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City hosts seminar with renowned Italian design school
A two-week cutting-edge design and trend theory innovation webinar was held recently in partnership with the eThekwini Footwear and Leather Cluster (EFLC) and Italy’s Design School Arsutoria. 
The EFLC is one of the Economic Development Unit’s sector programmes.

The webinar hosted lectures from leading global forecasters in fashion and consumer trends for over 40 manufacturers. The first week was dedicated to footwear manufacturers and was followed by a week focused on handbags and leather goods manufacturers.

 As part of the series, the cluster also hosted a Europe Buyers Panel Discussion which was moderated by EFLC’S Programme Manager Anasuyah Pather. The panel included three international experts in consumer buying behaviour.
Pather said: “The sessions opened a window into the international market to challenge mindsets of local companies to refocus and style products and brands to a global buyer. This will enable export led growth.”
Nerisha Jairaj, who heads the EFLC and is the Executive Director of the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council, said the work done via the partnership vehicle stretched local manufacturers to envision themselves as global brands.

“The webinar has been a game changer for the industry, propelling three local brands onto the online site Amazon. Their brands are also in Nieman Marcus and Saks 5th Avenue which are famous American stores. We are working on creating the same diffusion into the Europe market for local businesses,” she said.​
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