From voluptuous, earthy ceramics and traditional-with-a-twist textiles to intricately patterned hand-woven cloth in seasonal colours, the latest in South African creativity and artisanal mastery will be on show as part of NEXT23 at Decorex Cape Town, the country’s leading decor and design showcase, which runs at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 22 to 25 June 2023.
An annual presentation of export-worthy designs, the NEXT Trade Exhibition is proudly presented by the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), a South African non-profit with over two decades of success in developing creative people, small businesses, and the craft and design sector at large. The showcase, which is coordinated by the CDI’s Fran Stewart, is aimed largely at assisting buyers who are sourcing for the global market, while bolstering local retailers too. NEXT has over several years attracted international trade buyers annually from a diverse array of countries such as Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy and the US, among others.
For 2023, there are 24 exhibitors who hail from across the nation and represent the best of South African craft and design – a balanced blend of well-established and award-winning names, mid-career designers and newcomers. What links them is quality of their output and high production capacity to meet potential export demands.
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All of the NEXT23 exhibitors have been coached through the CDI’s export development programme, which has supported over 70 businesses since inception. This programme has been running for several years and was initiated and run with the support of the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).
NEXT was launched in 2018, and has grown annually. This is the sixth consecutive year that the CDI has staged the exhibition (having gone entirely virtual during Covid), and the 2023 showcase builds on the momentum of previous success stories. Says Stewart, ‘Having witnessed the development and evolution of these exhibitors over time, it is particularly pleasing to see how their design sensibility has deepened as their commercial viability increases. We are really heartened when we see local makers being able to expand their businesses by broadening the size of their buying audiences through access to export market support, such as that provided by us at the CDI.’ NEXT23 will have a physical iteration at Decorex Cape Town, to enable visiting buyers – and members of the public – to view the new and exciting collections and ranges. Alongside this, a digital catalogue of the exhibition enables those not able to physically attend the show to purvey all the fresh directions online and access information about each of the exhibitors.
Pieces by all 24 NEXT23 participants will be on display for all four days of Decorex Cape Town, between 10h00 and 18h00, where guests will be able to engage with the CDI and the exhibitors themselves.
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