Young fashion designers in the making, Thapelo ‘Thaps’ Makhanya (14) and Jorja ‘Jorjie’ Jarvis (15), have won the first season of Ackerman’s “Style Squad” TV show, broadcast on Mzansi Magic

The winners claim the ultimate fashion prize; their very own designer range sold in Ackermans stores across Southern Africa.

Each winner also walks away with R10,000 in cash, an educational policy valued at R10 000, R5,000 toward their respective schools, a Style Squad Hamper, a professional photoshoot in their own clothing range, and a Foundation Fashion Course from the Cape Town College of Fashion Design after matriculation.

Style Squad Male Winner, Makhanya (14) from Germiston, Johannesburg says, “I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of Style Squad. It has taught me confidence and to be proud of my talents”.

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Claiming the title of Style Squad Female Winner, Cape Town’s Jarvis (15), who dreams of creating her own fashion empire, says, “I’m so blessed to have had this opportunity; it has taught me to stay true to myself”.

The final episode saw Ackermans Fashion Buying Team – Cally Adams, Daina Soutter and Thabana Khothule – as well as Advertising Specialist and Resident Judge Tanya Ruiters, sit on the judging panel.

The young participants were tasked with creating their final design pieces – a winter outfit crafted from fabrics that the contestants had chosen themselves

These outfits were exhibited to the judges in a fashion show where kids modelled the contestants‘ outfits without revealing the identity of the creator.

The 10-episode series showcased ten aspiring young designers from across South Africa, as they engaged in a series of weekly fashion challenges that tested their creativity and ingenuity in design.

While there can only be two winners, the judges praised the progress of each contestant, encouraging the young designers to further their individual journeys following the show. All 10 talented finalists have departed with a prize hamper and clothing vouchers, as well as official “bragging rights” that accompany starring in SA’s hottest young fashion design show.

Hosted by former Generations the Legacy actress, Candice Modiselle, the TV show has featured weekly celebrity guest judges, including Kentse Masilo, fashion designer and winner of Project Runway South Africa Season 1, Mzukisi Mbane, Khayelitsha local and self-taught designer and founder of Imprint, and Thato Matabane, founder of premium African fashion brand, AfrikanSwiss.

Advertising Specialist and Resident Judge Tanya Ruiters says, “Congratulations to Jorja and Thapelo on winning the first season of Ackermans Style Squad, and a special well done to all contestants.

“South Africans should keep their eyes peeled for the launch of these young designers’ Ackermans range in selected stores across Southern African from 3 April.”

For further info on Style Squad, visit the site here, or see what else they’ve been up to on the Ackermans YouTube Channel