Institutions from Italy and South Africa have joined forces to establish a solid partnership in the fashion industry. From the cooperation between the two countries, the “Fashion Bridges – I ponti della moda” project was launched: initiative to encourage cultural exchange and support young designers with the aim of laying the foundations for sustainable, inclusive, long-term strategic cooperation between the Italian and South African fashion industry. The “Fashion Bridges” follows “German Italian Fashion Experience,” which Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana launched in partnership with the Fashion Council Germany earlier this year.

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Logo of the “Fashion Bridges” project

The fashion and cooperation project was launched by the Embassy of Italy in Pretoria, in partnership with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Polimoda, Florence Center for Italian Fashion, Lineapelle, SAFW (South African Fashion Week), the ICE Agency and with the support of the Nelson Mandela Forum Florence. The chosen logo represents the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, colored with the shades of the traditional Shewshew fabric, in reference to South Africa and its style. The partnership is based on three pillars: Cradle of fashion; Young lions; Mining for fashion materials and tools.

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Polimoda Fashion Show 2021

The first aims to establish academic cooperation between the most brilliant fashion schools and entities in Italy and South Africa. Three talented neo-graduates hailing from South African fashion schools and three from the Florence-based institution will participate in a virtual training program developed by Polimoda – with the support Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana – and will present capsule collections, which will be presented during Milan Fashion Week in September and South African Fashion Week the following month.

Embassy of Italy in Pretoria, South Africa

Young Lions, on the other hand, wants to promote new brands, but already known in the fashion market, by choosing a young designer by country and assisting him in identifying business opportunities in South Africa and Italy through contacts with local agents. The last pillar includes a round table and business-to-business meetings between Italian and South African companies operating in the fashion and textile sectors: in Johannesburg, the Embassy, with the support of the ICE Agency in Johannesburg, will organize a “match-making” event at the end of October aimed at bringing together producers and buyers of fashion materials, fabrics, leathers and textile machinery.

To promote all these initiatives and provide information about all the parties involved, a virtual visual diary has been created on the Some Other Label platform run by Errica Iacopini, which will showcase the stories behind each designer and follow their respective brand’s development.