13 of 2024

Newsletter No 13/12 April 2024

                                       

 

 

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Munkus: Modern, whimsical fashion of sustainable heritage

By Kemiso Wessie

Thando Ntuli of the label, Munkus  Image: Supplied / Twyg

Thando Ntuli’s label tells a shared story of home and community

Blending intergenerational dressing and playful personal style, Munkus offers timeless eclectic designs. The luxury brand’s classic silhouettes, bold colours, and unique prints define its ready-to-wear layering pieces for diverse styling. 

Founded by Thando Ntuli in 2019 with her final year collection at Fedisa in Cape Town, Munkus has humble beginnings. From the title of the initial collection, Umtwana wase khaya (child of home), to its textured, elegant, and statement-making ensembles, it reflects a familial sincerity that is a visual delight and a sustainably considered choice. 

After graduating, Ntuli briefly worked as a junior children’s-wear buyer but found it creatively unfulfilling. Opting to invest in herself, she resigned to focus on her label. 

Munkus is inspired by the stylish women in Ntuli’s Soweto family and is centred on the concept of borrowing garments from loved ones of varying ages, sizes, and interests and making them your own. Ntuli admires the “cool balance” of sexiness and modesty observed in the confident and carefree attitude of 1980s and 1990s SA culture. Munkus celebrates this nostalgia in its contemporary everyday pieces.

“I wanted to have a brand that [closed the age gap] and focused on other elements,” said Ntuli. 

Munkus, a term of endearment from her family, evokes a sense of home and comfort that permeates each design. The aim was to encapsulate the confidence and freedom experienced in the home, the result being clothing that radiates boldness, strength, and empowerment. Ntuli emphasises that the pieces should inspire wearers to embody the purest form of confidence — “who you are [at] home” she said.

Weaving her personal interests and experiences into each Munkus creation — from a love of anime, travels to Japan to a passion for visual storytelling and documentaries — Ntuli’s brand embraces vulnerability and authenticity like a hug from a relative. 

Employs storytelling

Ntuli’s family recognised and understood her talent for fashion design despite paediatric medicine and engineering aspirations. With her family’s unwavering support, she was able to pursue what was meant for her.

Ntuli employs storytelling to strengthen her designs reflecting an intrinsic part of SA culture. And she is happy that “the world is finally seeing that”. Recalling the quality, structure and longevity of late 20th-century fashion, the brand’s foundation lies in concepts rather than specific products, influenced by a love for art, colour, and various creative mediums. 

Elaborating on her design process, she says, “My most popular collections usually start with the concept [followed by] the print, the clothing and then everything else trickles from that.” 

Having swept up multiple awards at the 2023 Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards, Munkus has garnered acclaim for its trans-seasonal designs and thoughtful production practices. Ntuli is also the 2022 winner of the SA Fashion Week / Mr Price New Talent Search, which champions sustainability.

While it has become a widely discussed issue, Ntuli says sustainability has always been part of African culture. For Munkus, sustainability is a considered practice evident in block printing, layering, fabric choice, and weighing the associated costs. With layering key to the brand, wearers can customise their looks to express their mood, comfort, and personal style, rather than adhering to runway styling. The goal is longevity, with garments created to last and passed on, like the pieces Ntuli once borrowed from her relatives. 

Stimulated by social media and daily life, Ntuli navigates influences consciously, distinguishing between genuine inspiration and passing trends. She finds creative stimulation by exploring a wide range of artistic expressions within diverse fields such as art, music, and film. She emphasises the importance of staying true to one’s artistic vision. “Stay in your own bubble [and] listen to your own opinion,” she said.

Celebrates resilience

Ntuli believes that when individuals pursue their unique vision, they often find that the pieces they initially considered unconventional are the ones most appreciated by their audience. “It keeps you being creative.” 

Her upcoming collection at SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024 is a celebration of resilience and influence, inspired by those who are making their mark in society, reflecting each person’s personality and experience. The collection, which has a focus on plaid, hasn’t been titled yet.

While her heritage is imbued in the foundation of Munkus, Ntuli’s present preferences shape its modern essence. The designer says the brand’s future will be more experimental, balancing tradition with modernity inspired by Japanese fashion and focusing on locally sourced resources and craftsmanship.

Looking to more carefully considered concepts and a pivot to a documentative approach, Munkus will continue to incorporate elements of traditional SA silhouettes with modern design sensibilities, focusing on “what was great [then] and why it would be great to implement now”.

SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024 happens from April 18 – 20 at Mall of Africa.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jet Takes Flight on Bash

     

Jet, a beloved value fashion brand in South Africa, proudly announces its debut on Bash. This collaboration not only marks the launch of Jet’s long-awaited online presence but also solidifies Bash’s standing as the number one South African fashion and lifestyle shopping app.

 As part of TFG’s portfolio of speciality lifestyle and apparel brands since 2020, Jet has been synonymous with value-driven offerings, spanning fashion and homeware. However, until now, accessing Jet’s extensive range has primarily been through physical stores. With Jet’s arrival on Bash, shoppers can now effortlessly explore and purchase Jet products with just a few taps, bringing TFG’s vision of providing remarkable omnichannel experiences for its customers closer to fruition.

 “We are thrilled about this partnership with Bash, as it not only signifies a significant milestone for Jet but also underscores our steadfast commitment to delivering exceptional value and convenience to our customers,” said, Jeannine De Chaud, Head of Jet. “Together with Bash, we are poised to redefine the shopping experience and set new standards of excellence in value retailing.”

 In welcoming Jet to the Bash platform, Claude Hanan and Luke Jedeikin, co-founders of Bash, emphasized their shared commitment to supporting local suppliers. “With an impressive 72% of Jet’s apparel sourced locally, this not only fosters increased job creation but also crucial support for South African businesses,” stated Hanan and Jedeikin. “This unique aspect distinguishes Jet from fast-growing local and international online competitors offering affordable fashion. It reinforces our confidence in our ability to effectively compete while championing local businesses and contributing to the growth of our economy.”

 Looking ahead, Bash is eager to explore the potential of this partnership and reimagine the shopping experience both online and in-store. With innovative advancements in store technology currently in testing, Bash aims to usher in a new era of growth and innovation, providing customers with a remarkable omnichannel journey that seamlessly integrates the best of online and offline shopping experiences.

Jet is available to shop online, exclusively at Bash. To shop the brand now, simply download the Bash app or visit Bash.com/JET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquisition of Tiffany Clothing
 

 
 

We are proud to announce the acquisition of Tiffany Clothing, a manufacturer of denim jeans and chinos under the Ventini and Relax brands, which was successfully led by Mr Yacoob Ballim for an impressive 35 years.  We are honoured to continue the legacy that he has built.
 
Effective from 25th March 2024, Tiffany Clothing operations is now a part of Lorenzini Clothing, which will add a great complement to our existing core shirting business as well as our recently introduced mens hats and formal trouser ranges.
 
The current representative structure will remain intact with both Lorenzini Agents and Tiffany Clothing Agents continuing to serve your needs. We kindly request that all future orders be placed directly with Lorenzini Clothing.
 
We are committed to maintaining the exceptional standards that Mr. Yacoob Ballim has established over the years.

 

 

 

Mr Price – financial assistance

Shareholders were given notice, in terms of section 45(5) of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (“the Act”), that the Board of Directors (“Board”) has authorised the Company to provide, from time to time until the end of the 2025 financial period being 29 March 2025, financial assistance to a maximum of R50 million to its related or inter-related companies.

 

 

 

 

 

80% of Apparel is Made by Young Women Between the Ages of 18 and 24

Besides the environmental impacts, fast fashion also has huge social repercussions.. Low price tags are often a signal that something is wrong behind the scenes. Too often, the industry is associated with issues such as child labour, the exploitation of workers as well as violations of basic workers’ rights, such as the lack of safety rules, low salaries, and excessive working hours. Fast fashion brands prioritise mass production and profit over human welfare. Some go as far as describing the fast fashion industry as a ‘modern form of slavery’. A 2018 US Department of Labour report found evidence of forced and child labour in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, and Vietnam. 

 

 

 

 

 

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