The program will welcome 12 fashion entrepreneurs that have existing businesses operating in South Africa. The program is open to any entrepreneur within the fashion value chain, this can be designers, importers, resellers as well informal traders – and they can be operating within jewelry, accessories, menswear, womenswear, lingerie and footwear.
Introducing, Threads, the Business of Fashion accelerator program – Designed to teach fashion entrepreneurs all about the business side of the fashion industry.
Threads is a 12-week accelerator program taking place in 4 regional classrooms: Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The program is curated in partnership with the University Cattolica of Milan and the winner of the program will be invited to Italy on a business trip where he/she will be personally introduced to the top stakeholders in European Fashion, as well as department store buyers and retailers.
The goal of the educational program is to upscale South African fashion entrepreneurs by enabling them with the right knowledge, tools and networks to thrive internationally and provide a brilliant opportunity for fashion entrepreneurs to gain international exposure. Judges on the programme include Basetsana Kumalo, Timothy Maurice, Laduma of MaxHosa, Jackie Burger and Vincent Hoogduin CEO of Spree.
On top of this, the winner will receive a Mercedes-Benz car for 12 months and become a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz.
The program is part-time program (1.5 days per week) that starts Monday 24th October and lasts until mid-february with a 3-week break for summer. During this time, the entrepreneurs are taken on a 12-week program curated by the Universita Cattolica of Milan, each week tackling a specific area of their business from marketing to logistics and even eCommerce.
The Threads Stitched by Standard Bank program is designed to build businesses, not designers. Therefore upon applying, applicants are evaluated on business acumen and potential rather than design & creativity. Therefore the number of fashion shows, Instagram followers, or even TV shows that the applicant has been on is irrelevant, we want to know whether the applicant knows how many customers he needs to break even.
- Existing business trading for at least 1 year
- The business does not need to be formally registered
- Trading within South Africa
- Over 18 years of age
- Able to attend all lecture days, field trips, and events
- Must have a business that can scale, that means that can easily increase its capacity
- Must not be a custom-order, made-to-measure or couture business (unless you are ready to go into ready-to-wear)