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2015 Vukani! Fashion Awards Theme E-mail

2015 Vukani Fashion Awards (VFAs) Concept Development and Strategic Direction

Introduction

 

Up until now, our focus has been on establishing the SAFDA, Vukani Range Creations, Vukani Fashion Awards, and Sonwabile Ndamase brands as South African legacy brands; leveraging the emotional “pull” of heritage branding that has taken the nation, marrying it, at the core of the collective brand ethos, with the mentorship of young talent; whilst simultaneously employing cutting- edge branding implements; so as to build a “storyline”- a legend, in the tradition of African edification of fabled persons and institutions, to rival any before in the South African fashion industry, and to inaugurate the benchmark fashion brand to deafening, awed silence.

This kind of ambitious, impactful statement requires total brand lionisation at every major banding opportunity, expressly for the value potential brand consumers in desired markets and potential brand sponsors can infuse, in terms of long- term brand equity and sustainability.

The Vukani Fashion Awards have been this “edge”, the distinguishing facet of the businesses that have kept the brand relevant. It is now time to take this noble concept into the stratosphere of brand activation, with a 21st century interpretation that shakes the “Re- Branding of African Fashion” into being…

 

Theme

 

“Enlightened Ones: Guardians of uBuntu”

 

In homage and celebration of the richness of African culture and creativity, we present these modern incarnations of legends of folklore from across the continent: Africa’s own superheroes, the “Enlightened Ones”. Rooted in our collective subconscious, lying dormant for centuries, these “Guardians of uBuntu” explode from their gestation deep within the earth to evoke memories of ancient glory, and inspire magnificence in Africa’s people once more. We have conceptualised a convergence of the individual stories and powers of these elemental deities to espouse the virtues they possess and impart creative fodder for the designers to base their collections on.

 

The Storyline…

 

It is said that the beautiful Baobab tree, imbued with vanity and selfishness, often angered its Mother God, Adansonia with its narcissism. One day, filled with rage at the Baobab’s boasting, she pulled it out and threw it out of her garden and deep into space. The baobab raced through the cosmos like a meteor, hit the earth at tremendous speed and crash landed upside down. The tree was deeply saddened, and struggled to survive trying to flourish in the underworld. The heat beat down and burnt its precious flowers and fruit; the tree had to accept its fate and could only to reproduce itself. It struggled to produce fruit from its now root like branches, which eventually ripened and fell to the ground. These fruit rolled into 7 corners of Africa, were they gestated deep in the ground, becoming more powerful and magical as time passed. As the eternal apology for the tree’s arrogance, the fruits would eventually become the 7 deities that would nourish the earth, inspire Africa’s greatest leaders and bestow peace and love upon her people.

 

Call for Entries

 

This year, an epic pan- African storyline inspires this prophetic call for entries. Designers must delve deep into their imaginations to create flow within their collections, arouse connection with the audience and have their designs emanate distinction in order to holistically embody the subject matter. Africa is the cradle of all humanity, and as such her stories gave birth to cultural heroes whose ancient wisdom and awe- inspiring powers became the noble virtues and traditions of her people.

 

In homage and celebration of the richness of African culture and creativity, we present these modern incarnations of legends of folklore from across the continent: Africa’s own superheroes, the “Enlightened Ones”. Rooted in our collective subconscious, lying dormant for centuries, these “Guardians of uBuntu” explode from their gestation deep within the earth to evoke memories of ancient glory, and inspire magnificence in Africa’s people once more.

 

Your task for the 21st Annual Vukani Fashion Awards 2015, is to infuse a sense of the regal in your entries: of the power and grace with which these elemental deities were bestowed, and interpret the storyline and characters, god- like attributes thereof, or their inspiration of the character of Africa’s preeminent leaders, for the audience and judges. A distinctly African personality and a modern global energy must converge in sublime harmony, an offering worthy of the gods.

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If you are selected as one of the finalists, you will be required to produce a collection in standard model size. You will be required to produce Seven outfits, which will be judged on the following categories: 

Best interpretation of Leadership Theme (One garment)

From Madiba to Cleopatra, Lumumba to Queen Nzinga, there are leaders who have embodied the virtues of the gods. Choose your inspirational personality and personify them for the current age through this garment.

 

Best High Fashion Design “Guardians of uBuntu” Costume (Two garments)

Let your imagination fly as you recreate the very likeness of the Enlightened Ones! The ultimate in creativity, luxury and flair is what required here.

 

Best Collection: “Elemental Deities” /Ready to wear (overall Winner) Four garments

Your collection inspired by the elements the deities ruled over:

Kwoth - Goddess of Earth and all of nature: The energy source that inspires sustainability, renewed energy and the birth of new ideas and solutions.

Moya - Lord of Wind: As the seasons change they destroy the old and make room for the new. Moya inspires the winds of change.  

N-kai - Queen of Rain: She is the queen of collaboration and symbiosis. Rain inspires determination.

Nomalanga - Goddess of Fire: Goddess of light, signifies vigour and passion.

Ghurugi - Lord of Death: Ruling the internal journey, Ghurugi stands for uncompromised truth. He inspires courage and resilience.

Oshun - Goddess of Love: Goddess of love, beauty and procreation. Art and creativity is where Osun resides.

Kibuka - Lord of War: Kibuka is the warrior, the protector, he is strategic and calculating, inspired by victory and unity. 

 

These elemental deities possessed powers that motivated creativity, wisdom, vulnerability, power and life in humanity on the earth as we know it. They pushed humans to extremities of self-discovery, present always to guide and stimulate. The gods were a mystical catalyst in the game of life, and the earth its stage. Designers must research the source and country of origin of these legendary beings and use these mystical forces as inspiration for a Pan- African interpretation in their works: bring to life the warriors that moved stealthily and unrivalled through the ages, in essence creating the cultures and heritage that forms our identity as a people today.

As always, uniqueness and technical excellence are the hallmarks of this prestigious competition and will determine your acceptance into the contest. The business of fashion, at home and abroad, remains a constant call for innovation and sustainability. An understanding of the intrinsic role of heritage, and the ability to reconcile this constant with ever- evolving trends, separates industry stalwarts from fashion hangers- on. Which one are you?

 

 

 

 


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