25 February 2004
What are you wearing right now? South African chic or foreign shtick? Wise up. February 27 is the country’s first national Design Day. D-Day. A day to celebrate, support, buy, use and wear South African design.
D-Day forms part of this year’s Design Indaba and inaugural Design Indaba Expo, an interactive showcase of the best South African design, running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 26 to 29.
According to the D-Day website, Friday has been declared “a day to explore your own indigenous creativity in everything you do. Show a bit of home-grown flair in the way you dress, the way you work, the way you cook, the way you play.
“D-Day is a part of the designer in each one of us, and of the creative spirit which inspired our transition to democracy 10 years ago.”
It is also, say the organisers, an opportunity to recognise the talents of the country’s professional designers in all fields – from fashion to furniture, from crafts to architecture – as well as a call for South Africans to acknowledge “the importance of innovation and imagination to our economy, our culture and our quality of life.
“Because it is our unique South African ideas that will help us create jobs, boost exports and strengthen our national identity.
“Be a part of D-Day, and help to get everyone talking about, thinking about, and appreciating South African innovation, imagination and style.”
D-Day Digipic Challenge
Part of the D-Day celebration is the D-Day Digipic Challenge, a competition challenging South Africans to submit by e-mail a photo of anything that “represents South African creativity and innovation”.
“Keep your eyes open for D-stinctly South African design”, says the D-Day website. “It could be something you saw in the street, something painted on a taxi, a stunning building or a gorgeous piece of locally made furniture.
“It could be yourself wearing a great local outfit, or it could be something you made or put together – your hairstyle, your garden, your wedding, your breakfast table, or the things stuck on your fridge.
“We’re looking for beauty, inventiveness, quirkiness, humour … for that in-D-finable South African signature. Keep your eyes open and your finger on the button. Then send us your take on South African design.”
The most imaginative images will be published on the D-Day website, and the winner will receive a “D-vinely D-licious” hamper from Woolworths.
Join the National Design Force
Also part of the D-Day fun are design “pass” (or “fail”) citations which anyone can “serve” on their friends or colleagues to compliment (or criticise) them on their SA design sense.
“Do you know someone who flaunts their exotic labels, blahs on about their Manolo pumps, insists on having their hair done in Paris and lives in a pseudo Tuscan villa full of priceless foreign objects?”, asks the D-Day website.
“Well, volunteer for the South African National Design Force and bust them with a pink D-Day citation. Make them blush and bluster, and swear to mend their alien ways.
“If, on the other hand, you know someone who appreciates South AfricaÕs unique aesthetic fusion, proudly wears garments designed by our own fabulous fashion houses, and knows their kwaito from their mbaqanga, pat them on the back with a green D-Day citation.”
Citations can be sent directly from the D-Day website. Or you can get printed copies from selected Woolworths stores on D-Day itself.
D-Day is a non-profit venture sponsored by the Woolworths Trust and Design Indaba Trust in association with Vodacom.