30 of 2022`

 Newsletter No 30/12 August 2022                                 


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New Partnership

The South African Apparel Association (SAAA) and the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster (CCTC) are proud to announce their formal partnership as of July 2022.

We acknowledge that in order to realise the ambitious goal of 65% local sourcing as envisioned in the R-CTFL Masterplan action cannot be taken in isolation and requires dynamic partnerships between industry bodies.

SAAA, as an employer association aims to grow and advance the interests of its members within the CTFL industry, and the CCTC, an industry-led public-private partnership working to develop a globally competitive industry, are both committed to the development of the local CTFL industry. Through this partnership we aim to increase access to competitiveness upgrading support programmes, policy and advocacy and knowledge sharing within the CTFL industry.

As partners, all SAAA members will receive complementary associate membership to the CCTC. This membership will include access to:


Quarterly industry nights.

Inclusion in any CCTC manufacturer database, visible to new customers.

Technology presentations

Global best practice discovery

Sector intelligence research – global growth drivers and supporting value chain strategies.

Retailer growth drivers panel discussion and engagement

Peer learning

Monthy online shared learning sessions

Virtual international factory tours

SME accelerators

Early access to apply for any business accelerator programme, opportunity to pitch to lead firms in the Dragon’s Den and if selected go on a focussed upgrading journey.

Free member factory tour

Access to 1 CCTC factory tour

Existing members of the CCTC retain their full membership status, which includes access to the CCTC’s Growth Finder Diagnostic, skills programme and full in-person peer learning programme. Should any SAAA members wish to upgrade their CCTC membership to benefit from these advanced competitiveness improvement programmes, please contact cctc@bmanalysts.com

We look forward to working together in realization of a competitive, sustainable, and dynamic South African R-CTFL value chain.

The Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster and the South African Apparel Association

The time for a truly global African luxury brand is nigh

By Sandiso Ngubane

AZ Factory by Thebe Magugu.Image: Stephane Gallois/azfactory.com

Now more than ever, there are tangible reasons to believe that Africa’s time is now as major firms invest in African brands, from music and art to fashion.

In the next five to ten years, we can expect African luxury fashion brands to scale. This is Xavier Marin’s optimistic view, according to a recent report from Vogue Business. Marin is the chairman of Trail, a European private-equity firm that in April announced a partnership with Birimian, a venture-capital firm focused on supporting the development of African brands.

The two announced plans to invest at least $5m in African brands, annually. “We know African heritage is going to be a big thing. If you look at music or fashion, there’s a lot of interest there,” Marin said at the time.

These predictions are not misplaced. Signs abound across the creative industry landscape that ‘Africa, Your Time Is Now’ is no longer just a term emblazzoned on a t-shirt. It’s becoming a reality.

The past couple of years have seen Africans making strides on the global stage in the cultural sector. Nigeria’s Burna Boy has become a dominant global music-chart force, for example. The likes of Tems, Ckay and others appear to be treading the same path. Genres like afrobeat — although clearly misunderstood by many observers — as well as amapiano have become part of the global music conversation. In the visual arts sector, the likes of Kenya’s Wangechi Mutu, Morocco’s Hassan Hajjaj and others are kicking down doors all over the world, leading a renewed interest in the continent’s abundant art market.

Similarly, our fashion designers are no longer just the talk of runway sidelines. Thebe Magugu’s “Girl Seeks Girl” is a permanent feature of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York. The designer recently collaborated with adidas, enlisiting the help of frequent collaborator, artist Phathu Nembilwi, to bring to life the stories of the women in his life through a vibrant collection that includes a reimagination of signature adidas footwear styles like Stan Smith, Astir, Nizza and Forum.

Thebe is also a featured designer in the Victoria & Alfred Museum’s “Africa Fashion” exhibition, spanning decades of African fashion creativity, to celebrate the continent’s contribution and impact in global fashion. Running until April 2023, it’s the largest exhibition of its kind anywhere in the world. The New York Times has called it “an overdue moment” for a continent that has, for decades, inspired Western fashion while remaining largely under recognised.

But it’s one thing for African designers — and cultural producers of all stripes— to receive global recognition, as that is not something new. We’ve seen the likes of David Tlale appearing on the New York Fashion Week main schedule before; many of our designers go all over the world showcasing what they do, and three South African designers have been recognised by the LVMH prize, so what makes it different this time around?

I would argue that the efforts by the likes of Trail, and their conviction that African brands are ready to scale, marks the first time some serious dollars have been poured into the development of individual brands. Yes, designers can win awards and get all the press they can while getting flown around the world, but none of this matters if it doesn’t address one of the biggest issues facing this industry today — access to market.

Unless ordinary consumers are not only interested, but can also purchase African brands, we can continue to sing the “Africa, Your Times is Now” tune till kingdom come. Without the funds, and necessary business development that comes with that, that won’t happen and Marin’s prediction simply won’t come true. We will continue to see media outlets writing about African fashion as a curiosity but, now more than ever, signs abound that we are on the precipice. The first truly global African luxury brand’s time is nigh.  

City invites Designers to Showcase at 2022 Durban Fashion Fair

By Steven J Brown

Durban Fashion Fair (#DFF2022) is proud to announce the theme for this year’s show – “Expressive Expression”

The theme primarily relates back to the core and heartbeat of our unique African city of Durban.

We are looking for local Durban designers to create at least three (3) pieces within your collection to showcase on the DFF catwalk in September.

You must illustrate and express to us what inspires you to be #proudlylocal, and take this opportunity to put a stamp on your unique creativity, showcase your inspirational style focusing on attention to detail incorporating a distinctly Durban look & feel whilst allowing you to demonstrate pride to your unique African heritage.

This is YOUR fashion moment to express and showcase your story at the 2022 Durban Fashion Fair, so, with that being said, eThekwini Municipality is extending an invitation to designers across South Africa who wish to showcase their creations at the 11th Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) taking place from 21 to 24 September at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Interested designers who wish to showcase at the #DFF2022 need to submit the following:

Designer profile

Proof of residential address

The above needs to be submitted before 4pm on Friday, August 19 to the 7th floor, Embassy Building, 199 Anton Lembede Street, Durban and it must be addressed to Nondumiso Mthembu.

The DFF has claimed its space on the City’s annual fashion calendar and has grown to become of the leading fashion events in Africa.

Those designers selected will have their work showcased alongside the class of 2022 designer mentees. This is a platform for designers work to be seen by the public, the media, buyers and high-profile fashion industry leaders.

The DFF has afforded emerging designers and models with many opportunities over the years. Some brands that were mentored under the DFF Development Programme are supplying major retailers such as Edgars and Markham. These include Indoni Fashion House, Sista Felas, and House of Alfalfa to name a few. Furthermore, some models are the ‘face’ of big brands and work for high profile modelling agencies following exposure they received at the DFF.

For more information call Nondumiso Mthembu during office hours on 031 311 4497 or email nondumiso.mthembu@durban.gov.za.


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Prince of Pleats Issey Miyake dies

Japan’s Kyodo News outlet announced that fashion designer, Issey Miyake, passed on 5 August in a hospital in Tokyo. The designer was best known for pioneering delicate pleats as well as dressing many celebrities, such as Steve Jobs, with his iconic black turtlenecks.

Though his dozens of endeavours within fashion were distinct in their aesthetics, their attitude was by and large the same: intelligence, humanism, and a fascination with technology.

“I gravitated toward the field of clothing design, partly because it is a creative format that is modern and optimistic,” he wrote in the New York Times in 2008. “I prefer to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, and that bring beauty and joy.”

It was a design ethos embodied as much in black turtleneck jumpers – which served as Steve Jobs’ uniform – as it was in his flying saucer dresses and minimalist, cloud-like columns of the ’90s and ’00s.

Worn by many celebrities

Page Six Style lists a number of celebrities that wore his clothes. Beyoncé wore the designer’s veil in her video for Mine.

Solange’s mom recreated a 1999 Miyake design while Mary-Kate Olsen wore Miyake to the 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards. Robin Williams wore a Miyake bomber jacket to the Flubber premiere.

Model Grace Jones was one of the designer’s biggest fans and friends, having modelled in his shows multiple times as well as worn his clothes out and about frequently in the 1980s and beyond.

More recently, Kim Kardashian wore Miyake in 2020, proving that Miyake’s recent designs are just as beautiful as those from the beginning of his career, Kardashian wore a matching silver turtleneck and skirt from his collection in 2020.

Simple, yet complicated

Miyake’s design philosophy was simple yet complicated, often taking one piece of cloth and folding it into origami-like pleats to create lovely organic shapes since the 1970s.

Dazed describes Miyake as “practical and poetic in equal measure”.

“His work became a cornerstone of contemporary dress, shaking the foundations of Paris’ salons in the 1980s with daring proportions and experimental textiles while enriching everyday wardrobes with artful staples and signature pleats,” says Dazed.

In 1997 he formally retired from fashion. However, he continued to oversee the creative direction of all the lines created by his company, such as Issey Miyake, Issey Miyake Fête, Pleats Please, and his accessories offshoot Bao Bao.

Flexible movement

According to Dazed he was born in Hiroshima on April 22 1938, first imagined himself as an athlete or a dancer, “which perhaps explains the premium he placed on flexible movement”.

It was his sister’s fashion magazines, however, that inspired him to change tack and study graphic design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo.

He then entered his designs into a fashion competition at the Bunka Fashion College but failed to win on account of his pattern-making and sewing skills.

“Shortly after, he attended the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris and was an apprentice to Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy, drawing 50 to 100 sketches daily. Following a short stint in New York, where he became acquainted with artists like Christo and Robert Rauschenberg, he returned to Tokyo in 1970 to establish the Miyake Design Studio,” says Dazed.

Protagonist of Japanese design

Alongside the likes of Rei Kawakubo and Kansai Yamamoto, Miyake was a protagonist of Japanese design, jostling to get a footing on the world’s stage throughout the 1980s.

And it was during this time that Miyake began to experiment with the Fortuny pleat, which would offer his wearers the freedom to move while signalling all the cachet of high-end design. The fabric’s ability to hold its pleats made it perfect for dancers, and Miyake sent 300 pieces to the Ballett Frankfurt, which led to the development of his Pleats Please range in 1999.

It would be 10 years until Miyake launched his menswear equivalent, Homme Plissé, which united performers, gallerists, musicians, and fashion-heads in elasticated waists, comfort, and craft. The process to make these seihin pleats can now be witnessed first-hand at the Homme Plissé flagship in Minami-Aoyama in Japan, which opened in July 2019.

In 2016, Miyake told The Guardian that “we call the people who make clothing couturiers – they develop new clothing items – but actually the work of designing is to make something that works in real life.”     Bizcommunity

Most expensive fashion show

The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on 30 November 2016 cost an estimated $20 m, making it the most expensive fashion show ever produced. The lingerie spectacular, held at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, featured 51 models such as Kendall Jenner and Adriana Lima wearing 82 outfits, and musicians including Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars.

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