The allfashion sourcing Young Designer competition by Messe Frankfurt is an annual competition open to young designers who are graduating, have recently graduated, or are currently part of a design internship programme. 

The competition offers young designers an opportunity to showcase their skillset through their interpretation of a predetermined design brief. This year's brief focused on Africa fashion and the importance thereof. 

Among the 10 finalists who were selected by the Cape Town Fashion Council and trend forecaster, Nicola Cooper, was Cape Town based designer, Sinazo Janda. The young designer was announced as the 2020 winner and has been selected to participate in an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris to showcase her work at Texworld, an international textile trade in Paris, in February 2021 (or later in the year depending on travel restrictions). She also won a R15 000 cash prize.

The 23-year-old is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Here she shares her journey and plans with us.

Describe yourself in a nutshell
I'm studying for a BA in Fashion at FEDISA. I am a super passionate person. I'm loud, bubbly, and a little quirky but that's not my designer personality, most of my work I approach with class and sophistication. My mom and older sisters are my muses so a lot of their personalities come out in my work.

How does winning the allfashion sourcing young designer feel and what made you enter the competition?

I entered this competition because I honestly look up allfashion sourcing Cape Town and the platform and opportunities they provide for young designers. Winning this competition instilled confidence in me to pursue my goal of becoming an independent designer.

Image Source: Simon Denner, Group of Creatives

What inspires your creative process?
My design process is usually a combination of my environment and what silhouettes and styles are trending currently. I usually do my research on what's happening in internal markets then I like to personalise my research to make it more home base.

Have you always been interested in fashion design?
I've always been super interested in fashion from a very young age. The first dress I designed was a recycled plastic dress in high school, after that my dad bought me a sewing machine after months of me nagging him about it. I spent the whole of high school convincing my parents that a degree in fashion was a good investment and they were completely supportive.

What challenges do you face as a designer and how do you overcome them?
Becoming a fashion designer is quite expensive, especially if you still have to pay off your student loans. The one challenge I’ve experienced as a designer is having to source funding for my collections. I prefer to buy quality material and fabric but it’s expensive. Instead I currently design bespoke pieces for my clients and have learnt to work with what I have. I have a domestic machine that got me through university and I can meet my clients’ needs and my current needs.

Image Source: Sinazo Janda website

Have you started preparing for the Texworld fair in Paris? What can we expect?
I've started the research process and you can expect a lot of print.

Besides winning, what can you take from the experience?
It has given me confidence in my work as a designer.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers?
The industry is not saturated and you should not be afraid of failing. It's also the best time to be an African designer. So be one now!

This has been a challenging year for many, how did you remain motivated?
I surround myself with friends and family, who have always seen more in me than I do in myself. And they kept me accountable every step of the way and they still do.

Image Source: Sinazo Janda website

What do you wish to achieve next year?
I would like to establish my brand 'Reign in Rust' and create my first collection as an independent designer.

What's next for you?
I plan on following in steps of Sindiso Khumalo and Thebe Magugu to be the next LVMH prize winner, but most importantly improve the fashion industry in South Africa.

ONE TO WATCH: SINAZO JANDA ONE TO WATCH: SINAZO JANDA Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on December 15, 2020 Rating: 5
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