27 of 2017


Newsletter No.27   21 July 2017

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Durban-born Holmes Brothers brand goes big in Japan

Holmes Brothers, the Afrocentric surfer style menswear brand that originated in Durban, has successfully launched in Japanese retailer The Freak’s Store. The Bros, as the brand is affectionately known in Durban, enjoyed a knock-out launch at the flagship store in downtown Tokyo, with Holmes Bros garments selling out within a week.

Holmes Bros grew out of a love for the ocean and the South African community. Founders Gary and Laurie Holmes are active Durban surfers which is where their inspiration comes from. According to the company, it aims to avoid the mainstream and mixes a classic surf approach with vibrant tones that shout ‘Africa’ from the rooftops. All Holmes Brothers garments are 100% locally-made in South Africa. In addition to their apparel, they also produce a range of surfboards.

The brand’s entrance into Japan began when The Freak’s Store contacted the brothers and expressed interest in the offering. Laurie explains, “They had researched us, the history of our brand and they knew more about us than we do. It was a real pleasure to work and hang out with such smart, refreshing, and enthusiastic people.”

Gary comments on the trip, “We arrived at their flagship store in downtown Tokyo at about 2pm and it was chaos from the word go. We sold more than half the stock in one afternoon. Every customer wanted their picture taken with us and wanted us to sign catalogues, stickers, and their t-shirts that they had just bought. Japan had not seen anything like Holmes Bros.”

Holmes Brothers also has its own store in Marseille, France and supplies independents in France and the UK, proving that SA fashion has plenty of appeal in the international arena. For local shoppers, there are Holmes Bros stores in Cape Town (Lifestyle Centre, Kloof Street), Johannesburg (Rosebank’s the Zone) and in Durban (La Lucia Mall and Water Crest Mall) and Holmes Bros gear is also stocked online and in select independent stores throughout South Africa.

The Holmes Bros are now working on a range with The Freak’s Store for the summer of 2018 and their Japanese agent Kaori, is about to launch a Holmes Bros website specifically for Japan.

Brazil to promote cottn growth in East Africa

Brazilian government has taken the initiative to boost the production of cotton in East Africa by improving the techniques of cotton farming and through training professionals. Assistance to cotton farmers with the availability of better cotton varieties, irrigation projects, and transparent pricing will boost cotton production in African countries.

Cotton Victoria Project, a partnership between Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA), Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi, will boost cotton production in East Africa, according to a news agency. The project will increase the competitiveness of the cotton sector in Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi, with the production of a greater amount of high quality cotton, said Marcela Nicodemus, Brazilian ambassador to Kenya. Cotton can improve the economic condition of these countries, he added.

Kenya’s average yield of cotton per hectare is 572 kg as compared to the world’s average of 726 kg. In late 1980s, there was a downfall in Kenya’s cotton production due to the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) across the world.

Mall of Africa to host Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2017

African Fashion International (AFI), owner and operator of the two Fashion Week platforms – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg (MBFWJ) and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT), has announced Mall of Africa as the new official venue for MBFWJ’17 Spring/Summer.

South Africa’s top designers will showcase their Spring/Summer collections from 17 to 19 August at the retail giant’s outdoor amphitheatre, with impressive views of Waterfall Country Estate forming the backdrop for this year’s affair.

“MBFWJ’17 Spring/Summer is a premiere event and we are privileged to be able to partner with some of the most well-respected businesses and companies in the country each year,” says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, AFI Founder and CEO. “I am thrilled to have Mall of Africa as our new venue host for the 10th anniversary Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg event, and we look forward to a truly memorable event at this stunning location.”

Mall of Africa is one of the largest malls on the African continent and houses over 300 shops from local and international brands. It’s also conveniently located for access from Johannesburg, Midrand, and Pretoria.

Nicola van Kan, event manager for Mall of Africa, says, “We are extremely proud to host such a renowned and extravagant affair, and management looks forward to a long and fruitful relationship with African Fashion International.”

Designer applications and media accreditation are currently open on the AFI website.

Did you know………

– In 1997, PETA members dumped animal guts in front of Givenchy’s Paris boutique doorstep, after Alexander McQueen used animal and bird heads in his fashion show.

– Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel was almost kidnapped by an elaborate German gang called Red Army Faction (RAF).

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A correction from Paul Theron (AMSA) re: figures given in the K-Way press release from last week’s newsletter.

The clothing manufacturing sector (including the knitting sector but excluding woven, non-woven, industrial and technical textiles) peaked at 150 407 employees in 1996 as measured by StatsSA -these are figures for the formal sector. It was estimated that there were approximately 50 000 in the informal sector, which, by its very nature, cannot be verified. Thus total estimated employment was 200 000.

In 2016 the official employment figure for the clothing sector was 38 800 as opposed to the number of registered employees with the National Clothing Bargaining Council at 57 400. The informal sector is estimated to now employ between 50 and 100 000. In other words jobs have been deformalized. The figures also indicate how StatsSA has lost track of the dynamics of clothing manufacturing activities.

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