37 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 37                                                                               28 September  2018

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The #DFF2018 Afrofuturism winners announced!

#DFF2018 winners: Aldytha Da Silva (Business Award: Kryolan); Ntando Shandu (New Face); Martin John Steenkamp (Fashion Innovator & Next Generation Emerging Designer Awards); Samuel Quame Owusu (Best African Menswear Collection); Nassim Samma (Best African Ladieswear Collection); Zama Mathe (DFF Durban designer of the Year 2018); Brenda Quin (Best Ladieswear Collection); Zamabhele Ntshangase (Rising Star); Chu Suwannapha (Best Menswear Collection); Khulekani Sithole and Sicelinhlanhla Ngcobo (Rising Star); Nandile Mkhize (New Face); Cari St Quentin (Rising Star); Insert: Muzi Innocent Mhlambo (Collection of the Week). Photo: Supplied

The Durban Fashion Fair (DFF), celebrating a seven year run ended on a high note last night (Saturday, September 22) with an award ceremony recognizing local and international emerging and established designers.

The DFF ran alongside the Durban Business Fair who also celebrated their 20th anniversary at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and the Durban Exhibition Centre.

Themed Afrofuturism and hosted by much loved radio and television personality Anele Mdoda, the highlight of this four-day fashion extravaganza celebrated the talents of the future and recognised the maestros of the present.

The most coveted award of the evening – the Durban Designer of the Year 2018 – went to Zama Mathe, head designer of the brand Zarth.

Mathe is a protégé of the DFF and head of a growing and successful business. Founded in 2009, Zarth has evolved into a creative design house employing a fully qualified team of professionals. The fledgling brand made its DFF debut in 2013, earning Zama Mathe an internship to Milan, Italy. She has participated at the DFF every year since then. This is the second year she has clinched the award, having also being chosen as the DFF Designer of the Year title in 2016.

The Collection of the Week award went to Muzi Innocent Mhlambo who launched his brand, Mita-N Dzyns in 2010. Self-taught and ambitious, he has honed his career and grown his passion for fashion through the DFF.

This year’s Best Ladieswear Collection 2018 Award went to Diva Designs, Brenda Quin for a stunning collection that perfectly encapsulates her combination of combining boldness with femininity while the Best Menswear Collection went to well-known fashion writer and award winning designer, Chu Suwannapha and his brand Chulaap. Trained in Paris and resident in South Africa for 18 years, Chu was raised in Thailand but boldly celebrates the diversity of Africa through graphic, print oriented designs.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Fawzia Peer, who opened the Durban Fashion Fair Recognition Awards, declaring that the entire endeavour was a noble cause. They noted that the eThekwini Municipality had invested approximately R40 million in various fashion development programmes over the past six years which had enabled it to touch the lives of more than 1 800 designers, many of which had gone on to not only showcase their creations internationally but had also built businesses and created jobs.

She noted that fashion had an important part to play in the economic development agenda of the city and said that the DFF was an important foundation for the creation of sustainable businesses in the city of Durban.

While the theme of Afrofuturism focused on the creation of an African fashion culture, this needed to be moved into the future with patriotism. She urged both the audience and Durban as a whole to do this by supporting local designers and buying their clothes.

“The DFF must be viewed as a symbol of greatness, of what we can achieve when we work together and we are grateful to all of those who have played an active role in making this event such a success,” she said.

The DFF Recognition Awards not only recognises local excellence, but also commends those who have travelled from across Africa to participate.

Here, the Best African Menswear Collection went to Ghanaian designer, Samuel Quame Owusu and his label Quame Owusu for the second year in a row. The Best African Ladieswear Collection Award was collected by Nassim Samma from Burundi, who launched Samma Collections in 2015.

Martin John Steenkamp, whose label Martin John encapsulates androgynous design with menswear pieces that channel into women’s wear took home two prestigious awards – Fashion Innovator Award and the Next Generation Emerging Designer Award.

The Durban Fashion Legend 2018 which is based on nominations from within the local fashion industry went to Amanda Laird Cherry while the Fashion Business Award went to make up house, Kryolan.

Switching to new talent, the much anticipated Rising Stars Awards – which pick out the three top performing mentees that participate in a year-long designer mentorship programme in the run up to the DFF – were Cari St Quentin, Zamabhele Ntshangase and the label Black Rose which combines the talents of Khulekani Sithole and Sicelinhlanhla Ngcobo.

Five years ago, the DFF introduced a model search, providing an opportunity for youngsters from disadvantaged communities to not only get themselves on the DFF ramp but also to begin to build a modelling career.

This year’s DFF New Face of the Year (ladies) was Nandile Mkhize, while the New Face of the Year (men) was Ntando Shandu.

Well done to all the #DFF 2018 winners….

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Fashion brand Donna sees online sales soar

The online sales of women’s fashion brand Donna have significantly outstripped expectations, after just a month of launching online.

The body-positivity brand, Donna, officially launched online in mid-July and has exceeded its targets by over 300% every day since launch, making it the fastest growing online store in the TFG and one of the top performers out of the 100 nation-wide bricks stores.

Donna offers clothing to women from size 14 to 32. Since going live, the online store has seen maximum demand for size 28 items, proving that there is a substantial need to cater online for women who want to wear fashionable clothing that fits their curves.

“We are so excited by the response. It is incredible to see how Donna’s customer base is growing as more women, who are looking for fashion that fits them comfortably, are flocking to our online store,” says Sarah Proctor, head of business for Donna.

Contributing to the success is Donna’s two user-friendly and distinct online features: ‘Size Guide’ which is a measuring platform to help shoppers find their correct apparel and footwear size; and ‘How To Shop Online’ which is a detailed step-by-step guide to purchasing a product on the Donna store, for those that are new to the world of online shopping.

Donna received a flood of positive feedback from shoppers on its Facebook page who said: “loving the online store, it is user-friendly and super-fast”, “I love how you guys are providing more trendy clothes, we love it. We are tired of old-fashioned, ugly skirts and tops of old aunties. We want young, elegant, trendy and sophisticated clothing, shoes and accessories.”

The arrival of Donna online, marked TFG’s 17th store since the retail group started its ecommerce journey in 2014.

“In order to make online shopping democratic in South Africa, ecommerce providers need to not only provide diverse payment and delivery methods, but also inclusive product,” said Robyn Cooke, head of TFG eCommerce. “Catering to all sizes is essential and we are delighted to see that Donna’s size curve is opening the door to welcome in a new online customer.”

Zimbabwean cotton output at 5 year high of 130,000 tonnes

Cotton output in Zimbabwe has risen by 76 per cent year-on-year to 130,000 tons in the 2018 marketing season. The output is the highest in nearly five years, and has been achieved due to the government support under the Presidential Inputs Scheme. Owing to steep increase in production, cotton exports are expected to jump.

Under the Presidential Inputs Scheme, the government gave various free support initiatives to farmers to help them increase their cotton cultivation.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is expecting that the country would get around $85 million in foreign exchange through cotton exports this year.

In 2011, Zimbabwe produced 268,000 tonnes of cotton which decreased to 135,000 tonnes in 2013-14 and further to 100,000 tonnes in the year 2014-15.  In 2016, cotton yield was just 28,000 tonnes, the lowest since 1992. Due to government’s efforts, production increased to 70,000 tonnes last year. F2F

Nigerian President secures $2bn PRC loan for textile sector

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during his recent visit to China secured a $2-billion loan to set up cotton plantation and textile units in Abia, Kano and Lagos states. He assured the traditional rulers of Abia that problems of electricity and infrastructure in the state’s Ariaria market, a major trading hub in West and Central Africa, would soon be over.

President Buhari was in China to attend the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation

Investments in the textile sector would create thousands of jobs in Aba, Nigerian media reported quoted him as saying.

In June this year, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission granted an electricity generation licence as well as a distribution licence for the Ariaria market, he said, assuring that the market will be fully electrified soon. F2F

Did you know……..

Levi’s jeans are one of the most popular brands of jeans. Although you might pay a hefty price for a pair now, the first pair sold for $6 worth of gold dust back in 1853.

High heels are nothing new to the world. In the 18th century, they were fashionable even for children.

Ralph Lauren’s real name was Ralph Lifshitz.

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