25 of 2023

Newsletter No 25/30 June 2023                              


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H&M collaborates with South African fashion designer, Rich Mnisi

H&M a print collaboration with South African fashion designer, Rich Mnisi

“The Rich Mnisi and H&M collaboration is a project initiated to promote the local design industry within South Africa,” says Caroline Nelson, country manager, H&M South Africa.

H&M has a long history of designer collaborations, she adds.

“For nearly two decades, H&M has been democratising high-fashion by offering customers the chance to own special pieces of high-end designers and we are thrilled to partner with Rich Mnisi on the next collection.”

Extend the accessibility

Rich Mnisi is one of the African continent’s most prolific creatives. The creative director & fashion designer grew up pop-culture obsessed, with strong cultural roots of his own as a proud member of South Africa’s Tsonga tribe and as a member of a family with strong, inspiring matriarchs.

This background has served as a key inspiration in his contemporary work, from fashion collections worn by Beyoncé, Ciara and Naomi Campbell to a furniture design collection exhibited internationally.

“We wanted to extend the accessibility of our designs to more people who have been so vocally supportive of my team and I as well as the work we do with this brand. I am so grateful for everything we have and the people who have helped us make that happen, and this collection with H&M helps us show love to them,” says Rich Mnisi.

The collection is made from more sustainably sourced materials including cotton pieces that are made of 100% in-conversion cotton – fibre grown by farmers converting to organic farming.

The Rich Mnisi and H&M collection features original streetwear designs paired with iconic Rich Mnisi illustrations, inlcuding high-quality basics with relaxed and oversized fits.

Styles come in six seasonal colours, with an autumnal palette made up by warm shades of brown, orange, and beige, also including black and grey mélange.  Bizcommity


Pharrell Williams’ men’s show brings out the stars — and ‘damoflage

Models present creations by Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton during men’s fashion week in Paris. Picture: Gonzalo Furntes/Reuters

Music star-turned-menswear designer invited close to 1,800 guests to Paris show

Pharrell Williams’s first Louis Vuitton show was a star-studded spectacle in Paris that included a performance by Jay-Z, tons of A-list stars, a gospel choir and models in camouflage jackets and boots, all under the gaze of billionaire boss Bernard Arnault.

For his debut show at LVMH’s biggest label, the music star-turned-menswear designer invited close to 1,800 guests. They gathered on Paris’ oldest bridge — located a stone’s throw from the Louis Vuitton headquarters — to discover his take on what men are set to wear in spring and summer next year.

That vision: monogram-adorned Speedy bags in bright red and yellow, Bermuda shorts paired with white socks and loafers, an olive green aviator jacket, berets and lots of “damoflage” — Williams’s word for pixelated camouflage.

Models walked down the runway created on Pont Neuf to a soundtrack composed by Williams, who has won a string of Grammy awards. Pianist Lang Lang led an orchestra, and a gospel choir’s performance roused the audience on a warm evening.

Arnault filmed parts of the event with his own phone. He said after the show that he was thrilled by what he’d seen. The founder of LVMH was joined by his wife Helene Mercier, dressed in a bright red jacket and trouser ensemble, as well as his five children, who all work at the luxury group.

Williams’s first show for Louis Vuitton was “certainly one of the most anticipated moments of the season”, said Alison Bringé, chief marketing officer at the digital consultancy Launchmetrics.

Pop star Beyoncé, influencer Kim Kardashian, singer Rihanna wearing a $670,000 (R12.4m) watch choker, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and Louis Vuitton womenswear designer Nicolas Ghesquiere sat on the front rows. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, also made the guest list.

Williams was named Louis Vuitton’s menswear designer in February, filling a vacuum after the previous designer Virgil Abloh died from cancer at the end of 2021 at the age of 41.

“When the universe taps you on the shoulder, you listen and you ride the wave,” Williams told reporters in Paris on Tuesday, ahead of the event. “This is amazing, I’m the second black man to ever experience this on the planet, at the biggest fashion house in the world.”

Williams’s appointment surprised some in the fashion crowd who questioned his credentials. “Some people were like: ‘Why him? He’s not a formally trained designer, he didn’t study here, he didn’t study there.’ Well no, I didn’t but I also didn’t go to Juilliard for music and I’m doing OK,” he said, referring to the school of performing arts in New York.

In picking Williams, Louis Vuitton had chosen a “creative at large” rather than a more “traditional” designer, CEO Pietro Beccari said before the show.

Although menswear probably contributed a mere 5% of total sales for Louis Vuitton, Williams’s nomination has a “greater halo effect” for the rest of the brand, HSBC said in a note.

While LVMH doesn’t break down financial performance by brand, Louis Vuitton is the juggernaut that helps power the wider luxury conglomerate, likely generating more than half of the group’s annual profit, the bank said.

Williams has long been a fashion entrepreneur. In 2003, he and Japanese designer Nigo founded Billionaire Boys Club, a clothing, accessories and lifestyle brand. Nigo is now the artistic director of Kenzo, which is also part of LVMH.

Williams has also collaborated with Adidas and Chanel. In 2004, he launched a pair of sunglasses called Millionaire, working with Louis Vuitton’s then designer Marc Jacobs, and four years later he worked on a jewellery collection for the brand.

The world’s biggest luxury fashion label, which generated more than €20bn (R406bn) in sales last year, is undergoing big changes this year. In January, LVMH appointed Beccari to be the new Louis Vuitton CEO.

Williams’s debut comes at a moment of uncertainty after investors have sold off luxury names amid concerns over the strength of the Chinese demand recovery and a slowdown in the US.

Asked where he would be taking the label next, Williams said: “I don’t even see that there are boundaries. We’re just going to continue to build the empire.”  Bloomberg

SARS Commissioner Mr Edward Kieswetter elected Chairperson of the World Customs Organisation

Tshwane, 25 June 2023 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) welcomes the election of its Commissioner Mr. Edward Kieswetter as Chairperson of the World Customs Organisation (WCO). The election took place on 24 June 2023 at the organisation’s Council session at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The WCO has 185 members, three-quarters of which are developing countries and the Council is its highest decision-making body. It was established in 1952 as the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), is the only intergovernmental organisation exclusively focused on Customs matters and is recognised as the voice of the global Customs community. In 1994, the CCC adopted the working name of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

In accepting the challenge to lead the WCO for a year, Mr. Kieswetter expressed appreciation to his colleagues, who found him appropriately suitable to lead such a prestigious body. He said that “leadership is an inordinate responsibility and a rare privilege to assist international efforts to bring matters of Customs to the centre of international trade facilitation. This election is ample evidence that the leadership of SARS in matters of Customs is acknowledged after many years of State Capture”.

The elections were preceded by the Policy Commission. The discussions at the Policy Commission ranged from progress on WCO Customs technical programmes, emerging and new challenges plaguing the Customs world, and organisational development issues around governance and modernisation of the WCO as a members-driven organisation.

Given the foregoing topical issues on the agenda currently, Commissioner Kieswetter sits at the pinnacle of a global stage to provide appropriate stewardship that will ensure that the WCO is fit for purpose and stays relevant in providing leadership and support to the global Customs community.

Commissioner Kieswetter outlined the agenda that will inform his chairmanship as:

1. Working with his colleagues and peers from member countries to listen actively and ensure that WCO’s strategic intent finds practical expression through:

  • an effective, well managed Secretariat,
  • a transformational modernisation plan,
  • an appropriate set of priorities,
  • a clear sense of what winning means.

2. Advocate for greater inclusivity with a strong focus on women and people with disabilities.

3. Build resilient and effective partnerships with all stakeholders.

4. Strive towards an enhanced profile of the important role of Customs in the service of Society and ensuring the well-being especially of the most vulnerable.

The previous and only other time the country chaired the WCO Council was between 2001 to 2006 under the leadership of the then Commissioner, Mr. Pravin Gordhan.

Commissioner Kieswetter thanked the outgoing Secretary General, Dr Kunio Mikuriya and Chairman Mr. Ahmed Al-Khalifa for their abled stewardship that drove so successfully the agenda of the organization.

The Policy Commission also elected Mr. Ian Sanders of the United State as the new Secretary-General of the WCO. Mr. Sanders will start his term on 01 January 2024.

Finally, Commissioner thanked his colleagues from the African continent especially the East and Southern Africa, our BRICS partners and other regions for bestowing this honour to South Africa.

For more information contact SarsMedia@sars.gov.za

Evidence suggests that humans may have begun wearing clothing as far back as 100,000 to 500,000 years ago. In September 2021, scientists reported evidence of clothes being made 120,000 years ago based on findings in deposits in Morocco, a country in the northwestern part of Africa.


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