Dion Chang has worked in various fields within the fashion and magazine industry for the past 15 plus years…long enough to know that trends, like any dish laced with garlic, inevitably repeat themselves.
He is a corporate trend analyst and design consultant, freelance journalist, columnist and social commentator. He currently works as a trend analyst, runs his own company, and is a freelance columnist and writer. He is an intrepid traveller and uses a global perspective to source new ideas, gauge the current zeitgeist and identify cutting edge trends. He works both locally as well as internationally, and is regarded as one of South Africa’s top trend analysts and social commentators.
Dion studied fashion design at the Natal Technikon in Durban, South Africa. He was awarded the “Emma Smith” scholarship, and continued with post-graduate studies in Paris at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, but after leaving the couture college, he switched his focus and trained as a make-up artist.
He worked as a make-up artist for 5 years in Paris, London and in South Africa, during which he gradually switched fashion disciplines again, to become a stylist and his portfolio brought him his first job offer to become a fashion editor, (for a teen magazine) on his return to South Africa.
Dion has worked as a fashion editor for the past ten years for the following publications; * Rooi Rose (fashion editor) * Cosmopolitan Zest (freelance – creative director) * True Love (fashion director) * Elle, South Africa (fashion editor/ fashion director/ editor at large) * Elle Man (editor) * As a fashion journalist, he has contributed to various publications including GQ, Marie Claire, SL, FHM, Financial Mail, the Mail & Guardian and The Sunday Times. Other Elle editions in Australia, Germany, India and South America have also published some of his work from Elle, South Africa.
He currently writes a monthly column called, “Fashionista @ Large” for Elle, South Africa and has previously contributed a column entitled “Metrosexual Mail” for Soccer Life magazine. He also writes varied columns for the Sunday Times and The Property magazine. His magazine career has won him 5 Mondi Magazine Awards for fashion editing, and one Pica Award for fashion journalism, and was eventually awarded the Mondi Habitual Winner’s Award in 2004.
He is the creator and artist behind the Gloria cartoon, which has appeared in every issue of Elle, South Africa, since it’s launch in South Africa. The cartoon character has been converted into a book that was published in October 2005. In 2006 he launched a 21st century, cyber, fashion portal for 3G cell phones in partnership with MTN.
Dion has also worked as a TV presenter. His television presenting credits include: * Magents – pilot series * Man to Man – full series * Elegance (Elle TV) – series one and two * He has also worked as a partner and co-producer/scriptwriter for Plexus Television. * In 2007 he appeared as chief judge in a 13 part, fashion reality programme called Fashion Your Future, on SABC 2.
Dion’s speaking and presenting skills extend to master of ceremonies duties. He has acted as MC for high profile functions like: the Elle/Sunday Times TV Style Awards, the SA Style Awards, the Guess model search, various store and art gallery openings as well as charity functions like Reach For A Dream.
He also presents trend and fashion related presentations for colleges and corporate companies. His clients include: Unilever, Daimler Chrysler, Mini Cooper, Markhams, and the Beauty Africa Expo.
CORPORATE FASHION CONSULTATION
As a consultant he has worked as the creative director of Africa Designs, a pan-African initiative by M*Net and Anglogold, which culminated in showcasing 4 young designers from the African continent at New York Fashion Week. He has also worked as the fashion director for the Face of Africa project, for M-Net and Anglogold and he has operated as a corporate consultant for Unilever SA, Levi’s, Smirnoff, Nike – South Africa, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Vlisco Textiles (Holland), for which he launched the Luxury African fashion brand – Aziza
In 2002 he joined the South African Fashion Week as their Program Director and spokesperson and it was at that particular SA Fashion Week’s Awards that he was nominated for, and received, the Industry Achiever Award.
In 2003 he was appointed to the judging panel for the Mondi Magazine Awards, and in 2004 he was invited to be part of an international selection panel for “Made in Africa” a new project for the St Etienne International Design Biennial.
In 2005 he launched “FLUX” – a social commentary service that identifies lifestyle trends that affect the way in which we live in the 21st century. He is currently assisting True Love magazine redefine a new fashion policy, and has also been appointed as convener, by Sanlam, to launch their new fashion journalism awards.
DEVELOPMENTAL WORK FOR THE S.A. FASHION INDUSTRY
Dion has worked as the national patron for the FED (Federation for Entrepreneurship and Development), Young Designer’s Workshop.
He was the chairman of the national judging panel for the Smirnoff International Fashion Awards.
He was also a consultant for the Mzanzi Designers Network, which promotes and assists postgraduate fashion students to network within the industry and he currently assists magazines in conceptualising fashion competitions that target young, emerging designers like: The Elle New Talent competition for the Sanlam South African Fashion Week, and the True Love Young Designer’s Competition, launched in June 2007.