Matatiele fashion designer to show garments at July

2018-07-13 06:00
Fashion designer Martin Steenkamp prepares his garments for the Durban July this weekend.PHOTO: supplied

Fashion designer Martin Steenkamp prepares his garments for the Durban July this weekend.PHOTO: supplied

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A FASHION designer from Matatiele, Martin Steenkamp (26), will be showcasing his designs at the Vodacom Durban July at the weekend.

He told the Fever that he received an invitation, for the first time, to display 10 garments at the event.

“On June 20, I was privileged enough to be selected for the amazing TV series on DStv channel 129 called Made in Africa where I competed with a Namibian designer.

“Our task was to select an African-produced movie as our inspiration and I selected Drum and the societal settings of Sophia Town as my source of inspiration for my garments,” said Steenkamp.

“I managed to win and I received the phenomenal prize of displaying my garments in a number of retail shops. The opportunity gave me global exposure and opened the door for me to the 2018 Vodacom Durban July,” he said.

On February 23, he told the Fever about winning last year’s Fashion Innovator Award at the Durban Fashion Fair, which opened many doors for him in the industry.

“At the 2018 Vodacom Durban July, I will be displaying my creations at five different venues.

“I want to encourage young people to pursue their careers,” said Steenkamp.

He grew up in a farming area 15km outside Matatiele, and now he works for a manufacturing company in Durban as a fashion designer. During his spare time, he promotes his personal menswear brand, John Martins.

“I grew up in a place where I had to travel a long distance to fetch water and there was no electricity. After I completed my matric in 2007, I did not pursue a tertiary education because my father, who was meant to fund my education, lost his job.

“I worked in a supermarket and saved money to pursue my dream in fashion design. After saving money for seven years, I registered for a course in fashion design and graduated in 2016,” he said.

His breakthrough came after the MRP Foundation, which helps young people to break the cycle of poverty, visited his school and he joined the foundation in 2016. Through the foundation’s programme, he learnt pattern-making, costing and merchandising skills. Last year he was rewarded with a trip to Europe by the foundation for being a top student and there he learnt about international markets.

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