The launch of Hyundai’s young-at-heart, new crossover SUV offers our best fashion students the Christmas gift they really wanted – their designs starring in this styling new commercial.

The world has evolved to where a new car can be as tailored to your style and personality as a fresh outfit for the festive season which is what inspired Hyundai and the proudly South African Villioti Fashion Institute to collaborate in a runway show celebrating the work of two young designers and the launch of the new KONA SUV

Sit comfortably behind the wheel of the KONA and take every trip to the next level with its advanced technology, inspired aerodynamics and enhanced performance.

The fashion show took place among the classic aviation designs at Rand Airport and set the tone for collections which, like the KONA, are for the young at heart. The funds that were raised from the evening are in support of two scholarships for local new fashion talents.

“This collaboration is really to celebrate fashion and these upcoming future leaders in design. The KONA is all about celebrating colour and bringing magic to the world through inspiration. We have a beautiful car and we really just wanted to bring this collaboration – in terms of juxtaposing the car and fashion – and giving students a great chance to showcase their collections,” explains Nontokozo Biyam, Brand Manager at Hyundai.

The Fashion Institute takes its name from Spero Vilioti, a successful designer of thirty years. This latest collaboration is an example of how the institution puts the students at the forefront of such a competitive industry.

“An initiative, like working with Hyundai, is extremely important because it gives our students major exposure. They took an interest in young South African designers, who need all the promotion they can get because you go to all the stores here and we see other brands, but we don’t see South African designer brands. What Hyundai has done is really amazing to help build South African careers within fashion because the talent in this country is beyond,” comments Spero Vilioti. 

The students benefited from this industry leading brand choosing to not only do a fashion show with them, but to film a commercial featuring their designs front and centre. 

“The thing that excites me the most about working with Hyundai is their creativeness. I mean, when they decided that they were going to use our students’ clothes for their advert, coupled with the design of the car and the style of the advert, it was very fashion forward, and we loved it. I mean, it’s a great brand!” adds Spero. 

We seized the opportunity to hear first hand about the experience from the two students, Aimee Foord and Nicola Rainsford, whose designs were selected from the showcase to feature in the KONA commercial.

Designer Aimee grew up in Kwa-Zulu Natal and excelled in art, history and English at school. Skills, which together with a powerful social message, were each expressed in her theme for the runway show. 

“My collection that was showcased at the fashion show was inspired by the current situation in South Africa, in terms of gender-based violence (GBV). As a woman living in this country, we’re often met with all of these terrifying statistics on a daily basis but we don’t really honour the names behind those statistics. This collection was a kind of memorial piece to honour those names, and included hand embroidery throughout the collection of GBV victims that have died in the past few years. One of the key pieces in this collection is a cropped blazer with bow-like details on the shoulders. Creating this power shouldered look.”  

Aimee’s chosen piece was a vibrant, dramatic outfit that showed fantastic variety.  

“As a student, the experience of shooting the commercial with Hyundai I think was highly beneficial. I was surrounded by so much talent. It was so interesting to learn from other creatives. I learned so much on the day that I don’t think you can really learn in a classroom, and it was just so exciting,” shares Aimee. 

For honours student Nicola Rainsford, having her designs chosen for the Hyundai KONA ad, confirming her belief that irrespective of the language you speak, fashion can always start a conversation. Nicola’s combination scuba and pleather collection ensures you’re going to be noticed this Summer too.

“My collaboration with the Hyundai team for the advert was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. It was my first experience and they made it amazing. From the beginning when we all met, seeing my clothes and choosing which one they wanted, to being on set. They were always so supportive and made me feel like my collection is amazing. The Hyundai  team is honestly amazing!”    

In what you wear or drive, it’s about being stylish, driven and above all – unafraid to be yourself. To deep dive into the specifics of the feature-packed Hyundai KONA, visit





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