Project Runway For the Bay


MANDELA BAY FASHION WEEK™ (NMBFW) came into being as an innovative, solution-focused concept to enliven and evolve the Fashion Scene in Nelson Mandela Bay. It was identified as a way to infuse and grow the economic scope of Nelson Mandela Bay’s fashion industry. The fashion Industry is a huge national and international market which offers individuals the opportunity to build their own enterprises in a creative sphere. The Eastern Cape has this creative cultural heritage. The NMBFW serves as a platform where these fashion and design entrepreneurs can showcase their range of products. It also serves as a place of meeting between retailer, stockist, designer, emerging talent and the fashion consumer.


  1. Contribute to the promotion of Nelson Mandela Bay’s creative diversity, by building the activity of the fashion sector, by providing a platform to Eastern Cape fashion designers.
  2. Afford emerging designers a chance to be exposed to potential national buyers and media, creating retail demand, as well as, significant exposure.
  3. Create a fashion culture within the city, sparking the interest of outside guests to visit the City and in creating a buzz in an increasingly tough market.
  4. Rank on the world Fashion Capitol list. Cape Town and Johannesburg at 23 and 25 respectively in the world. (8 year Long term goal).



This was the launch year of the show and was a successful start to an ongoing annual event. Building on the success of the launch year, the team are working with great energy, commitment and drive, for the 2017 event. The focus is to enhance and build on the viewer experience and to continue to raise production values, working closely in consultation with local professional teams. NMBFW pulled off last year’s show with a minimal cash budget.


A success story was started for two designers through their involvement and association with NMBFW’S first event. Two designer brands MECHERO & ERGO ZEN were awarded retail space at The Space, Baywest, allowing NMBFW to assist designers to tap into the retail space that the bay has to offer. Both brands were scouted at the 2016 NMBFW and went onto showcase in Johannesburg at the VUKANI FASHION AWARDS. MECHERO was featured in a national publication, Essays’ Of Africa and ERGO ZEN won one of the ‘High Fashion’ categories. The NMBFW team are very proud of this achievement and are elated that the aims of the event are being made concrete in this business sector. From its inception NMBFW is making an impact and creating tangible results.