14 of 2023

Newsletter No 14/14 April 2023                              


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Buy Local expo ends on high note

The 11th annual Buy Local Summit & Expo has been declared a success after it wrapped up earlier this week on a high note.

The two-day summit was officially opened by Minister Ebrahim Patel of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) on 27 March at the Sandton Convention Centre.

On the first day, Patel and Gauteng Premier Lesufi walked the exhibition floor, engaging with the exhibitors, where the Minister seized an opportunity to connect PG Bison (a timber manufacturer) with a bespoke local furniture manufacturer for future collaborations. Thereafter, Lesufi purchased a locally made tie by designer Ledikana.

Patel said the exhibition was vital in growing the South African economy.

“This expo clearly demonstrated to South Africans the talent, the industrial capability and the products that South Africans can produce. Localisation is important because, very often, countries succeed because they believe in themselves.

“We can talk ourselves into a depression, and we can talk ourselves into failure, or we can believe in our own capabilities and own abilities to produce world-class products that we can export, not only to neighbouring countries but to other parts of the world.

“The Buy Local Summit & Expo also provided an opportunity for people to talk about the challenges they face and discuss potential solutions for the future of the South African economy,” he said.

Bongiwe Zwane officiated the panel discussions programme, which was a key feature of the conference experience. These thought-provoking dialogues covered an array of relevant topics that drive localisation and its impact on job creation and economic transformation.

Patel referenced one of the Expo’s highly anticipated panel discussions on day one, The Electricity Crisis: Localisation Opportunities In The Renewable Energy Industry, facilitated by Jeremy Maggs.

It included panellists Justin Schmidt, who is the Head of New Development at Absa Group, Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Senior Economist: TIPS/ Facilitator of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM); Christo Fourie, Head of Energy at IDC; Eddy Mokobodi, Proudly South African member and founder of Sakisa and Mamiki Matlawa, Group Business Development Manager for Actom.

The informative and jam-packed programme under the theme Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs through Localisation included a localisation panel discussion led by economist Dr Iraj Abedian that featured NEDLAC’s overall convenor for civil society Thulani Tshefutha as well as Riefdah Ajam, General Secretary: FEDUSA and Michael Lawrence, Executive Director at the National Clothing Retail Federation (NCRF).

Driving localisation in the Sugar industry featured Dr Thomas Funke, CEO of SA Canegrowers; BevSA’s executive director, Mpho Thothela; Tony Da Fonseca, managing director at OBC Group, the dtic’s Imameleng Mothebe, director agro-processing as well as culinary and pastry chef Kelvin Joel in a conversation on South African Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan to 2023.

Summit day 2

Day 2 of the Expo featured a keynote address by Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Small Business Development.

Discussing the role of Localisation In Revitalising The Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather Sector – in a discussion facilitated by Gugulethu Mfuphi – were Natasja Ambrosio, Head of Sustainability: Mr Price Group; Courtney Barnes, Head Buyer Led Value Chains: B&M Analysts; Dr. Nimrod Zalk, Deputy Director General: Industrial Competitiveness and Growth Division: the dtic and Ashley Benjamin, General Secretary: Nulaw.

Jeannine van Straaten, Executive: Strategy, Stakeholder Relations and Legal: Proudly SA; Donald Valoyi, founder and CEO at Zulzi; Hillyne Jonkerman, Group CEO: Bizzmed and Laurian Venter, Sales Director: One Day Only discussed Driving Localisation Through E-Commerce.

Other Day 2 highlights included the panel discussion Local Is Lekker: Why Telling Our Own Authentic Local Story Is Absolutely Critical featuring Phathu Makwarela (co-founder of Tshedza Pictures); Mphile Shabalala (Manager: Content CSI at MultiChoice); Thomas Mlambo (sports TV broadcaster); and Ntando Zikalala (founder and CEO To the Max Management) and facilitated by Sibu Mabena.

The expo’s final panel discussion Ziyakhala Manje facilitated by Proudly SA’s chief marketing officer, Happy MaKhumalo Ngidi, focused on supporting local value chains in the events industry with participants from some of South Africa’s biggest festivals including Delicious, Joy of Jazz, Back to the City, the Feather Awards, Open Mic, and the Rage Festival. Sharing their vast wealth of experience and knowledge were  Funeka Peppeta, media director of DStv Delicious Festival; Osmic Menoe: Director, Ritual Media Group; Thami Dish, founder of the Feather Awards; Advocate Nkateko Maluleke, MD of Open Mic; Mantwa Chinoamadi, CEO of Joy Of Jazz; Kgosi Rampa, founder of Locrate Market who present the Makhelwane Festival; Lesley Mofokeng, spokesperson for the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA) and Brendan Keen of Rage Festival.

Eustace Mashimbye, CEO of Proudly South African said: “We are delighted with the turnout for the Summit. We have always said the summit would expose locally produced products as widely as possible. In this way, we can save jobs in those companies and get them to create much-needed new job opportunities. We believe that we are succeeding in our mandate.”

The 2023 Buy Local Summit & Expo featured more than 200 high-quality home-grown goods and service providers who showcased everything from pharmaceutical, local fashion, and health products to stylish furniture and electronics for home and office use, delicious food and drink products, and jewellery and textiles.

During the expo, South African corporates – including the Absa Group, Aspen, OBC Group, Mr Price Group, and Twizza – committed to supporting the localisation movement. These large corporates shared a commitment to an uplifting ethos that promotes social and economic change and progress. They will continue to contribute meaningfully to building South Africa’s economy, alleviating unemployment and retaining existing employment opportunities.

The event ended with a special Presidential Localisation Dinner with keynote address from Deputy President of the Republic, Paul Mashatile.

“We cannot have economic growth without localisation. The study done by [Proudly SA] confirms the link between localisation and economic growth and the different steps that the private and public sectors need to take in this area,” he said.

The dinner also saw the launch of Proudly SA’s latest commercial, Second Half, which aims to further promote buying local to South Africans from all corners of the country.

The 2023 Buy Local Summit & Expo Partners include ABSA, Sasol, Aspen, Sizwe IT, Southern Sun, GCIS, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, SA Breweries, the dtic, Brand South Africa and Trade and Industry KZN (TiKZN). – SAnews.gov.za

10 key trends seen at South African Menswear Week – AW23

Meagan Duckitt takes a look at the key trends at South African Menswear Week – AW23 which ran from 30 March to 1 April 2023 at Wonderland Film Studios in Cape Town.

Simon Deiner spearheads the shows and exceeds expectations every year. It’s to no surprise that the famous Wonderland Film Studios was packed to capacity and was the perfect venue for an equally extravagant lineup of expert designers such as Gavin Rajah, Kluk CGdT, Leigh Schubert, Jacques La Grange and many more.

Gavin Rajah opened fashion week with his collection of ladieswear at Cabo Beach Club.

Entrepreneur, ex miss South Africa and Miss Universe 1st runner up Basetsana Kumalo introduced her collection as a depiction of ‘Love and Light’.

Fabrics utilised included beautiful plush velour’s, crochet, satins, georgettes and burnouts in 70’s silhouettes such as halter maxi dresses, dungarees, pleated sheer skirts, trench coats, tiered skirts, denims, and finished off with fringing, piping, feather edging, etc.

The ambience of the coastal wind and waves set the perfect backdrop for his range of occasionwear.

The rest of the weekend continued at the Wonderland Fil Studios and some of the top trends included:

1. Patched

We saw a continuation of the utility trend carried on from Summer 23 with a more sophisticated adaptation in ladieswear with simple satin cargo pants whereas menswear explored more statement pockets as chest details on tops and soft suiting on jackets, as shown by CxG Zanzibar, Dujaxco, Lazy Stacks and Flux.

 Lazy Stacks. Image by Simon Deiner   Flux. Image by Simon Deiner

2. Print explosion

Prints are seen in all different formations and variations, be it clashed, or allover prints, it is well considered in terms of matching hues, or finished off with matching borders. Shown by Ezokheto, Masa Mara, Dollhouse, Imprint, Leigh Schubert, Influhks, Bigtynsonly, etc.

Masa Mara. Image by Simon Deiner  Bigtynsonly. Image by Simon Deiner

3. Wrapped up

Ties and knots are exaggerated and achieved in self fabric as shown by Imprint, Bash, Beverley Hollard.

Imprint. Image by Simon Deiner     Image by Simon Deiner

4. Imbalanced

A continuation from the Summer 22 Assymetric wraps in blazers and skirts as shown by: Imprint, Neo Serati, XHVNTI.

XHVNTI. Image by Simon Deiner  Neo Serati. Image by Simon Deiner

5. Textured

The character of the fabric is key and interest and pile fabrics such as velours, corduroy, boucle, even laces are important: Signature by Des, Ruald Rheeder, Wepner and Bigtynsonly.

6. Lucid luxury

High shine fabrics – satins, foiles, lurex even allover sequins in deep colours are key as shown by Bigtynsonly, Shana, Emilia, Kate Jordan, Signature by Des and Marquin.

Marquin. Image by Simon Deiner  Signature by Des. Image by Simon Deiner

7. Vivid tones

This season, designers proved to be dauntless with hues as every colour in the spectrum could be seen, from rich jewel tones to primary hues, even bright colour. As seen by Bigtynsonly, Emilia, Influhks, Stefania Morland, Leigh Schubert, XHVNTI.

Ruald Rheeder. Image by Simon Deiner  Wepner. Image by Simon Deiner

8. Enchanting ease (tunic)

East meets West as Indian and West African inspired styling and print is important and includes mandarin collars, tunics shapes, draping, and layered longer length silhouettes as shown by Wepner, Beverley Hollard, Dollhouse, Kluk CGdT and Masa Mara.

Bigtynsonly. Image by Simon Deiner Masa Mara. Image by Simon Deiner

9. Dazzling dusks

Moving away from previous years ‘Matrix’ interpretations, black is restored to its lavish origins, and showcased in satins, furs, delicate laces, velours, and trimmed with beautiful fringing and jewels as shown by XHVNTI, Bash, Habits, Jacque La Grange, Ruald Rheeder, and Maze Collective.

10. Placement prints

Statement prints and logos especially cartoon, animal characters, symbols, art print effects and brand logos etc. With interesting placements, placements were shown by Wepner, Bigtynsonly, Daniel Dujaxco, Influhks, King on Horses, etc.

King on Horses. Image by Simon Deiner  Influhks. Image by Simon Deiner

With the variety of garments showcased, guests were free to shop their favourites at the pop up shows after the event.

We look forward to SA Menswear Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023/24 collections, and cannot wait to see what the designers have in store.   Bizcommunity

AI is changing everything, and fashion is no exception

By Sandiso Ngubane

A fake AI generated photo of Pope Francis in a Balenciaga puffer coat.
Image: Generated by Midjourney

From the viral image of a swagged-out pontiff to ‘artificial diversity’ in campaigns, the perils of AI are fast manifesting themselves in the mainstream

“No way I’m surviving the future of technology,” is the viral Chrissy Teigen response to the image of Pope Francis in a Balenciaga puffer — perhaps the biggest case of misinformation since OpenAI’s ChatGPT brought artificial intelligence into mainstream focus last November. I concur. It gets scarier by the day.

Despite the brouhaha, there were a few telltale signs that the image was fake from the get-go. Chief among them is the very simple fact that Pope Francis is known for his unassuming style of dress. He often wears plain white cassocks and black shoes and has been wearing a simple pectoral cross instead of the more elaborate versions worn by previous popes.

His style of dress reflects his focus on humility, modesty and a commitment to living a life of service to others. Among other things — like the fantastic lighting and glossiness of the image — the pope in a Balenciaga puffer should have signalled to many that something was amiss, and yet, just like you probably don’t realise that 50% of the introduction to this piece was written by AI, many of us were fooled into believing the image was real.

Herein lies the perils of artificial intelligence (AI), and why many, including Silicon Valley leaders, are urging a moratorium on the technology, citing “risk to society”, as one Reuters report puts it. The group of experts and industry executives, including Elon Musk, are calling for a six-month pause in the development of systems more powerful than ChatGPT and Midjourney, the AI image generator one construction worker from the Chicago area in the US, used to create the viral fake images of a swagged-out Pope Francis.

Late last month, Levi’s announced that it was partnering with Lalaland.ai, a studio that creates AI-generated models, to “supplement human models” and increase diversity. The clothing company, known mostly for its denim, said in the announcement that “AI technology can potentially assist us … unlocking a future where we can enable customers to see our products on more models that look like themselves, creating a more personal and inclusive shopping experience”.

It seems a moot point. Why use AI to increase diversity, when you can simply — I don’t know — hire a diverse cast of humans to achieve the same thing?

The Levi’s move is predictably attracting a lot of criticism considering issues of diversity in fashion have often been the centre of controversy, but it also worsens fears that the machines will soon wipe out a lot of jobs across industries, and fashion is no exception.

Granted, there are many ways in which AI can be used to improve things like supply-chain management, and so forth, but even then, many are already pointing out that the use of AI to predict trends and sales, for example, in a way no different to how the likes of Netflix use algorithms to predict what consumers want to watch, could lead to the decimation of creativity in fashion. Why hire designers who can only base their work on instinct, some research and their imagination, when AI can tell you exactly what is most likely to sell in a matter of minutes?

Considering how slow governments around the world have been, and remain, in addressing the prevalence and ubiquity of misinformation that we now know to be deeply divisive and dangerous, something tells me there’s very little we can do to stop the many, unpredictable ways in which AI technology will upend many industries, fashion included.

I’m probably being naive here, but I do believe the type of connoisseurship that has historically defined luxury fashion consumerism is the single biggest factor driving even conglomerates towards sustainability efforts.

Here’s to hoping that, in the same way that climate change and demands for sustainability are forcing us to reassess the meaning of luxury, when the novelty of AI wears off, what we consider luxury will further take on a new, more human-centric meaning.  

Rex True – trading statement

Shareholders are accordingly advised that:
*Rex Trueform’s earnings per share will increase by 126.7%, from earnings of 119.4 cents per share for the six months ended 31 December 2021, to earnings of 270.7 cents per share for the six months ended 31 December 2022; and
*Rex Trueform’s headline earnings per share will increase by 114.9%, from headline earnings of 126.0 cents per share for the six months ended 31 December 2021, to headline earnings of 270.8 cents per share for the six months ended 31 December 2022.

The condensed consolidated interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2022 are expected to be published on SENS on or about 14 April 2023.

Woolies – appointment of independent director

The board announced the appointment of Mr Lwazi Bam as an independent non-executive director of WHL with effect from 1 May 2023.He will also serve as a member on the Risk, Information and Technology and Audit Committees of the Group.

The first official Fashion Week started in 1943 in New York. Its main purpose was to distract the attention away from French fashion during World War II and kickstart the way for American designers.


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