26 of 2016


Newsletter No.26      29 July 2016

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Fashion bursaries worth R500 000 up for grabs via Gert-Johan Coetzee

Gert-Johan Coetzee and Prudence Kau

Gert-Johan Coetzee is known for making the A-list steal the show at events such as the Durban July, but in between making glorious gowns, the designer is now searching for two new students to benefit from his three-year bursary programme. And after Coetzee challenged other businesses to invest in education, the luxury boutique Luminance has added a third bursary to the programme!

Applications have just opened for the 2017 GJC Fashion Design bursary and the brand-new GJC Fashion Communications and Buying bursary, valued at a total of R345 000. Coetzee’s fashion design bursary is already in its sixth year at the Northwest School of Design, but it is the first time that he is adding a Fashion Communications bursary, to accommodate students who are more interested in the business end of fashion. The latter qualification is also what the R170 000 Luminance Social Responsibility Grant will fund.

“The industry is really dynamic, and there are so many opportunities, which is why I decided to add a bursary for the more business-oriented qualification. It’s so hard to get your foot in the door and the aim of my bursary programme is to pass on what I have learnt, and to open doors for youngsters who have the talent and drive to succeed,” says Coetzee. He believes that the private sector has a responsibility to invest in the education of the next generation, and says he was “absolutely thrilled” when Judy Dlamini from Luminance, which stocks his couture, approached him to sponsor another Fashion Communication student. “This three-year qualification teaches the business end of fashion – from fashion journalism, marketing and trend forecasting, to buying, event management and online retail aspects,” explains the designer. Both bursaries include mentorship by Coetzee, and the opportunity to intern at his atelier to learn the business from the inside out. The beneficiary of the Luminance Social Responsibility Grant will have a similar opportunity to intern at Luminance. Says Dlamini, “We’re looking for someone who is driven to succeed in fashion and business and willing to learn…. A good academic record is important to us since it shows discipline, determination and hard work.”

Coetzee also has a very clear idea what he’ll be looking out for. “Success will only come if you have an inborn fashion instinct and are extremely passionate about it. I am looking for students who are as singleminded about fashion as I was at that age, youngsters who are driven, dedicated and not afraid of hard work.”

All three the lucky applicants will receive sewing machines from Bernina, worth a total of R45 000, and all their tuition fees and study materials will be covered for the three years of their course. Both courses offer students the chance to progress to a licentiateship, the highest international fashion qualification in South Africa. Northwest School of Design is an international fashion college approved by City & Guilds of London.

“I am extremely proud of the talented group who make up the GJC bursary team at NWSD, and I expect great things of them,” says Coetzee. Last year’s graduate, Prudence Kau, is currently interning full-time at his atelier, on a fourth-year fellowship from another of the designer’s associates, Brutal Fruit. “Prudence is working on her first collection for Brutal Fruit at the moment while she is completing her licentiateship, and it’s a privilege to be able to mentor a young star in the making.”

For more information on how to apply for the Gert-Johan Coetzee bursaries and the Luminance Social Responsibility Grant, visit www.nwsd.co.za

Durban Fashion Fair Aug 31 to Sept 2 2016

The annual Durban Fashion Fair, now celebrating 5 years, is a great platform for businesses within the clothing, textile, footwear, leather and accessories industries to promote and market their brands, products or services to an exciting array of fashion media, fashion buyers and lovers of all things fashion.

So, if you design, manufacture or retail clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery, and other fashion items, book a stand for August 31 to September 2 at the Durban Exhibition Centre.


Mauritius Text export earnings to shrink 10% post Brexit

Earnings from textile exports by Mauritius to Britain are likely to drop by 10 % this year as a result of the British vote to leave the European Union, the country’s export association said.

“Quantity wise, there will be a drop of 10% in our exports to the UK as a consequence of the fall in consumerism level in UK coupled with the depreciation of the pound,” the Mauritius Exports Association (MEXA) said in a report

According to the (MEXA) report, 90 % of all revenues from exports of textile and apparels to the UK comes in pounds while imports are in U.S. dollars.

Thus, Mauritian exporters’ profitability is expected to be “squeezed both in terms of exports and imports; exports revenue being depleted with the depreciation of the pound…and costs being inflated with the appreciation of the U.S. dollar.

The EU is Mauritius’ largest trading partner, with annual earnings averaging 25.5 billion rupees ($722.77 million as a result of goods shipments to the bloc.

Within EU, Britain is the largest buyer of Mauritian goods, accounting for 18 % of total exports to the bloc. Textiles are Mauritius’ top export to the UK, followed by seafood and sugar.

In 2015, textile and apparel exports to Britain amounted to 6.57 billion rupees, according to MEXA data. (SH)



Did you Know…….

Clothes Rationing In Britain During The Second World War

British 1940 pattern Battledress blouse associated with the service of Major Lord Howard de Walden (John Scott-Ellis).

In Britain during the Second World War one of the first noticeable changes in dress was the number of people – both men and women – wearing uniform. Around a quarter of the British population was entitled to wear some sort of uniform as part of the armed forces, women’s auxiliary forces or one of the numerous uniformed voluntary services and organisations. This increased demand for uniforms put enormous pressure on Britain’s textile and clothing industries. Both raw materials and labour had to be directed away from civilian production to ensure that the demand could be met for uniforms and the many other military uses of fabric, from tarpaulin to tyre components. Commitments by shoe and boot manufacturers to produce footwear for the services contributed to shortages of civilian shoes. Even the armed forces themselves were affected by shortages. By 1940, ‘Battledress’ had become the standard field uniform for the Army, replacing the earlier service dress. The 1940 pattern battledress (blouse pictured here) was sometimes referred to as the ‘utility pattern’ as its design had been modified to make it more efficient to produce. The concealed buttons of the fly front, cuffs and pockets were replaced by exposed buttons and the pleats on the breast pockets were removed.


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