35 of 2021

Newsletter No 35 / 17 September 2021

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LVMH awards SA’s Lukhanyo Mdingi coveted Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld Prize winners Colm Dillane, Rui Zhou and Lukhanyo Mdingi.

South African fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi scooped the Karl Lagerfeld Prize during the final of the eighth edition of the global LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.

This is the third year in a row that a South African creative has been recognised in the respected design competition. Sindiso Khumalo was a finalist in the 2020 edition and Thebe Magugu won the overall LVMH Prize in 2019 – the first African to have done so.

LVMH Prize and Karl Lagerfeld prize recipients

The global competition was launched by luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH in 2013 to support and honour young design talent.
 

The latest awards announcement took place on Tuesday at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, in the presence of six artistic directors from the LVMH Group: Virgil Abloh, Jonathan Anderson, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Marc Jacobs, Kim Jones and Stella McCartney, alongside Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie and Sidney Toledano.

Among the nine finalists, the jury awarded the overall LVMH Prize to Nensi Dojaka, 27, an Albanian womenswear designer based in London. She will receive a €300,000 endowment and will be mentored for one year by a team of LVMH experts.

Given the exceptional talent of the finalists this year, the jury decided to award the Karl Lagerfeld Prize to three designers instead of one. They each receive €150,000 and will enjoy a one-year mentorship.

The recipients include SA’s Lukhanyo Mdingi, 29, who is based in Cape Town and focuses on womenswear and menswear; Colm Dillane, 29, the American founder of the womenswear and menswear KidSuper label based in Brooklyn; and Rui Zhou, 26, the Shanghai-based Chinese designer behind the brand Rui which specialises in genderless fashion.

In an Instagram post, Mdingi dedicated the award to his friend Nicholas Coutts, the talented South African fashion designer who passed away in 2019.

Delphine Arnault, director and executive vice president of LVMH, states: “I am very happy that the 2021 LVMH Prize has been awarded to Nensi Dojaka. Her sensual and tailored fashion breaks with the conventions of womenswear, combining confidence and style. Given the incredible talent of the finalists, the jury decided to award the Karl Lagerfeld Prize to three designers: Colm Dillane for KidSuper, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Rui Zhou for Rui. All three have sharp and unique visions of today’s fashion.

The eighth edition is evidence of the international scope and appeal of the LVMH Prize: hailing from over 100 countries, nearly 2,000 candidates applied this year. I am especially grateful to the nine finalists for their valuable presence despite the exceptional circumstances. I applaud their outstanding talent and creativity. I am delighted that the LVMH Prize has placed the spotlight on their work and will help them develop their brand.”
 

Moreover, three young fashion school graduates were distinguished: Adam Kost, a graduate of Institut Français de la Mode (Paris), Franziska Simon, a graduate of Heinrich-Heine Universität (Düsseldorf) and Eric Starc, a graduate of Università Iuav di Venezia (Venice). Each will receive €10,000 and join the studios of three Houses of the LVMH Group for one year, respectively Louis Vuitton menswear, Dior menswear and Dior womenswear.

The ninth edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers will take place in 2022.  Bizcommunity

GenNext Awards: appealing to the youth market

Picture: 123RF/FABIO FORMAGGIO

For the seventh consecutive year Nike has been voted the coolest brand overall in the Sunday Times GenNext , which assesses youth brand preference and consumer behaviour. Nike won in four categories: the Coolest Clothing Brand, the Coolest Shoe/Footwear Brand, the Coolest Campaign Targeted at Youth and the Coolest Fitness App (for the Nike running app).

In the clothing category, Nike has a 10% lead over its closest competitor, Adidas. In the shoe category it leads Adidas by just over 8%.

What is it about Nike that makes it such an enduringly well-loved brand in the youth market?

It has developed a cult-like following among its supporters and has become a globally recognised brand in its close to five decades of existence. This has largely been as a result of its ability to foster emotional connections with its customer base through storytelling.

The brand has long championed self-empowerment and fought against conformity. Founder Phil Knight has been quoted as saying that rather than being a footwear company, Nike became a marketing-oriented company and its product became its most important marketing tool.

Nike’s image is one of being fashion-forward and enduringly cool. However, as a brand where image is everything, the challenges it faces, wrote Sara Germano in an article published in the Financial Times earlier this year, will be balancing its power as a global retailer and its formidable influence in style with social messaging and culture at large.

While some may view Generation Z consumers – classified as those between the ages of 6 and 24 – as too young to be significant, the reality is that this cohort’s income is predicted to increase by 140% in the next five years. According to TransUnion research, SA’s Generation Z is helping to drive the consumer credit sector forward. According to the report, bank personal loans, home loans, store credits and vehicle loans are the fastest-growing products among credit-active Gen Z consumers.  

“Generation Z is proving to be very different from millennials when it comes to their views on property. A recent Bank of America survey indicates that over 80% of Generation Zs want to own a home. To achieve this dream, they’ll give up spending on experiences like travel so that they can save for a deposit on a home loan,” says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond. 

This is a generation that has never known a world without Google and is accustomed to spending considerable amounts of time online. “They are very comfortable with remote living –  40% of those aged 16-17 prefer hanging out with friends online to doing so in person, and will happily settle anywhere that has a good internet connection,” says Coetzee.

While all generations these days prioritise convenience over brand, this is particularly true of Gen Zers. “Businesses need to remember that this is a cohort that cannot remember a time when anything wasn’t on demand with a tap or swipe. As a result, they are experimenting with both established and emerging ways to simplify purchases. Self-service accounts are now used by more customers than not. More cutting-edge offerings powered by artificial intelligence and automation are gaining traction, too,” says Robin Fisher, senior area vice-president at Salesforce’s emerging markets unit.

This means that brands and businesses must recognise that doing things as they have always been done doesn’t necessarily work for what is likely to be the majority of their customers. Jonathan Hurvitz, CEO of Teljoy, says: “It necessitates an in-depth evaluation of how you create value, and tailoring that value to meet the needs of Gen Zers at the exact point where they want it. Brands which choose to ignore the needs and preferences of this segment of the market do so at their peril, as these are groups who call for products, services and approaches that align with their values and financial goals at large.”

Businesses that recognise the relevance of the new buying market should emphasise values and social responsibility as a key approach to gaining the attention of the audience. What is the significance of this? According to Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report, while the majority of the population trusts corporations to be honest and behave in the best interests of others, Gen Z customers (36%) are slightly more likely than baby boomers (at 42 %) to have doubts about a company’s honesty.

”Businesses need to pay attention to this sizable group, which will more and more define buying trends,” says SweepSouth CEO Aisha Pandor. “As a generation that is focused on social and environmental impact and brand identity, they will set the standard for the value that consumer products need to add to their lives. With their strong opinions, they will undoubtedly compel other generations to adapt to them, and are poised to become the most disruptive to economies, markets and social systems.”

Despite their youth, Gen Zers wield significant economic power, which means businesses need to factor them into their marketing strategies. Importantly, businesses must recognise that this generation will be closely watching brands to see how they respond to societal challenges.

To view the complete list of GenNext winners across 61 categories click here.   FM

TFG commemorates Heritage Day by committing to more local jobs

A Proudly South African and leading fashion & lifestyle retailer, TFG is commemorating Heritage Month through their commitment to creating more local jobs. They have enhanced their growth strategy for local manufacturing by growing their own factories and acquiring new ones. Five years ago, up to 80% of all TFG merchandise came from the East; today locally manufactured textiles have grown to a meaningful 37% and this will increase exponentially over the next few years.

TFG’s strategic shift to swim against the tide by substantially investing in local manufacturing has already paid off. According to SACTWU’s Etienne Vlok the retailer is now the largest local apparel manufacturer in South Africa.

“TFG’s investment in local manufacturing confirms localisation is a viable strategy to fight unemployment. The retailer’s import replacement will significantly increase TFG’s local production, resulting in more local jobs and upskilling. Unusually for South African retailers, TFG is creating thousands of jobs within its in-house manufacturing base” Said Vlok.

Over the past five years, TFG has worked with the South African government, the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition (DTIC) especially, to strategically create a diversified and agile local supply chain. This investment reduced its reliance on China and other international suppliers. This focused strategy has led to an increase in the contribution of locally manufactured products for their retail brands.

TFG’s most recent acquisition of local homeware brand Granny Goose exemplifies the group’s commitment to harnessing innovation and home-grown talent. The family business, which opened its doors 25 years ago, has developed the only locally produced feather range in SA.  This iconic brand will be exclusively owned by @home from 1 October.  The Granny Goose product range will be extended to more @home stores and will include the kids Gosling Range.

Further evidence of this strategy can be seen in the retailer’s expansion of their Prestige Maitland and Caledon factories.  Together with the launch of three additional hubs they are collectively projected to employ 5000 workers by 2026.

Five manufacturing hubs and growing

Prestige Clothing (Pty) according to the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Industry employed 2470 permanent employees, as at 31 July 2021.

The factories in Maitland and Caledon launched with just 10 and six employees respectively. “These numbers are impressive for two factories. Prestige (Maitland) started in 1989 and now specialises in the manufacturing of ladies’ outerwear and Prestige (Caledon) started in 2008 and now focuses on the manufacturing of T-shirts and related products. By the end of this financial year, the Prestige Caledon factory will employ more than 700 workers and over 1000 employees in three years. This has had a major positive impact on Caledon and on its community.” said Graham Choice, MD TFG Merchandise Supply Chain.

On 1 April 2021, Prestige (Epping) was formed, which was previously made up of the ex- Seardel companies of Monviso, Bibette, Bonwit (then called TCI Apparel). It was acquired by Prestige clothing, to produce TFG’s formalwear apparel for both men’s and ladies. Additionally, the acquisition from Brimstone of the House of Monatic manufacturing unit and their assimilation into the Prestige Epping factory will arguably lead to the “rejuvenation by TFG of this highly skilled capability that would have otherwise been lost to the SA Clothing industry.

Prestige (Durban) launched on 1 May 2021 after TFG acquired TCI Mobeni.  Together with TFG’s newly acquired assets from Playtex, this factory is intended to become the intimate wear and active sportswear manufacturing hub for the group.

In addition, Prestige clothing’s learnership programme will produce 288 graduates by the end of February 2022. Upon completion of this Learnership Programme these learners will be considered for permanent employment at TFG. This is likely to continue for a good few more years as these four hubs have the capability to grow to between 1100 – 1500 employees each, said Choice.

“The most unique hub is certainly the Prestige Johannesburg facility. We have been engaging with St Vincent School of the Deaf since 2019. The school had talented learners but on graduating or leaving school are unable to find jobs. TFG worked with the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) SETA to upskill and train the St Vincent School of the Deaf graduates. The contributions from Bidvest Industrial and (FP&M), under the leadership of CEO Felleng Yende, has undoubtedly played a significant role in the successful launch of this facility.

The workplace experiential training takes place at the Prestige (Johannesburg) facility, providing employment in this first of two intakes to 49 hearing impaired trainees. These employees are on a journey to receive a NQF2 learnership on completion.

All Prestige clothing manufacturing hubs have implemented the Quick Response Manufacturing methodology. This innovation uses best of class manufacturing technology to create shorter lead times and is a strategic advantage for the Group.

A recent success story was the production of 60% of The Fix brand merchandise made locally. The FIX “Changes*” range is another example of TFG’s Quick Response Manufacturing innovation. The 100% sustainable range is locally designed and manufactured by Prestige Caledon, where each garment is made up of 40% recycled polyester chips and 60% fabric waste. 

Steinhoff NV – results of the placing of shares

Shareholders of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. (“Steinhoff”, the “Company” and with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) are referred to Steinhoff’s announcement released on SENS on 13 September 2021 (the “Launch Announcement”) regarding the launch of an accelerated bookbuild of up to 370 million ordinary shares of no par value in Pepkor Holdings Ltd. (“Pepkor”) (“Placing Shares”) (the “Placing”).

Steinhoff is pleased to announce the successful completion of the placement of 370 million Placing Shares, raising total gross proceeds of ZAR7.3 billion (c. EUR0.4 billion). The Placing Shares were placed at a price of R19.75 per share, a 9.0% discount to the pre-launch closing share price of ordinary shares of no par value in Pepkor (“Pepkor Shares”) at market close on 13 September 2021.

Accordingly, 370 million Placing Shares, constituting approximately 9.9% of total issued Pepkor Shares, will be allocated in the Placing. Following the conclusion of the Placing and the distribution of the Election PPH Shares (as defined in the Launch Announcement), the Company’s interest in Pepkor will reduce from 68.2% to approximately 50.1%.

In line with Steinhoff’s intention to retain its remaining interest in Pepkor, Steinhoff has agreed to a 180- day lock-up period, except in the case of any Pepkor Shares delivered after the date of this announcement to claimants that were not eligible for the Proposal, provided that any Pepkor Shares received by such claimants will be subject to a 180-day lock-up beginning from the day such Pepkor Shares are received.

Settlement of the Placing is expected to occur on Friday, 17 September 2021.

Goldman Sachs International and Investec Bank Ltd. (together, the “Managers”) acted as joint bookrunners in respect of the Placing.

Did you know……..

Facts about Fabric

The creation of man-made fibers has only been within the last 100 years.  Rayon, was the first man-made fiber created in 1910 and it was called ‘artificial silk’. Viscose is the most common form of Rayon.

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