11 of 2023

Newsletter No 11/24 March 2023                              


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South African Fashion Week Spring Summer 2023 and the Shaping of the New Fashion Future

The knitting of collaborative networks and the shaping of a sustainable fashion future for South Africa – these will be some of the most exhilarating trends to watch at South African Fashion Week (SAFW)’s Spring Summer 23 Collections at the Mall of Africa from 20 – 23 April 2023.

Now in its 26th year, the country’s top fashion design platform, organized with the support of  Mall of Africa, Mr. Price, Cruz Vodka, Oppo, Carlton Hair and M.A.C make-up, the South African Fashion Week SS23 will host 11 shows over three days and show 39 collections.

It will also host both a contingent of designers and models from neighbouring Mozambique Fashion Week as well as this year’s participants in the ground-breaking collaborative Italian/South African Fashion Bridges – I Ponti della Moda project. “Regional and intercontinental collaborations such as these, allow all parties to knit networks of beneficial mutual support. They allow us to share skills and insights, open unexplored business opportunities, and ultimately, to extend the sphere of our respective creative visions to beyond our familiar borders,” says director Lucilla Booyzen.

According to Booyzen, the return of fashion chain, Mr Price, as the headline sponsor of the New Talent Search, marks another exciting development. Traditionally the opening show of the new season as well as one of the most watched events for its’ proven track record for early detection of the top emerging creatives, this year’s entrants were again challenged to demonstrate their talent for print development as well as their unreserved commitment to a sustainable fashion future. “The support of a leading fashion mover and shaker such as Mr Price gives immeasurable impetus to the determination of our new generation of designers to clean up fashion’s act with an unequivocal commitment to sustainable and healthy practice.”

“Mr Price has a been long-standing champion for discovering and supporting local designers through our partnership with Elle Rising Star and most recently our Creative Collabs Design competition series. As two industry players driven by our love for fashion, we are so excited to partner with SAFW and provide further opportunities to South Africa’s next generation of designers and a platform to amplify their talent,” says Donovan Baney, Managing Director of Mr Price.

The 2023 Mr Price New Talent Search, will introduce the following designers and their labels:

Mmathabo Silika: Silika

Kuhle Phumzile Zondo: E_Mania

Caileigh Davis: Silver Magpie

Athenkosi Takuta: Artae

Lwandle Duma: Lwavant-Garde

Oyama Gonintebe

Juanie Van Wyk: Juanie

Cyla Gonsolves: Cyla Gonsolves

Sifiso Kunene: Messrsbasswood

The 2022 winner of the search, Thando Ntuli, will close the show with her Isikhathi /Time SS23 Munkus collection.

The value of a designer platform such as SAFW, extends to the industries that are integral to the whole “look and feel” of a given season too, says Booyzen. “The new hairstyle and make-up looks presented on the seasonal collections ramps are equally critical to the serious industry observers.”

MAC national artist, Mokgadi Shogole, echoes Booyzen’s views. “The partnership between MAC and SAFW is driven by the pillars of individuality and diversity which taps into the different passion points of our consumers. The collaboration allows a platform for all to be authentically themselves and for MAC, fashion and trendsetting has always been an important pillar for the brand. Joining forces with SAFW provides the opportunity to blend the world’s fashion and beauty, tailoring looks for the African consumer, while highlighting MAC makeup and artistry in its purest form. MAC and SAFW believe in being the voice of visual arts and beauty for all where wearable and wow’able trends are born backstage for each season.”

The Cruz Collective, sponsored by the handcrafted, premium vodka, which according to Cruz’s Maisha Mmabolo, aligns with the spirit of fashion as culture, craft and attitude, introduces the new collections by inaugural Fashion Bridges participants, Sipho Mabuto and Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu, as well as East-meets-African Elysian-Ego collection by Cape Town-based, Michael Ludwig Studio.

Listed in 2013 by Forbes magazine as one of Africa’s best young entrepreneurs, Thula Sindi, owner of the renowned Africa Rise retail collective for South African designers, returns to SAFW where he debuted his first range in 2005. He will launch his  “From a selection” –  a visitation of the past, elevated, revisited collection – a tribute to the customers who support the Africa Rise designers.

Jacques van der Watt’s exploration of three dimensional clothing as he unveils what he calls “a love letter to the exaggerated silhouettes of his Classic Couture Collections of the past” for iconic brand, Black Coffee SS23 as well as the tailored craftmanships of SAFW stalwart, Hangwani Nengovhela’s Rubicon brand, and the fashion-forward Essie SS23 collection, will complete the OPPO Collections line-up.

“South Africa is often viewed as the fashion capital of Africa, given its rich cultural multiplicity. In the last two years of OPPO’s partnership with South African Fashion Week, we have seen this come alive from working with some of the country’s top creative talent. The partnership has enabled us to create opportunities for young designers to access affordable resources that enable them to take designs from paper to the runway. This is a partnership we value, as we have successfully been able to fuse talent and opportunity with everything that the OPPO brand and our Reno8 Series represents in authentic aesthetics, style, technology, and design.” Avashnee Moodley, Head of Marketing at OPPO South Africa.

The third edition of Fashion Bridges – I Ponti della Moda, the collaboration between the Italian embassy and its partners Polimoda Firenze, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana, in collaboration with South African Fashion Week, will introduce the new collections of Italian designer, Federico Cina, a finalist in the 2022 LVMH Prize for young fashion designers, and South African, Lezanne Viviers, who debuted her Viviers Studio signature at Milan Fashion Week earlier this year.

All the designers showing collections at South African Fashion Week this season, including Federico Cina, will also meet fashion institutes, trade associations, media and companies to exchange experiences, knowledge and creative styles.

Four signatures – geographically separated but united in their passion for sustainable fashion-making – Cape Town-based Research Unit, Pretoria-based Isabel de Villiers and Bam Collective, and Belhauzen  originally from Johannesburg, complete the second day programme.

SAFW’s commitment to the organic development of the local design industry by developing and introducing new creative talents to the market, is evidenced in the line-up of the five menswear signatures comprising respective Scouting Menswear winners Boyde by Samkelo Boyde Xaba, in 2020 and Refuse Clothing in 2022, as well as 2022 finalist Gugu by Gugu and family-based collective, Fuata Moyo.

Helen Gibbs unveils the clean and uncluttered, season less and earth-friendly Helon Melon 2023 collection in a double bill with creative hub, Artclub and Friends.

In a celebration of local fashion heritage, Vanya Mangaliso joins forces with one of SAFW’s best-loved menswear designers,  Ephraim Molingoana, to respectively unveil the Sungoddess and Ephymol 2023 collections.

A first-ever collaboration between the Mozambique and South African Fashion Weeks wraps up SS23 with a grand finale showcasing of Mozambiquan signatures Chibaia, Mabenna, and Cuccla, accompanied by four top Mozambican models, Rachel Mbiza, Chantel Tomo, Rússel António and Ivanildo Lourenço.

“The cross-border regional meeting of fashion minds represents a significant opportunity to advance a responsible and sustainable vision in the development process of the fashion industry in both Mozambique and South Africa. It is an initiative that will help undoubtedly create jobs for young people and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in our collective industries,” says Vasco Rocha founder of MFW.

Additionally, promoting cultural and creative industries is a powerful way to boost the local economy and empower communities, Rocha concluded. “Mall of Africa has had the privilege of hosting the South African Fashion Week for the past three years. In this time, we have been delighted by the exceptional calibre of fashion design talent at its seasonal collections.

We know our consumers are increasingly wanting to express a contemporary, yet uniquely African, fashion identity, and therefore draw enormous reassurance from the prospect of adding many more local success stories like Laduma Ngxokolo’s iconic Xhosa-inspired signature, to our tenant mix,” says Leemisa Tsolo, head of Asset and Property Management – Retail of Attacq Limited, the owners of Mall of Africa.
For more information contact:
Lucilla Booyzen – lucilla@safashionweek.co.za
Jill Grogor – zebrasquare@global.co.za

Countdown to 2023 Buy Local Summit & Expo

By Anele Zikali

All roads lead to the Sandton Convention Centre for the 11th edition of the Proudly South African Buy Local Summit and Expo.

Speaking at a media launch on Thursday, Proudly SA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eustace Mashimbye, said the intention of the summit is to ensure locally produced products are exposed.

“In this way, we can save jobs in those companies and get them to create much needed new job opportunities because you will be buying from them.

Now in its 11th year, the 2023 edition of the two-day summit will for the first time be held in a physical venue post the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also be livestreamed.

The theme this year is ‘Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs through Localisation’.

One of the key highlights of the summit this year will be the honoring of the legendary writer and actor, Dr. John Kani, who will be given a lifetime achievement award by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The President will also give a keynote address at the localisation dinner.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi will do the welcoming on the first day, and the Minister of Trade and Industry (dtic), Ebrahim Patel, and the Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni Abrahams, will also address the gathering.

Proudly South African expressed words of gratitude to its supportive partners, sponsors in business and government.

Proudly SA Chief Marketing Officer, Happy Ngidi, gave a sneak preview of what people can expect at the summit.

“There will be robust discussions that will take place, and this includes the energy crisis. The focus will be on looking for localised solutions on the existing renewable energy products.

“We will showcase the value chain behind the local fashion and clothing textile industry, local brewery and its beneficiaries, automotive industry, family businesses and the food industry. The question for everyone is, ‘Are you buying local?’,” said Ngidi.

There will be a presentation by Mashimbye of local procurement pledges from 20 companies.

Consumer registration for the 11th annual Buy Local Summit & Expo is free and visitors can join in any of the sessions. For more, visit www.proudlysa.co.za.

No escaping worst excesses of load-shedding for retailers

By Chris Gilmour

Picture: Freddy Mavunda FM

Clothing, footwear, textiles & leather chains less affected than retailers of perishables, Stats SA January sales show

Now that Black Friday and Christmas are long gone, the dreary reality of depressed retail spending by consumers seems about to crystallise.

This is clear from Stats SA’s January retail trade sales.

Key is the impact of load-shedding, which is hitting in different ways, depending on the retail category. Clothing, footwear, textiles & leather retailers appear to be less severely affected than fast-moving consumer goods retailers that rely heavily on refrigeration.

Load-shedding has been enacted at fairly high stages daily this year and there are no signs of it abating. That pattern is being reflected in these figures, as clothing, footwear, textiles & leather as a category was the best relative performer of all the retailing categories in January, while fast-moving consumer goods, comprising mainly the food retailers, was the worst-performing category.

Shoppers are thus still buying discretionary items such as clothing, footwear, textiles & leather goods while cutting back on goods that require in-store or at-home refrigeration. This may appear counterintuitive in a high interest-rate environment, but certain clothing, footwear, textiles & leather retailers, notably Truworths, are advancing more credit for purchases. This trend of outperformance by the clothing, footwear, textiles & leather category seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

At constant 2019 prices, year-on-year retail sales fell 0.8%. The largest negative contributors to this decrease were retailers in food, beverages and tobacco in specialised stores (-7.3% and contributing -0.7 of a percentage point); and hardware, paint and glass (-4.8% and contributing -0.4 of a percentage point). The largest positive contributor was retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods (4.3% and contributing 0.8 of a percentage point).

Most discretionary

Hardware, paint & glass, a proxy for the home improvement, or DIY category, has had a torrid time since the “homebody economy” ran its course, with fewer people now working from home as the coronavirus pandemic has retreated. Companies such as Cashbuild are reflecting this poor background. There are few if any signs of them turning around soon.

Probably the single most discretionary category of shopping is furniture and household furniture, appliances & equipment, as this category incorporates big-ticket items such as furniture and electronic equipment such as audio and TV. Perhaps not surprisingly, year-on-year growth in this category has been negative for two consecutive months, December 2022 and January 2023, albeit only marginally so. Before that, there was profound strength in this category, presumably reflecting strong November sales that would have incorporated the Black Friday trading period. Now, with no occasions to celebrate, this category is relatively weak.

The pharmaceuticals and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries category is often perceived to be resistant to downturns in consumer spending, but not according to these stats. This category has been showing negative year-on-year growth for at least the past six months, a pattern that can be at least partially rationalised due to consumers becoming less concerned about keeping their immune systems strong in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. This is also reflected in the PE ratios of Clicks and Dis-Chem falling back from extremely rarefied levels in recent months.

As 2023 runs its course, the impact of load-shedding will continue to be felt and there will be no escaping its worst excesses. The large supermarket chains have all calculated how much load-shedding is costing the companies and the inflationary impact it is having throughout the economy.

The clothing, footwear, textiles & leather retailers have also installed various mechanisms to cope with load-shedding, mainly involving battery backup. Most of their businesses have been insulated against the scourge. While the cost of doing this is much smaller than what is required for refrigeration, it is not inconsiderable.   BL

Gilmour is an investment analyst.

The Most Outrageous Looks From the 2018 Grammy Awards

Alison Krauss

Yes, this dress does loosely resemble a couch cushion, but color looks stunning against Krauss’ honey blonde hair.


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