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Friday, March 1, 2013

Fashion One Africa Debuts Nothing New Or Innovative

“We are pleased to be able to announce the launch of Fashion One Africa with TopTV in South Africa and excited to be part of the country’s growing global importance. In addition to bringing the latest fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle programmes from around the world to our audience in South Africa, Fashion One will also showcase African talent with our increasing investment in local productions and, at the same time, provide regular worldwide exposure to the designers and labels in the region through our worldwide network.”

Those were (well since they were sent in written form I should say are) the words of Fashion One CEO Ashley Jordan.  I thought “wow” fantastic. Something fresh and exciting to bring to television in South Africa. Something right along the lines of what I’d like to produce in the future. So I read on, the press release that is, and then started realising it was not quite what I had imagined. A few online portals ran with this release as is so I kept getting frustrated as I wanted to know more, some details, maybe even an inside secret as to what will be the unique selling point of this channel or feed.

Ashley Jordan, CEO of Fashion One

Well, truth be told, I have found nothing of the sort. Reading the press release and all news articles on this story, one begins to see that Fashion One is just like Fashion TV (FTV). Their launch of Fashion One Africa is not even a step up from differentiating themselves from FTV. For those of you who don’t know, FTV is an international fashion channel that showcases nothing but fashion, for men and women. It features runway shows, photo shoots, etc. Fashion One is exactly the same with a component of lifestyle which covers well being and product and industrial design and the likes. In South Africa (SA), I’d say it’s like Top Billing on steroids.

Back to the matter at hand. So Fashion One goes out with this release and debut which essentially sells it as though it’s bringing in a major focus on Africa/SA. In fact, they are launching Fashion One in South Africa through TopTV and will showcase the same amount of Africa related fashion and lifestyle content as all the other shows we already have. They are not going to be exclusively dedicated to African content with a minority component of international content.

Disappointing, I’d say. We already have FTV on DsTV and a few other shows that give us a great deal of fashion content and lifestyle news. How about focusing your resources on the continent to produce a channel that just looks at Africa and it’s fashion and design lifestyle industries. It’s not like we’re short of designers or millers etc. We have plenty. Visit Design Indaba for just a taste of what is available in this country and in this continent for you to create hours of content, about Africans, by Africans, for Africans and the rest of the world.

Ian Woodrow, Channels VP of TopTV mentions how the channel will be the first to cover major African fashion events… Um, I could be mistaken but I’m sure the world covers Joburg and Cape Town Fashion Weeks already and I know the international fashion scenes also sees coverage of the SA fashion weeks that also occur twice a year. So where exactly is the breakthrough in television production here?

One of the channels programmes with a well being/lifestyle focus - Model Yoga

I guess all we can do is wait and see just how much of Africa will be seen on Fashion One Africa. Until then, I wish the channel the best of luck in its preparations and hope to watch you soon.


  1. thanks for share.

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