A joint initiative will change the life of fashion students in Gauteng, through the Edcon Design Innovation Challenge.
This challenge brings SA Fashion Week’s Runway Productions, which has emphasised the importance of business in fashion and retail group Edcon, attending to the opportunities much required for a disadvantaged group of people. The disparity of access and opportunity is not only in history but still prevalent today.  And the gap between studies and the reality of the workplace is also wide, this serves to bridge that and so young students will be under the Edcon Design Innovation Challenge and become skilled with critical business thinking and problem solving, further understanding the retail, all this under the strategic guidance and collaboration with Lucilla Booyzen (managing director of SAFW and Runway Productions) and the retailer. 
Targeted at final year students and graduates, the three final winners in this contest, will walk away with first prize being R20 000, R15 000 for second and R10 000 for third. In addition, they will be part of a one-year learnership with Edcon – a 21 Step to Retail programme facilitated by Runway Productions. Next year’s fashion week ss17 and aw17 seasons will have eight leading designers showcase in a shared slot, all proving evrything learned. 
Recently, the 15 nominated students were introduced and will receive three-month mentoring where the selection process will continue and leaving the most promising and fitting the programme. The opening held at Edgars Melrose Arch also had Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, who commended this contribution in creating opportunities. 
Elelwani Pahlana, Transformation Executive at Edcon said this initiative is part of Edcon’s transformation journey.
“We have undertaken a number of initiatives by leveraging our expertise and using our platforms to empower women and youth”.
The programme fits right into what Edcon has devoted to through the Orange Campaign, where 40 women from shelters in Gauteng were trained in sewing and basic fashion elements. And this has now extended to Kwa-Zulu Natal.