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The Shared Talent Project saw crafters from Soweto and Hillbrow teamed with students from London College of Fashion and the Johannesburg-based London International School of Fashion. Working out of the Boitomelo project based in Hillbrow and using the crafters’ traditional skills, fashion students collaborated with the crafters to develop a range of accessories that were marketable to an international audience.
“The students really opened up the mind of the crafters and encouraged them to experiment with different techniques and materials as well as look at the design process in a truly different way,” said Clare Douglas, a facilitator from the London College of Fashion.
Douglas is adamant that this is just the beginning of the project. To ensure its longevity and sustainability, Douglas is currently lobbying for further financial support and buy-in from industry partners. “Ideally, we would like people from industry to see the potential in the products we made and work with us on the project,” said Douglas.