15 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 15                                                                                 26 April  2018

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Supermodel Naomi Campbell urges Vogue to launch African edition

by Alexis Akwagyiram

Supermodel Naomi Campbell said on Sunday that Vogue magazine should launch an African edition to recognize the continent’s contribution to a global fashion industry that has been criticized for its lack of diversity.

Campbell, who was visiting Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, to appear on the runway at Arise Fashion Week, said there was a need for better representation of the continent.

“There should be a Vogue Africa,” she told Reuters in an interview. “We just had Vogue Arabia – it is the next progression. It has to be,” she said, referring to the edition of the magazine aimed at a readership in the Middle East that launched last year.

“Africa has never had the opportunity to be out there and their fabrics and their materials and their designs be accepted on the global platform … it shouldn’t be that way,” said the British-born Campbell.

Condé Nast International, which publishes Vogue, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The global fashion industry has attracted criticism in the past few years because most models for major designers and fashion houses are white.

“People have come to realize it is not about the color of your skin to define if you can do the job or not,” said the model, adding she had seen signs that the fashion industry was becoming more diverse such as the appointment of Edward Enninful as British Vogue’s editor-in-chief in April last year.

The Ghanaian-born Enninful is the first black editor in the publication’s 100-year history and the first man to take up the role.

This month , LVMH’s Louis Vuitton brand, the biggest revenue driver at the French luxury goods group, said it had hired Ghanaian-American Virgil Abloh to design its menswear collections.

Africa News Team

Fujitsu unveils fifth generation washable RFID linen tag

Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc., a leader in innovative technology and front-end solutions, has launched the new fifth generation super-slim washable RFID linen tag. The company displayed the new washable RFID tag, along with WT-A533 linen tags and WT-A533L fashion tags, at RFID Journal Live, from April 10 to 12, 2018, in US, in booth #1615.

The new tag is 30 per cent to 40 per cent smaller than current tags, allowing them to be inserted into the smallest seams of washable items, and will be available from the fourth quarter of 2018.

For industrial garment and linen applications, Fujitsu Linen tags are designed for heavy-duty industrial laundries. Like its predecessors, the WT-A533 linen tag, the new super-slim linen tag, has advanced antenna and mechanical design which gives it extra strength and reliability in heavy-duty industrial garment and flat linen laundry applications. Customers will have the ability to perform bulk reading of hundreds, even thousands, of articles simultaneously in seconds with very high reliability and bulk read density. Bulk reading enables streamlined automated processes, significant reductions in labour costs, and improved overall return on investment.

Michi Sugawara, president and CEO of Fujitsu Frontech North America said, “Fujitsu’s advanced engineering and antenna technology enables us to create the most state-of-the-art solutions for washable RFID tags in the world. We are listening to our customers who have requested reducing the width of our tags to allow easier insertion into garments and linens. After extensive design and optimisation, we have created the new super-slim linen tag. This new tag demonstrates our commitment to design innovation and will provide greater customer satisfaction by enabling manufacturers to easily integrate our tags in a broader range of products.”

Commission approves tie-up between surfwear titans Billabong and Boardriders

The Competition Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Billabong International Limited by global branded apparel business Boardriders Inc.

Boardriders, an Australian company, owns and operates the brands Quiksilver, Roxy and DC. It designs, produces, distributes and retails branded apparel, footwear, related accessories and technical/hardwear products.

Billabong, also an Australian company, is a global business engaged in marketing, distributing, wholesaling and retailing active lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories. Billabong operates in over 100 countries, including South Africa, and its portfolio of brands includes Billabong, RVCA, Element and Xcel.

According to Just-Style, the combination of Boardriders and Billabong will create the world’s leading action sports company with sales to over 7,000 wholesale customers in more than 110 countries, owned e-commerce capabilities in 35 countries, and over 630 retail stores in 28 countries.

“Both companies have strong global brands and Billabong has a good following in SA. Merging should help create synergies and hopefully strengthen their competitive position in the highly competitive global brands market,” Mergence Investment Managers portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa told Business Day.

According to reports, Billabong first agreed to a A$197.7m ($155m) buyout from its top shareholder and major lender, Oaktree Capital Management, in January.

Moratorium on job losses

The Commission says it has approved the proposed merger subject to a condition that there be a moratorium on job losses. In addition, a year before the moratorium ends, details of any plans affecting employment or operations must be provided to workers and their union.

“In the event that jobs losses are unavoidable when the duration of the moratorium lapses, the merged entity must institute a workplace committee to help identify potential alternatives to avoid job losses.”

Bizcomminity

Replication by Zara of local designer’s work

Proudly South African has noted with dismay the unauthorized replication by Spanish fashion retailer Zara, of one of our brightest fashion design star’s work. Laduma Ngxokolo, whose label Maxhosa by Laduma is in the process of becoming part of the Proudly South African movement, released his Khanyisa range of cardigans and socks in 2014, but we can now find the identical items in 2018 on the shelves of local Zara outlets.

Zara is one of the overseas retail chains that entered the local fashion retail market in recent years and upon whom Proudly South African continues to put pressure to procure locally manufactured garments. Currently 100% of their stock is made outside of South Africa. If other retailers can completely revise their percentage of local versus overseas goods, so can Zara. Given the level of support they enjoy from local South African consumers, it is their moral obligation to return some of their profits to local clothing and textile designers and manufacturers.

Did you know……..

Macaroni

It’s not just your favourite hangover dish, but rather a delightful and strange fashion trend from the mid 1700’s. Remember Yankee Doodle Dandy, and how he stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni? That lyric is in reference to young French men in the 1750s, who took Italian fashion to the extreme.

The most notable element of  macaroni fashion was a huge wig with the tiny hat (or feather) on top, but it also included flashy waistcoats, bright stockings, and fancy buckled shoes. According to The New York Times, macaroni men also made up their own language (a combination of French, English, and Italian), making their dandy club of frippery and fashion even more exclusive.

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