Apr 2, 2021

NEXT21, A Virtual Exhibition

South African craft and design brands

Discover the latest furniture, lighting, textiles, fashion accessories and homeware from 23 leading South African designers. Take a virtual walk through of the NEXT21 exhibition, online using the latest interactive video exhibition technology. Now in its 4th edition, the annual NEXT Trade Exhibition is an initiative of the South African Craft and Design Institute (CDI), which Craftscurator helped set up in 2018.

All 23 of the NEXT21 exhibitors have been coached through the CDI’s export development programme, which has supported over 70 businesses since inception. The CDI is a South African non-profit company with two decades of success in developing creative people, small businesses and the craft and design sector at large.

The export development 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). Craftscurator coached the companies in the programme from 2015-2019 on behalf of CBI, which saw an average of over 50% increase in export sales (from 2016 to 2018 to European markets). The 2019 and 2020 events drew in dozens of international trade buyers from a diverse array of countries such as Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy and the US amongst other countries, many of whom travelled to Cape Town specifically for the trade exhibition in the past.

Says the CDI’s CEO Erica Elk: “Covid-19 has seen a major disruption to travel and impacted many global design industry events; through the use of technology we have enabled new avenues for international trade, which enables a greater number of buyers to find beautiful South African products.”

NEXT21 constitutes the first-ever digital expo for the CDI and will provide a dynamic video walkthrough for viewers. The online exhibition showcases a wide variety of export-ready producers who will all be launching brand-new, ready-to-order ranges on the platform. The participating businesses hail from across the nation and represent the best of South African craft and design. Exhibitors include a mix of well-established brands and rising stars such as Africa Ignite, Modern Gesture, Design Afrika, Ozzy Eco Décor and Studio Stirling, amongst others.

CDI NEXT21 Virtual Exhibition

More information on South African exporters can be found in the posts on NEXT19, NEXT18 and SA@Maison & Objet

Design Afrika's basketry totems
in the virtual exhibit
Africa Ignite's hand embroidery
to explore online
Furniture and lighting on your screen
Sak's Corner + Modern Gesture
Close-up of lights
by Modern Gesture
Handwoven towels
by Barrydale
Precise patterns
by Saks Corner
Felted wool and mohair
by Chic Fusion
African basketry
by Design Afrika
Home textiles
by African Jacquard