The 2015 Sansui Summer Cup horse race will be held on November 28, and 5 top design students will compete for the honour of being announced the winner of the Young Designer Award, which makes up part of the race day proceedings.

The Young Designer Awards is a joint initiative of the Design School Southern Africa (DSSA) – which is a division of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) and Steele Model Studio. Of the nine fashion students that were in the running, only five have been selected to showcase their design on the day.

The winner of The Young Designer Award will walk away with an outstanding prize package inclusive of a mentorship programme to the value of R26 000 sponsored by The Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup and Sies!Isabelle towards their start up business.

With a R2-million pot on its 2000m Grade 1 main race, the Sansui Summer Cup is considered South Africa’s premier horse racing event. It is also the most stylish, with celebrities, owners and spectators dressed to the nines in a bid to be the most fashionable in attendance. This makes it the ultimate opportunity for these budding young designers to show off their work and to gain recognition from industry leaders and the country’s most celebrated fashionistas.

“This is such an unbelievably amazing opportunity for all of us,” says young DSSA Johannesburg design student, Natasha Sallie. “The idea of putting my own design in front of so many spectators is thrilling, but it’s the industry heavy-weights that I really want to impress – it could really make my career if I were to win,” she concludes.

Over the past 25 years, DSSA has become one of the most highly acclaimed tertiary design institutions in the country. Providing their students with national and international showcasing platforms by nurturing relevant partnerships with big brands has ensured that graduates are prepared for the pressures of competing under a spotlight in this fiercely competitive arena.

“Our fashion design curriculum is aimed at developing designers through both academic and experiential methods,” says Nicolette van der Merwe, DSSA Programme Manager: Fashion Design. “As a result, DSSA graduates have already been exposed to the rigours of competing against the best young designers in the country, and will have a clear idea of where they are going and what they need to do to get there.”

The variety of IIE degrees at DSSA are given international credibility by the British Accreditation Council (BAC), ensuring that qualifications will be recognised wherever students choose to work. Small classes allow for individual attention and guidance, which gives the lecturers the scope to hone each student’s natural skill and talent towards its highest potential.

“The Young Designer Awards is just one of the many opportunities that we have created to give our students the platform from which to showcase their work,” says van der Merwe. “We are very proud of the finalists and look forward to seeing their designs on display in this glamorous and prestigious setting.”

For more information please visit www.designschoolsa.co.za

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