Fashion Communiqué                          
Groundbreaking fashion news
August 2011 

NWSD Leads the future of Fashion training in South Africa with groundbreaking new course

The South- African Fashion Industry is finally moving into the global world of fashion and the global way of doing things.  South African designers and clothing manufacturers are now looking further than their own back door for materials, sub-contractors and markets.  With this more global shift in the SA industry, comes a change in the way that our future fashion professionals and entrepreneurs will be trained for their respective careers within the industry.  Up to now, SA colleges has offered diploma and degree based FASHION DESIGN training, whereas this is not the case internationally.  Globally, school leavers can opt to pursue a degree in either FASHION DESIGNING or FASHION COMMUNICATION (& MANAGMEMENT).  Yes, in SA one could pursue a BSc degree in fashion at varsities, but time has proved that these degrees do not contribute to employment in the fashion industry, as these courses do not solely focus on fashion as it includes food and interior. 

The difference between FASHION DESIGN on one hand, and FASHION COMMUNCIATION (& MANAGEMENT) on the other hand, is that design is the practical, creative and technical aspect of design and production whereas the communication and management side of fashion are for those who are interested in the management, financial, administrative and communicating side of fashion, and who want to get to such a position where all the big decisions lay on your shoulders (buyers, merchandisers, fashion editors, etc)

Even though South African design colleges have touched on the communication and management side, we have simply offered subjects in buying, trend forecasting and merchandising, whereas internationally, these topics have been offered as courses and not subjects.  This already tells us that these topics have not been pursued in as much detail locally as it has been offered abroad.    Because of the global shift of our industry as well as the need to shift fashion training to match this global shift, it has become imperative that our school leavers are introduced to the vast employment and business opportunities within the fashion and clothing industry.  Our research has shown us that most scholars and career councillors are still under the impression that one simply becomes a fashion designer after studying fashion.  For this reason it has become more so important that we break this myth and share the exiting change and opportunities our industry holds. 

2012 sees the change in fashion training with North West School of Design being the only college to present a globalized BSc degree in Fashion Management & Communication.  NWSD is also the first college to register standards for such a course with SAQA, and since we are the ground breakers in this field of study (where other colleges are sure to follow), our principal, Marlene Oosthuizen has thus set out and taken it upon herself to get the word out:

“There is a future in fashion”

Are there jobs in the fashion industry? 


The South African Fashion industry has started to emerged from the economic slowdown.  Over the last two decades, 2009& 2010 were two of the worst years for the industry.  Retailers and distributors reported declines in sales volumes but foot traffic in stores did not decrease.  This showed that customers did not stop purchasing garments, but shopped differently.  We have been buying different things, spending our money differently.   2011 has already shown improvements with many industry sources believing the worst is over.  The reason for this is that the retailers have, with the reduction in sales volumes, realized that consumers have become more price sensitive and more quality minded.  The future of our fashion industry is bright due to the fact that retailers started to listen to their customers and have not overstocked and over advertised on high end labels and expensive brands.  The South Africa manufacturers have also adapted sourcing (buying of materials) and production techniques to be more competitive within the global fashion industry.  Factories started to act on the threat of retailers taking their business to Chine and elsewhere.

Our industry has also now faced the end of the era of bad quality cheap clothing.  The consumers have also taught the retailers and brand owners to step up their sourcing activities.  2012 Will see further upward growth and job creation in our industry and by 2015 the industry promises job security and global competitiveness future.jpg

An insight to our daily routine at the NWSD

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside of the walls of the NWSD?  Being a fly on the wall inside the classrooms and during social events can be quite interesting.  So thus we have now given you the opportunity to check out what goes on behind the scenes on our Website at

In this article dear readers we would like to give you will have more insight in what happens behind the scenes of the NWSD.Have a look at our albums by clicking un the underlined blue links.

At the beginning of each academic year our students take part in Orientation to familiarize themselves with the routine of the school, this is great fun as students become more comfortable with our facilities, the facilitators as well as with each other.

Our Annual Oscar Day delivers great fun each year with students preparing themselves and garments to celebrate our favorite Oscar stars. 

It isn’t always hard work, as the students enjoy simply just hanging around during break times.

But when there is work to be done there is a whole lot of work behind the scenes, as you can judge from the photos you will also realize that perfection is top priority when it comes to our projects.

But socializing is also a major part of our students regime as the are often spotted out and about the town and its attractions. 

Our Website will soon be updated and current students can expect to see their own snapshots on our webpage.  We hope that you have enjoyed this insight into our schools daily routine, and are very excited to welcome the new entrants for 2012 to be a part of this exciting culture we have come to establish at the NWSD.  

Important information to Matrics, Post Matrics and the public, wishing to enroll at the NWSD for 2012.(F'ree Aptitude test)

NWSD will be busy on  the 20’th of  August, 24’th of September and the 8’th of October as we are accomadating Matrics and Post Matrics to complete our Entrance Exams.  The good news is that this test is an aptitude test and does not require any pre study.  Potential students can apply for FASHION DESIGN degree (or diploma) or the FASHION MANAGEMENT & COMMUNICATION degree (or diploma).  But it is required to first complete the entrance exam to secure your seat.

The test is an aptitude test as well as an entrance exam and has 3 parts.

Part 1: Visual perception and creative ability.

Part2: Written communication and general fashion knowledge.

Part 3: Technical and mathematical ability.

It is a two hour test which includes the prescribed breaks between each section  For more information you can contact Charles Oosthuizen at 0184625149 or email him at would also like to take this opportunity to wish all the matrics the best of luck for the up and coming exams.  Good luck to all.

Fashion Career Guidance, DVD Aid to inform you about the countless possibilities in the fashion industry.

The NWSD has released a DVD for Matrics and interested members of the public wishing to enter the world of the fashion industry.  Earlier in the newsletter we have mentioned the possibilities of employment in the fashion industry.  And now we have a full length DVD that can further educate you about the many fields of fashion. To get your FREE copy of the DVD Contact Charles or Ian at the NWSD at 0184625149 or email them or



Photography Exhibition open to the public.

The NWSD is proud to host their 5'th annual Photography exhibition on the 24'th of August 2011 at 18h00, at the NWSD (Oudorp Complex).
Students will be showcasing their photographs and portfolios and will also be recieving their certificates.  This exhibition is open to the public and serves as an award ceremony for students who have completed their photography course.
For any queries about this Must see and not to be missed event you can contact Charles at 018 4625149 foir more information.

We're Looking for models!

Yes!  It’s that time again of the year when NWSD will be casting for runway models for our forthcoming Graduation Fashion Show (5 Nov).  The casting (model search) is scheduled for 10h00 on Saturday, 13 August, @ NWSD. How will the casting work?  Girls who fit the required specifications (size and length) must pre-register on 083 639 9790.  Then at the casting, once they have been officially registered, measured and photographed, they will ‘strut their stuff’ (runway styles, not pageant walking) for our videographer.  And that is it!  The rest is up to us.The NWSD student-designers will then have a chance to select their models while viewing the DVD documentary of models who have casted.  As soon as a student designer has selected you for one of his/her designs, you will be contacted to visit us @ NWSD for full body specifications and measurements to be taken, because these garments will be made to tailor fit your figure.  Please note:  Only girls who: fit the specifications, who is available on the evening of 5 November for the show, who will be available on 4 Nov (evening) for rehearsal and who will be able to come to NWSD for fittings of the garments.  Our fittings run over 2 days, and the time of the fitting will be scheduled according to the model’s available time. 

model search.jpg


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Thank You,
Ian Malherbe
Online Editor




Correspondence Pattern Design Course
Living far from the North West School of Design Campus', our Correspondence Pattern Design Course is available to you to complete the course at your own pace. Course includes the award winning X!Design Patternmaker kit and new book by NWSD Principal "The modern corsetiere"
R1000 excl Shipping & Handling 

Model Search
Castings will be held on the 13 August 2011
13 August 2011 
pre-request with SMS-0836399790

Fashion Marketing
Master the entrepreneurial art of Fashion Marketing with the 2 month part time course from the NWSD.  Learn the finer details and study the sweet science that is marketing.  Classes start at 15 August 2011 and is held every Tuesday and Thursday.  With the recent success and ongoing improvements in the Fashion Buying Class one can be ensured that the course for Fashion Marketing will be fantastic. For more info contact NWSD at 018 462 5149 or email

Basic Upholstery
If you are an interior designing enthusiast, you will be pleased to know that on the 23'rd of August we are hosting our Basic Upholstery Workshop.  This Saturday workshop will cover all things needed to know, regarding basic upholstery.  Students will work during their day on their own creations and can choose between making their own Ottoman or various sized Headboards. Affordable and practical, the NWSD offers this workshop on the
23’rd July 2011.
For more info contact NWSD at 018 462 5149 or email

Photography Exhibition
Students whom have completed their photography course now has an opportunity to showcase their portfolios at the NWSD's 5'th Annual photo Exhibition. 24 August 2010 at 18h00
At the NWSD campus (Oudorp apteek Campus)
For more info contact NWSD at 018 462 5149 or email
Soft Furnishing Workshop 2011
Cut and make blinds, scatter cushions, curtains and much much more
Saturday Workshop 
17 September

Part Time Corset Designing
6 Week Part Time Course.
Tuesday's & Thursday's

Fashion Entrepeneurship
2 Month Part Time Course 
Mondays & Wednesday
10 October

Merchandising & Window Dressing
1 Month Part Time Course
Tuesday & Thursday
11 October - 3 November 2011

Flower Arranging
Saturday Workshop
22 October 

12'th Annual Graduation Show
Regarded as the end result of 2 year's hard work at the NWSD, our 2'nd year students will showcase their designs at the graduation show held in style on the Rooftop of the Klerksdorp City Mall
5 November
Recieve exclusive information from

Part Time Lingerie & Swimwear making
1 Week Short Course
Tuesday & Thursday
15 Nov - 8 Dec

Part Time Extended Photography
2 Month Part Time
12 September-28 September
then after term break
10 October-9 November 

Part Time Extended Sewing
6 Week Part Time Course
2 Feb - 12 March 2012


Contact us:

North West School of Design: 

018 462 5149
083 639 9790






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