10 of 2018



Newsletter No. 10                                                                                                                                                                          23 March 2018

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CTIJF workshop weave thread between fashion and business

Wayne van der Rheede

The annual Wear SA Fashion Festival kicked off on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, at the VOC Room, Cape Sun Hotel, with its annual free hosting of the Wear SA Fashioning the Future workshop.

In collaboration with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) and its broad programme of youth-oriented skills development, the annual Wear SA Fashion Festival kicked off on Tuesday 20 March 2018, at the VOC Room, Cape Sun Hotel, with its annual free hosting of the Wear SA Fashioning the Future workshop. This year’s theme was centred around ‘Designing Tomorrow’s Fashionpreneurs’.

The fashion Industry is one of the most coveted in the world. So, why do so few fashion students in South Africa successfully break into, or innovate a sustainable career, in the diverse world that is the apparel business?

Golden opportunity

The global fashion industry is worth $3tn, yet sub-Saharan Africa accounts for less than 1% of this…. A staggering statistic considering the apparel and textile industry has the ability to create numerous income opportunities and positively advance the country’s fiscal and social economy. (Even President Ramaphosa mentioned the sector and its potential in his State of the Nation Address in February).

South Africa’s youth unemployment rate is currently one of the highest in the world – at a frightening 52.2%* – and as everyone needs to be clothed, it represents a golden opportunity for not only designers, but pattern cutters, textile developers, trim specialists, embroiderers, merchandisers, writers and so many more, to put their best fashion foot forward. What once was a thriving contributor to our economy is poised again to make a cutting comeback – modern, sleek, and more professional, better able to endure and evolve.

New millennium territory
“But first we need to arm the next wave of fashionpreneurs, with the knowledge and skills to make it, not only in the competitive fashion world but in business,” says Wayne van der Rheede, spokesperson for Wear SA. “The 2018 Wear SA Fashioning the Future Workshop will seek to kickstart this process by presenting a facilitated panel discussion and mentoring forum for fashion college students and budding fashionpreneurs. It is vital that we bridge this gap as soon as possible…”

The workshop tackled the ‘new millennium’ territory and fashion philosophy around the business of fashion and why fashion landmines destroy potential, talent and success. Industry experts and iconic fashionpreneurs anchored the panel, providing first-hand insight, advice and opinions around why there is such tremendous designer talent in South Africa, but few go on to develop long-term profitable businesses.

Panellists included:

  • Herman Pillay – managing director of TCI Apparel
  • Tamsyn Johannisen – designer of the brands, Democracy of Denim and Wear SA
  • Annette De Wet – founder and editor of online magazine, Magenta
  • Siya Beyile – founder of online platform for men’s fashion and lifestyle, The Threaded Man
  • Bokang Lehabe – director and head designer at Bookha Creations.

*statistics as per Trading Economics and reflect the period to second quarter 2017.


Queenspark doubles operating profit as new strategy ‘progresses well’

Robert Laing

Clothing chain Queenspark managed to grow sales 13% and more than doubled its operating profit to R7m from R3.2m, the interim results of its pyramid of JSE-listed holding companies showed.

Queenspark is owned by Rex Trueform, which in turn is owned by African and Overseas Enterprises. Each of these has two classes of shares issued on the JSE.

Former Hosken Consolidated Investments chairperson Marcel Golding replaced Michael Krawitz as the chairperson of both Rex Trueform and African and Overseas Enterprises, in September.

Rex Trueform’s interim revenue grew 13% to R318m and its after-tax profit grew 87% to R8m, the results statement said.

Queenspark opened eight new stores during the period under review, bringing its total number of stores to 69.

“The Queenspark strategy includes the introduction of new brands to complement the existing ranges. A number of new brands, together with new product categories, were introduced during the period under review in an endeavor to provide an improved offering to customers. This new strategy, although in its infancy, is progressing well,” the company said in the results statement.

Besides the retail chain, the group owns an office park complex which grew its operating profit to R4.9m from R4m.

It intends developing two more properties in the Cape Town area.
MOT Handover Ownership of Production Factory to Kenyan Designer

Eco-fashion house, the Ministry of Tomorrow, known for its eco-luxury, vegan accessories and garments, has announced that it has assigned complete ownership of its Nairobi production facility to Michelle Aricha aka “Coco Chanel” who has been the facilities general manager and lead designer for the past 4 years.

The Nairobi factory represents the Ministry of Tomorrow’s flagship production facility and was built by the fashion house to sponsor skilled tailors who are recruited from within Kibera, just outside of Nairobi in Kenya, to make designer unisex bags, while creating sustainable livelihoods for its employees.

As women’s empowerment is a core Ministry of Tomorrow objective, the label recruited Michelle to manage its Nairobi eco-factory that produces vegan luxury bags exclusively for the company, and it granted her full ownership of the factory on International Women’s Day on March 8.

Ministry of Tomorrow founder and president, Julian Prolman, said: “We planned from the start that Michelle would one day own the facility. The day has come. With production and quality milestones achieved, ownership of the Nairobi facility was fittingly transferred to Michelle on International Women’s Day 2018.”

Michelle Aricha will continue to oversee all aspects of design and production and assure employees are paid fair wages, receive bonuses based on quality production and are able to work in a safe, comfortable, and clean environment, and the facility will remain an exclusive production source of luxury vegan bags for Ministry of Tomorrow.

“I am proud to be a business owner and am determined to follow in the footsteps of Coco Chanel, to become a successful fashion designer and businesswoman in the eco-fashion arena,” said Michelle “Coco Chanel” Aricha. “I am most grateful for the opportunity that Ministry of Tomorrow has provided me and everyone at the factory.”

The Ministry of Tomorrow is headquartered in Los Angeles and is a for-profit social enterprise that designs and produces high-quality, eco-luxury, vegan accessories and garments and markets direct to consumers via its own e-commerce website.

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Did you know……..

Black Teeth

In early Tudor England, sugar wasn’t readily available. By the time that Elizabeth I came around, it was everywhere (though at a very high cost), and the Virgin Queen had a thing for sweets. According to The Telegraph, her teeth were black and decaying, and some folks even complained that it was hard to understand her. Though Elizabeth’s teeth were a product of a sweet tooth (and a whole lot of neglect), they also sparked a short-lived fashion trend in England: Women purposefully blackened their teeth to prove that they had enough money to buy sugar.

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