The Durban University of Technology rocked and dominated the spectacular fashion competitions at this year’s Vodacom Durban July, which were set against the nautical backdrop: The Captain’s Table.
The annual Vodacom Durban July, which took place on Saturday, 4 July 2015, is the most prestigious and anticipated sporting event on the Durban calendar.
Aspiring designers went head-to-head in the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, with Fashion and Textile students from the Durban University of Technology clinching all top three positions. Sitting comfortably in first place was Carla Ann Gerstmeier, Alexander Cox in second place and Kimosha Ganas in third place, proving to the local and international fashion fraternity that DUT provides some of the best and modern fashion design training.
DUT also dominated in the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge presented by the Durban Fashion Fair, with DUT Fashion and Textile graduates Cailtin Shoesmith (overall winner of the competition), Bianca van Rooyen (second place winner) and Racine Denny (third place winner) securing all top three awards.
Gerstmeier, the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award overall winner, was thoroughly excited and overwhelmed by her win. She beat over 100 aspiring KwaZulu-Natal designers, winning a trip to the New York Fashion Week sponsored by Gold Circle and Delta Air Lines. “I’m totally shocked (that) I won. I did a lot of research using the colour champagne and black grapes which helped me to create my champagne garment,” she said.
A jubilant Cox was over the moon with sitting among fellow students in second place. “I’m still reeling from the fact that I was chosen to be in the finals of such an amazing competition,” he said.
Ganas, who was excited to be announced in the top three, said it had been a long road to the finals. “It went really well and I’m happy with my design. We (DUT) also dominated in the Fashion Challenge, winning in all three categories which says a lot for DUT’s work and reputation. I’m very proud to be associated with DUT,” she said.
Caitlin won a trip to the fashion capital, Italy. Speaking about her win, she said DUT showed her how to perfect what she wanted to do in terms of her designs. “I was allowed to be more creative and a little more daring. I can’t describe my feelings. I wanted to cry just now, I wasn’t expecting it all. It’s all very surreal,” she said excitedly.
DUT Lecturer and fashion designer, Terence Bray, also could not contain his joy and excitement upon seeing DUT students dominate the stage at both competitions. “I’m thrilled with the winners! I mentor and lecture some of the students so it’s very, very exciting and a great acknowledgement for the work that we do at DUT and I’m so proud of them. We (DUT) are extremely proud of them they have all really outdone themselves,” he added.
– Waheeda Peters
Pictured: The Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award top three. All three students are from DUT. Pictured first is Carla Ann Gerstmeier with a model wearing her winning design, followed by Alexander Cox with a model in his design which clinched second place and third being Kimosha Ganas with a model in her design which won third place.