After applying my sewing skill and event experience for a well-worthy 67 minutes for Mandela Day this year, I haven’t ever felt prouder of being a fashion designer.
The humbling feeling of having the honour to do what I love for an amazing cause has sparked something inside me that goes much deeper than the need for any such personal successes or desires.
Working in an industry that is very often criticised for its superficial and material values has its challenges, and attempting to prove that there is a greater need for all this fashion business is an argument designer’s face all too often. Finding a way to “justify” my career choice and practise my desire for wanting to do something more with my fashion passion than just making pretty dresses for pretty people, seems to have caught right up to me on my mission to make a difference. I have discovered that there are more-than-many whole-hearted people out there who are selflessly willing to donate whatever creative contributions they can for a relative charity, and this is testament enough that these criticisms may be nothing more than an ignorant generalization and naïve assumption.
The Fashion, Flavour & Art Showcase has inadvertently crushed the impression that fashion is purely a luxury and unnecessary indulgence. The highly esteemed people, brands and companies that have come together to make it all happen have ignited an energy so real it has taken the event to heights we never imagined possible. Real people with a real reason to give of their (very real) time, energy and effort have looked past their own agendas and willingly gone beyond the call of the usual fashion week craze to donate their talents to a greater good.
The level of dedication, inspiration and excitement that has developed around working for something with no direct monetary benefits in a financially driven world has been…. Refreshing! Who could have imagined 20 typically unrelated people and professions could come together and use their creative talents to achieve one common goal – raising money to contribute to the very valuable research that CANSA does?
As the fashion industry attracts the spotlight with Cape Town Fashion Week commencing, it is somewhat of a statement to go ahead and throw our own fashion party on the final eve – disregarding all of the typical fashion week “to-dos” and making all the “fashion faux pas” at such a lucrative time of year!
But could we really call choosing to do something for someone else’s benefit, as opposed to our own, a faux pas?
There might be some faux fur, but let that be as far as we go to doing anything fake! Armed with my new found search for finding that “loving feeling” in everything I do, and not only once a year for 67 minutes, is opening up a whole runway of new avenues to channel my creativity for the greater good of humankind!
Never under estimate the power of a creative mind and a passionate heart. I believe it is these people that will change the world – when service is above self, success will be sure to follow!