The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Bachelor of Technology Degree Fashion student Zane Ngwenya recently showcased at the International Youth Designer Competition at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) in China.
Although she did not win at the international competition, she described her experience as one of its kind. Being given the opportunity to showcase her designs based on the theme of Culture, was a highlight for her in 2018. She showcased her dynamic range of indigenous traditional designs that she believes not only defines her as a young designer but also highlighted her heritage as a Zulu woman.
“Overall it was an amazing experience, and my first time going Overseas which added a new dimension to it all. For me, what was most important was being exposed to a new University that also does fashion. Despite us students being in different parts of the world, it was good to see that there’s still the same elements we all go through and that we still have the same troubles, and the same issues which we were able to talk about,” she said.
For Ngwenya, it was also nice for her to experience the culture in China where she thoroughly enjoyed the food and really misses it.
“For me, what I liked was when all the students would share their different techniques ideas and we would ask each other and probe as to how this or that technique was done. So, it was really great to share some knowledge as well,” she added.
Ngwenya also expressed that the passion for design was very deep and the general sentiment by the international fashion students was to always keep on studying. “Many do not want to just stop at their undergraduate degree but wish to study further till their postgraduate degree, not only at their own University but also look at going to other universities and experiencing different aspects of fashion studies,” she said.
She added that she was grateful and honoured that she was chosen and it was really a testament to the quality of work that the DUT fashion department are able to nurture and produce unique talent like hers, giving her the opportunity of a lifetime.
Ngwenya, said her fashion journey has just begun. “I have an interest in fashion theory and that is why I wanted to pursue my studies further by doing my BTech this year, (2018). I want to go into trend forecasting as well as I think it is important to see fashion not only as a technical discipline but also theory,” she added.
Ngwenya also hopes to participate in more local and international fashion competitions in the future as she believes it is a great learning curve both theoretically and practically.
Pictured: Zane Ngwenya at the International Youth Designer Competition at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) in China.