35 of 2022`

Newsletter No 35/16 September 2022

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allfashion Sourcing Cape Town

allfashion Sourcing Cape Town will be taking place alongside SA Menswear Week as part of The Week of fashion in 2022 on the 29th September to the 1st October.

allfashion sourcing Cape Town is a business-oriented market place for the textile and fashion industry, combining African creativity, design and manufacturing with international and local sourcing options.

This year’s edition will take place at Wonderland Film Studios and only a maximum of 50 highly curated stands comprising of fashion, footwear, apparel and accessories showcases will be on display.

For the first time in 2022, allfashion Sourcing exhibiting companies will be able to sell their goods directly on-site. This three-day event is free to attend and visitors can register by clicking here (https://bit.ly/3bryhar).

The allfashion Sourcing Young Designers competition winner will be announced during the event which will be a curtain raiser to some of the SA Menswear Week and The Week of Fashions top designers. This year the Young Designers competition is proudly sponsored by Inscape.

Registration is FREE book your visitor passes here>>>https://bit.ly/3bryhar

For visitor queries contact

Zinhle Dlamini, Marketing manager

Zinhle.Dlmini@za.messefrankfurt.com | +27-10-599-6159

Pick n Pay Clothing to boost local sourcing

Sarah Allderman and Julia Buchanan. Source: Supplied

Pick n Pay Clothing’s localisation drive sees the retailer targeting 60% locally-sourced products by 2028. Local sourcing currently represents 40% of its total clothing sales and the localisation strategy has allowed the fashion retailer to reduce order lead times and maintain high levels of availability for customers.

Proving ‘local is lekker’, Pick n Pay Clothing reported a 21% increase in sales last year by gaining market share across several women, men and childrenswear categories. Over two years, through Pick n Pay’s localisation initiative, over 700 jobs have been created through the supply chain.

“The pandemic has taught us to be more resourceful. We have always supported local production but it has pushed us and our local suppliers to develop and source more products locally that were not readily available according to our customers’ needs,” says Hazel Pillay, general manager for Pick n Pay Clothing.

Building supplier capacity

Pillay adds that to increase local sourcing in the coming years, the company will continue to empower local suppliers to produce locally by building their capacity, as well as investigate opportunities in fabric sourcing. “This will help us grow local production of clothing that have typically been imported, such as high winter product lines.”

Pick n Pay started working with a small supplier in Durban during the pandemic to meet the massive demand for slippers which became the unofficial footwear for working from home.

Pillay explains: “Similar to many businesses, one of our suppliers, Sneaker Factory, was impacted during lockdown and struggled to survive during this period. Fixed expenses continued to grow with limited income but the owner, Rafiq Mahomed, identified an opportunity in locally produced slippers and converted part of his factory to manufacture indoor slippers and approached us.

“We initially bought 22,000 pairs and this has grown to over 160,000 pairs over the winter season.”

Uplifting local designers

The localisation drive has provided opportunities for collaborations with local designers, including through Pick n Pay Clothing’s Futurewear project in partnership with Gavin Rajah. Now in its third year, the collaborative initiative sees the retailer partner with up-and-coming creatives to design exclusive, yet affordable ranges for Pick n Pay Clothing customers, while encouraging designers to think innovatively, but in a commercial environment.

It aims to foster growth in the local clothing industry while providing customers with greater access to affordable designer collections.

 “All the ranges are locally produced. The 2022 collab ranges will launch with a range by Julia Buchanan in September, which has also been made with recycled fabrics to drive sustainability,” explains Pillay.

The 2022 Pick n Pay Clothing x Julia collection incorporates brighter, bolder colours and imagery inspired by Cape Town’s iconic natural elements including Lion’s Head, the Atlantic Coastline and palm trees. Furthering the collaborative spirit of the initiative, Buchanan worked with local artist and architect, Sarah Allderman from Sarch Designs, to create the print for her 2022 collection.

This will be Buchanan’s third limited edition collection with Pick n Pay Clothing. Since sliding onto the racks at the retailer, she has expanded her Julia brand into apparel and accessories and showcased her garments on the runway for the first time.

Through this collaboration, Buchanan says she has had the opportunity to share her designs with new, and wider, audiences and helped developed a following of strong women looking for interesting pieces of clothing.

“I feel more comfortable working in the commercial space and have learnt a great deal about flexibility and designing for a wider audience. Every year I learn more about our approach to structure and design, and it has helped grow my brand,” says Buchanan.

Sustainable manufacturing

Pick n Pay is also working closely with suppliers to increase the sustainability practices used in the production of the ranges. Forty-two percent of the upcoming 2022 Summer collection in stores will contain sustainable practices, up from just 22% for the winter collection.

Practices include rainwater harvesting, recycling of preproduction waste, water recycling and using solar energy. Around 70% of Pick n Pay’s main suppliers include one or more of these practices.

 “Some of our suppliers have implemented incredible practices to limit their impact on the environment. For instance, 80% of the denim in Pick n Pay stores is waterwise as suppliers employ water and energy saving technology in their production,” explains Pillay.

There is also a strong push to manufacture with natural resources. “We are committed to sourcing our cotton more sustainably and through the Better Cotton initiatives, we are growing the ranges using organic cotton that is sustainably sourced,” she adds.

Pick n Pay Clothing is a strategic priority under the company’s new Ekuseni strategy. More space will be given to the division in supermarkets in addition to 73 new store openings planned for the next year. “As we drive growth in our clothing division, we want to empower local suppliers along the way. This will in turn help us support the local economy with great job opportunities,” concludes Pillay.  Bizcommunity

Who can fill Virgil Abloh’s shoes?

By Sandiso Ngubane

Virgil Abloh.

The names touted as replacements for the late Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton have demonstrated the impact and relevance necessary to build on his legacy.

The late Virgil Abloh’s eight-collection tenure at Louis Vuitton concluded with the brand’s AW ’22 collection, designed in conjunction with Milan-based tattoo artist Ghusto Leon. It marked the end of an era for a brand that is yet to name a replacement for its men’s artistic director whose “you can do it too” mantra continues to inspire an entire generation of creatives beyond fashion.

His boundless curiosity and child-like wonderment left an imprint beyond the French brand and his last collection was described by many in the fashion press as a consolidation of his eight-season run. Svelte, cape-like tracksuiting, billowing scarf shirts, sequins, swollen tulle skirts and varsity jackets with cartoonish motifs all made an appearance in a show that demonstrated Abloh’s unmistakable boyish humour and his hybridisation as a central tenet of his design practice.

Whoever eventually fills his shoes has their work cut out. It won’t be easy to escape the long shadow of a designer whose short but iconic career as creative director for one of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands is nothing short of legendary. Speaking of which, one has to wonder — almost a year since his passing — who might the brand be looking at as a replacement?

Abloh’s success as men’s artistic director for LV saw the brand widening his responsibilities due to his transformative bridging of streetwear and luxury at a time when streetwear had become a dominant aesthetic, thanks in part brands such as Off-White, which he founded in 2013. He was the perfect candidate for a company seeking to extend its relevance to a younger generation that Abloh spoke to.

At the time of writing, a report from Business of Fashion places the likes of Telfar Clemens, British-Jamaican men’s wear designer Martine Rose and Grace Wales Boner as front-runners. I would argue that these are all worthy successors.

Martine Rose

Telfar Clemens

Grace Wales Bonner

For one, it would be a mistake for Louis Vuitton to not look at some of the leading designers of black heritage who can continue to bring to luxury fashion a perspective that went unrepresented before Abloh’s ascent.

Wales Bonner uses her mixed-race heritage as a key reference in her collections and has been described as an “academic designer” and “cultural polymath” interweaving notions of self-identity and self-expression. She works with artists, writers and performers, including FKA Twigs. This bridging of multiple disciplines makes her uniquely suited to step into the shoes of someone like Abloh, whose force many credit for influencing a new generation with broad cultural interests. Her appointment would bode well for LV’s continued relevance in an era where the rise of designers from the African continent — Thebe Magugu, to be precise — calls for innovative design, grounded in storytelling and a fresh narrative.

In this regard, Clemens, who has rewritten the rules of luxury retail and oversaw his brand Telfar’s best year at the height of Covid-19 with a strategy to control all its own sales, would also be a fitting replacement. Everything he stands for — inclusivity, community, independence — is everything a brand seeking to appeal to a new generation of consumers needs to embrace. What better way to do so than to make a hire who demonstrates that?

A few years ago, Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia invited Martine Rose to consult for the brand’s men’s wear collections. Her subversive eponymous brand draws references from rave, S&M and a general non-conformity and has attracted the likes of Rihanna. Having started her brand in 2007, just a few years later Rose had become the talk of the London fashion scene due to her unexpected approach. For example, she had only one look in her 2015 spring presentation, stating that sometimes “that’s all that needs to be said”.

Luxury fashion is no longer just the exclusive purview of a wealthy homogeneous demographic. Continuing to be relevant means tapping into the zeitgeist, but also having an eye on the future. Virgil Abloh embodied this, which is what made his appointment a stroke of genius on the part of the French house.

The three names touted as his possible replacement are among the best-placed candidates to take what he did forward as they have all displayed their own unique approaches to innovation and cultural relevance.  

The most talked about Oscars dresses of all time

Brandi Glanville, 2013

The Real Housewives star tested her luck in a low-cut gown with hopefully a lot of fashion tape. After the show, Brandi admitted the self-designed number was too tight, but she felt “happy to be on any list,” good or bad.

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