DUT Student Designers Win Top Three Positions at VDJ

YDWinner

The Durban University of Technology dominated the top three positions in the prestigious Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award presented by Durban Fashion Fair. Student designer, Katekani Moreku took home the first prize with Hlengiwe Mdunge and Nasreen Paruk being voted second and third positions. The three DUT winners were hailed as the next best set of designers by the high-powered panel of judges. Sthabile Gwala from DUT Corporate Affairs caught up with the three winners to find out about their experience at the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Awards as well as their plans for the future.

Katekani Moreku

Q: Tell me about yourself?

A: I am 25 years old and I come from a small village called Wilverdiend in Bushbuckridge.

Q: Why did you choose to study fashion design?

A: I chose fashion because of my love for clothing and I saw it as an opportunity for me to voice out my opinion on what and how I think people should express themselves through clothing.

Q: what inspired you garment for the Young Designer Award competition?

A: My garment is inspired by the carnivals of yester-year like the Durban July main event. The carnival has many beautiful and colourful things happening all at once but still exude that one magical feeling of fun. So I decided to make a tailcoat suit with each panel having its own unique, colour print.

Q: How much of an impact has the Young Designer Award made in your career?

A: Getting first place has been a great way to kick start my career, it gave me recognition, a great introduction to the industry and now I have a great achievement to mention in my CV.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue the same career path as you?

A: Invest in yourself. Work hard to build yourself up, embrace being different and always express and your uniqueness in everything you do.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I would like to showcase my work overseas.

 

Hlengiwe Mdunge

Q: Tell me about yourself?

A: I am a God-fearing 23-year-old from Chesterville.

Q: Why did you choose to study fashion design?

A: Fashion design has always been inside of me. When I was younger I used to sew all my clothes, and after I bought a sewing machine I decided to answer my calling and study fashion design.

Q: What inspired your garment for the Young Designer Award competition?

A: My garment is inspired by magic and illusions. How magicians trick people in finding a gap in our perceptions and our way of thinking and using that to play with our minds.

Q: How much of an impact has the award made in your career?

A: It has exposed me to established designers, and their work and it’s been such a meaningful experience and I’m so grateful for it.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue the same career path as you?

A: The industry is very competitive so you need a lot of patience and passion

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I would like to study further and intern under an established designer and absorb as much as I can.

 

Nasreen Paruk

Q: Tell me about yourself?

A: I am 22 years of age and hail from Durban.

Q: Why did you choose to study fashion design?

A: I studied Biological Science for a year and I didn’t enjoy it. Thereafter I decided to follow my passion of being a fashion designer. I have always been interested in fashion design and is something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Q: What inspired your garment for the Young Designer Award competition?

A: I made a screen printed dress with a detachable PVC over skirts inspired by the Optical Art of the 1950s and 60s

Q: How much of an impact has the award made in your career?

A: Being in the top three of the Young Designer Award has had a huge impact in my level of confidence. And I know now that I am capable and I can do it.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue the same career path as you?

A. Make sure that fashion is something that you love because it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The only thing that will push you and motivate you to keep working hard is your passion and your vision for where you see yourself in the future

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I would like to do my BTech, also further my studies overseas and teach at an international school on the subject of art and design. I also intend on studying photography in the near future.

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