37 of 2016


Newsletter No.37      14 October 2016

SWAROVSKI to exhibit Fall/Winter 2017/18 innovations at the ATF Trade Exhibition in November.

SWAROVSKI is delighted to announce that they will be showcasing their Fall/Winter 2017/18 crystal innovations, with a particular focus on sustainability, at the ATF Trade Exhibition which will take place from 8 – 10 November at the CTICC in Cape Town.

The Swarovski theme, The Nature of Us, includes a special partnership with Céline Cousteau called the Tribute to Tribe collection. Céline Cousteau, granddaughter of legendary ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, is famous for her commitment to protecting the world’s oceans. The renowned filmmaker and environmentalist is also the spokesperson for an indigenous tribe in the Brazilian Amazon whose mission is to preserve their ecosystem. Cousteau’s designs are inspired by tribal decorations painted or tattooed on bare skin, which express coexistence with nature, and include the new Oval Tribe Fancy Stone, the Rhombus Tribe Fancy Stone, and the Cross Tribe Pendant. The four sub-themes that make up The Nature of Us are Soul Food (Classic), Work Life (Progressive), Travel Age (Romantic) and Party Spirit (Glamour) and offers.

Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, Swarovski designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and creates stones as well as finished products such as jewellery, accessories and lighting. Now celebrating its 121st anniversary and run by the fifth generation of family members, Swarovski Crystal Business, has a global reach with approximately 2,680 stores in around 170 countries and more than 26,000 employees. Swarovski’s fashion jewellery vividly illustrates the brand’s ongoing quest for creativity, innovation, beauty and perfection. It could be described as young and vibrant, timeless and elegant, exclusive and avant-garde. This world renowned brand has also introduced a men’s collection which integrates leather, stainless steel and other materials. To set-up an appointment on their stand, contact Eugene Vassiliou, Key Accounts Manager Southern Africa, Swarovski Professional on Tel: 082 829 3380 or Email: Eugene.Vassiliou@swarovski.com Websites: http://www.swarovski.com/professionalhttp://www.crystals-from-swarovski.com.

The ATF Trade Exhibition will feature 150 clothing, textile, footwear & fashion accessory exhibitors from 11 countries including Austria, South Africa, China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brazil, Portugal, Turkey. To VISIT pre-register online at www.atfexpo.co.za No entry free. Pre-registration necessary.    

Edcon fashions its buying to suit local textile sector

Edcon, SA’s largest clothing retailer that was saved by a bailout deal with creditors, plans to cut back on buying clothing from China and Bangladesh.

Edcon CEO Bernie Brookes       Picture Financial Times

This move, which will be welcomed by SA’s textile sector, in which employee numbers have been slashed in half during the past 20 years, is part of a revival plan by Edcon CEO Bernie Brookes, who plans to scale back on international brands in favour of in-house developed plans.

“We still buy over a third from China and India, but want to replace that with local vendors as it doesn’t have the long lead times or the rand fluctuations,” Brookes said. “If we can move a few percent each year to locals that would be a plus.”

Edcon planned to buy 32% of its winter stocks and 38% of its summer stock from suppliers in the sub-Saharan African region — a number that would grow as Edcon replaced its agents.

Edcon expects to ditch 25 of its 37 international brands. “It’s also supporting those who shop with us,” said Brookes.

This is one arm of a revival strategy taking shape after Edcon’s announcement that it would convert R20bn of its R26.7bn in debt into equity, easing its crushing debt-load and giving it a chance of clawing back market share that it lost to rivals since it was bought out by private equity group Bain Capital in 2007. New shareholders include Franklin Templeton, FirstRand, Barclays Capital and the Harvard Pension Fund. The plan is for Edcon to re-list on the JSE by 2020, giving many of those shareholders a chance to exit their investment.

It comes as Edcon last week revealed plans to hire more than 2,000 new staff, boosting its 30,000-person workforce 7%, while cutting prices in a bid to become more competitive.

Brookes said suppliers had run out of patience. “If we needed 10,000 of one stock, they would perhaps give us only 1,000…. We were lousy payers. They were not getting paid on time,” he said.

The new pledge to work closer with its suppliers will please those down the value chain that ends at the tills of its 1,537 stores. The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) welcomed the move to support local suppliers, saying that Edcon’s recent troubles — in which it struggled to find the cash to repay its debt, leaving little cash for any investment — had hurt domestic suppliers badly.

“The year has been a tumultuous time for Edcon’s local suppliers, a lot of workers have been retrenched or put on short time,” Simon Eppel, senior researcher at Sactwu, said.

“There’s no doubt any challenge experienced by Edcon is felt by workers,” Eppel said. The union had been collaborating with Edcon “to identify local manufacturers of particular products to help the retailer deepen its sourcing in SA”, he said.

A stronger Edcon is unlikely to be an elixir for SA’s ailing textile sector, but it is some respite from the slew of bad news. In 1996, the industry employed 220,800 people — a number that had fallen to less than 100,000 by the time of the global financial crisis in 2008.

A recent government presentation to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) paints a devastating picture of an industry decimated by imports. Since 1994, the amount of textile imports has shot up more than tenfold, with the trade deficit for the industry ballooning from R3.9bn to R36.5bn by 2015. But the tide has shifted, as the rand’s weakness has made it more cost-effective to produce clothing domestically, while costs are rising in Asia. A trend to “fast fashion” has also boosted the local sector, in which six-month lead times are now unacceptable in an industry that values the ability to turn stock.

Business Day


Pictured: Nivadni Sewnath wins Best range for her Abakwetha collection that emphasised a Xhosa initiation ceremony through the cultural roots of blood and pain.

Choosing the 2016 DUT Fashion Show’s Best Range on Show winner proved to be a difficult task for the array of judges who had to look at whose range best fitted the post-apocalyptic scenario with a multi-cultural ethos, simplistic, sustainable and beyond the gender bias.

Despite the challenge, Nivadni Sewnath scooped the Best Range on Show award, beating 20 candidates who had made it to the finale, with her Abakwetha collection which, according to her artist statement, “is an After Earth journey informed by the Abakhwetha blanket sgnoifying a return to our roots After Earth”. Ulwaluko, traditional circumcision and initiation into manhood, is an ancient initiation rite practised by the the Xhosa people. The ritual is traditionally intended as a teaching institution, to prepare young males for the responsibilities of manhood.Therefore, initiates are called abakhwetha in IsiXhosa; aba meaning “a group” and kwetha meaning “to learn”.

Themed: After Earth, the annual DUT Fashion Show, hosted by the University’s Fashion and Textiles Department, was held on Friday night (30 September) at the DUT Fred Crookes Sports Centre, Steve Biko Campus. Themed: After Earth, this year’s Show challenged 35 Fashion and Textiles students to explore their own vision of our next world through their respective fashion ranges.

Upon hearing the news of her win, a shocked Sewnath could not believe it as she had never won anything in her life before. “All I can say is that it involved a lot of hard work as I had to dip-dye the garments, stockings, insert the pins and ensure the masks correlated with each garment,” she said.

Her passion for Xhosa culture, especially the usage of the Xhosa initiation blanket to keep young men warm when they go to the mountain during the Xhosa tradition of Abakwetha, is what drove her to do more research into the tradition as well as give her direction as to how best to use her research material into the form of her award-winning garments. “I wanted something African and the Xhosa culture immediately caught my eye so I went ahead with it,” she said.

Besides looking at completing her BTech studies in Fashion and Textiles at DUT, Sewnath hopes to also use her fashion flair to give back to the community by sharing her skills with other creative and aspiring community fashion talents. She hopes to also look into opening up her own fashion brand in time to come.

– Waheeda Peters

Did you know…..

Up until around 1910, it was totally common for little boys to wear dresses until they were around 5 or 6.

The inventor of the modern bikini, Louis Réard, named his creation after the Bikini Atoll — where the U.S. did tons of its nuclear testing — because he hoped it would make as big of a bang as the atomic bomb. Réard declared it wasn’t a real bikini unless the fabric from it could be “pulled through a wedding ring.”

After its modern debut, the bikini was banned in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Australia, and it was declared a sin by the Vatican.


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