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Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Mandela University third-year BVA Fashion Design students Yaaseen Abdulla and Jan-Hendrik van Zyl have walked away with both, the first and second prizes in the national Bernina Dress Your Style 2023 competition.


The Bernina 2023 competition final, culminated in five finalists being selected nationally, from 95 entries from more than eight tertiary institutions from around South Africa.

In a sew-off (in the style of “Project Runway”), the five finalists were briefed to create outfits from scratch, over a period of four days.

The well-known fashion designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee, did the judging and he was particularly impressed with how the students interpreted the theme of the competition.

The competition co-ordinator also praised the University students and staff for the entrants’ exceptional pattern making skills.

Yaaseen (far left) and Jan-Hendrik’s prizes consist of Bernina products, including sewing machines and overlockers, to the value of R82 000 and R52 000, respectively.

We look forward to seeing their final-year ranges, to be showcased in a graduate show in a few weeks’ time, said Tyrone James from the Fashion Design Department.