he joined Ackermans as a Colour Specialist and set up what is now refered to as a Fashion Office for the company. He has worked with a French based trend house, PromoStyl, and learnt many skills regarding trend forecasting from them. The partnership lasted almost 5 years until he joined Truworths  where  he headed up their Fashion Studio.

Johan has been working at Foschini since 2001 as a trend research manager and has been heading up the Fashion Office as a senior manager since 2010.

“I have a great passion for trend research and I make it my business to know what would be the NEXT BIG THING!”

For more information, contact


Share this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *