28 of 2022`

 Newsletter No 28/29 July 2022                                 


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Spring reset: Trenery’s new head of design

By Declan Gibbon

Jamie Ashkar, Trenery’s new head of design.

Jamie Ashkars’ extensive experience in design promises an exciting new direction for the Australian label
Trenery’s sophisticated style, considered cuts and natural fabrics have granted it timeless, yet always on-trend, collections. The brand, founded in 2009 by the team behind Country Road Group, has just appointed Jamie Ashkar as the head of design.

Ashkar is a former Project Runway contestant and runner-up in the Woolmark Prize, and his extensive experience in both design and fashion upholds simplicity over complexity with a unique, contemporary flair. His resume includes his namesake label through to Australian designer brand Viktoria & Woods, which has allowed him nuanced experiences within retail and design and his appointment at Trenery signals an exciting new direction.

Trenery has always favoured natural materials, a muted colour palette and quality craftsmanship, an ethos that Askar upholds to a tee. His first autumn collection is spring-ready with flattering draping and details, which is as of-the-moment and season as it is enduring and versatile. Australia’s relaxed and cosmopolitan spirit connects with the concise sense of style of Ashkar’s latest collection, Spring Reset.

How have your broad experiences within both interior design and fashion shaped your practice? 

I initially studied and worked in interior design before fashion. I then moved into fashion through the television series Project Runway, and it was after this that I completely immersed myself in the industry with my own brand. Now having almost 10 years in the industry, my approach to design is simplicity over complexity, with lifestyle always in mind.

Has there been a singular school of thought/designer/movement/aesthetic that has shaped your designs? 

Minimalism and considered design are important elements that shape my designs. I also lead with the idea that you can build a look or pair it back — having versatility is important in my designs. Another is the ability to create individuality and change as you and the world evolve.

What type of consumers do you design for, and what do they represent? 

When I first started at Trenery, I saw an opportunity in how our customer dresses now and how they want to feel modern and relevant. I designed this collection for our customers’ lifestyles — what they are doing now and where they are going. Versatility in our customers’ wardrobes is important, ensuring they feel inspired and are able to build pieces together for longevity.

For the Trenery customer, I wanted to balance the duality of their lifestyle and ensure there is always a sense of ease and functionality, all while allowing the customer to push their fashion ability.

What does Trenery represent to you? 

Trenery represents modern luxury that’s accessible. It provides quality fabrics in timeless silhouettes with elevated details, shapes and colours. The brand inspires our customers to build their everyday wardrobes with optimism, comfort and confidence always in mind.

What can fans of the brand look forward to in the Spring collection? 

For spring, following the excess of winter layers, we look forward to a refresh — an introduction to the season’s newest pieces that will layer seamlessly into our customer’s wardrobe. Our August collection, particularly, inspires spirit-lifting fashion that is synonymous with spring style. Vivid blues and oranges lead our springtime palette, underpinned by crisp navy and fresh neutrals.

How has your direction with Trenery evolved from previous collections? 

My design vision for Trenery will see an injection of incremental change. I really wanted to redefine how we range our product, no longer looking at smart and casual separately but more of a lifestyle. For the coming season we have some beautiful new silhouettes, as well as introducing a fresh outlook to core summer staples.

What has been a highlight of the last year? 

For me, within the last year I have taken a lot of design inspiration from emerging out of lockdown life. It has motivated a new sense of dressing up again. This has been a highlight to see how people are heading back out, cultivating new ideas for me in style and design.

What are your aspirations for the future? 

For the future on a creative point, I would love to start painting again and to include some home renovation projects again in the future. I would also love to have more travel plans ahead now that we can, as well as becoming a father.  

Rex Trueform CEO Catherine Lloyd resigns but will remain with the company

By Nico Gous

Board chair Marcel Golding will take over as CEO and resign from the board

Catherine Lloyd will leave her role as CEO of Rex Trueform, owner of clothing retailer Queenspark, at the end of July after three years in charge.

Lloyd was hired in March 2019 and will remain on the board and as a legal and strategic adviser to the company. Board chair Marcel Golding will take over as CEO and resign from the board.

“The board wishes to thank Catherine Lloyd for her contribution in stepping into the role of CEO and leading the business at an extremely challenging time during and following the Covid-19 pandemic,” the company said in a brief statement on Wednesday   BD.

Wage hike in South Africa’s blanket textile sector from August 1

COSATU has now settled its 2022 wage negotiations in the blankets textile sector. It was settled after three rounds of negotiations. The new wage increase for SACTWU’s blanket textile sector members  will come into effect on August 1, 2022, which is the normal implementation date.

The signature processes for the written wage agreement for the new blanket textile sector wage settlement were completed on July 22, 2022, according to a SACTWU press release.

The new agreement for the blanket textile sector is a two-year agreement, effective till July 31, 2024. As per the agreement, for the metro areas, wages will increase by 7 per cent for each of the two years of the agreement, while in the non-metro areas, there will be an increase of 9.05 per cent for the first year and 9.11 per cent for the second year.

The agreement was successfully concluded under the dispute processes and procedures of the National Textile Bargaining Council (NTBC), with employers represented by the South African Blankets Manufacturers’ Employers Organisation (SABMEO), the release said.

The parties to the agreement also agreed that a minimum period of three months’ work for workers employed on a contract will be implemented, but not linked to short time or retrenchments.

COVID-19 vaccination will remain voluntary in the sector unless the Department of Employment & Labour introduces non-variable legislation (beyond the employers’ control) which makes vaccination compulsory.


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Mr Price – trading update

During the first quarter from 3 April 2022 to 2 July 2022 (the “Period”) of the financial year ending 1 April 2023 (“FY2023”), the group recorded growth in retail sales and other income (“RSOI”) of 7.0% to R6.9bn. Total retail sales of R6.6bn grew 6.4% and other income increased 25.5% to R270m.

The group is comforted by the increasing momentum in the second half of the first quarter and believes that it is well positioned to capitalise on opportunities during the rest of FY2023. Sales growth for the first three weeks of July 2022 was 18.4%, which effectively takes sales growth for 3 April to 23 July to 8.2%.

Truworths – business update

The 53-week period ended 3 July 2022 (the ‘current period’) presented various challenges for the Group in both of its main markets, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Although waves of the Covid-19 pandemic were less severe than those experienced in the 52-week period ended 27 June 2021 (the ‘prior period’), the pandemic caused wide-scale global supply chain disruption in the form of port congestion, container shortages and significantly increased freight costs. The global economy was and continues to be hit hard by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, resulting in further supply chain disruption, higher energy prices, pressure on food resources and consequently significantly increased inflation in many countries around the world.

Group retail sales for the current period increased by 9.0% (6.6% on a 52-week basis*) to R18.5 billion relative to the R17.0 billion reported for the prior period. Group retail sales in the second half of the current period, on a 26-week basis^, increased by 12.7% relative to the comparable prior 26-week period. Account sales comprised 52% (2021: 52%) of Group retail sales for the current period, with account sales increasing by 8.7% and cash sales increasing by 9.3%, relative to the prior period.

Results release
The Group’s audited results for the 53-week period ended 3 July 2022 are currently scheduled for release on or about Thursday, 1 September 2022.

Pick n Pay – trading update

Group sales for the first 18 weeks of FY23 (YE February 2023), covering the period 28 February 2022 to 3 July 2022 increased 10.7%. The Group’s South Africa segment grew sales by 10.5%, with like-for- like sales growth of 8.3%. South African internal selling price inflation for the period was restricted to 5.0%, below 7.1% CPI Food. The Group’s Rest of Africa segment revenue increased by 18.9% and by 9.5% on a constant currency basis.

Woolies – trading update

The Group’s turnover and concession sales for the 52 weeks ended 26 June 2022 (‘current year’, ‘full year’ or ‘period’) increased by 1.4% compared to the 52 weeks ended 27 June 2021 (‘prior year’) and by 2.6% in constant currency terms. Online sales grew by 16.4%, contributing 12.4% to the Group’s total turnover and concession sales over the year. Trade during the first half of the year (‘H1’) was severely impacted by the extended lockdowns in Australia, and to a lesser extent by the civil unrest in South Africa, which makes the full year trading result non-comparable to that of the prior year.

Trade during the second half of the year (‘H2’) showed an improved run rate over H1 across all our businesses, with Group turnover and concession sales growing by 4.9%, and by 5.6% in constant currency terms, respectively, as lockdown restrictions eased and our focus on trade and executing against our strategic priorities delivered positive results.

The Group expects to release its results for the 52 weeks ended 26 June 2022, on the SENS on or about 31 August 2022.

Truworths – appointment of board committee members

Ms Tshidi Mokgabudi was appointed as member of the audit committee and Mr Thabo Mosololi was appointed as member of the social and ethics committee.

The most talked about Oscars dresses of all time

Jennifer Lopez, 2012

It may not be her 2002 Grammys dress, but J.Lo had viewers questioning their eyesight after a supposed nip slip during the presentation of Best Costume Design.

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