6 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 06                                                                                      23 February 2018

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Take on these 5 menswear trends

By Akim Jardine | Photography: SDR

We’ve said a lot about SA Menswear Week, even questioned whether it’s relevant in the ocean of fashion weeks in South Africa (the answer is yes, in abundance). Many labels have used the platform to showcase brilliant collections that speak to the growing strength of African creativity and design, with carefully curated and styled looks. We can’t overlook, however, that the events become convoluted with gimmicky presentation, positioned to create hype with fashion that is rather mediocre. Less-than-desired design and a couple of fit faux pas aside, last weekend reminded us of the greatness of conceptual African Menswear when done right, with collections that could stand their ground on a world stage.

Deep at the core of every story that designers have ever told on the runway, lies a response to the world that we live in. For a world in crisis the AW18 narrative is a return to reality, away from the grand fantasy of fashion, with strength at the heart of each collection. TWoU picked up on five of the biggest styling trends from the most recent shows, and provided tips on how to incorporate these into your look.

Belt it up

Belting should always be the final touch for a polished, considered look. Belts on the runway have transformed from a pedestrian necessity to a fully fledged expression of style. We suggest that once you’ve invested in a classic leather belt you try woven textiles in longer lengths with quick release clips, or plate buckles.

In the bag

Remember when bags for men meant high-function backpacks? When anything else was offensively called a ‘man-bag’, because assigning a gender to it made it seem ‘OK’ to carry around? Those days are long gone, and oversized shoppers, belt bags worn across the chest, and even little clutch bags exploded onto the runway, taking notes from Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton x Supreme. If you’re into it, try making your ungendered accessory do the talking and pair it down with a simple, minimal look.

Use your head

Hats off to everyone taking notes from Dior Homme and Prada and topping off their winter looks. This season introduces headwear that defines the look and really drives the aesthetic. Technical fabrications and utilitarian styles not only hint at hobbies like fly-fishing or hiking, but also protect your precious thoughts from being soaked in all the rain that will surely come bucketing down in Cape Town (someone make it happen, please) this winter.

Don’t just mix, match

“Whether it’s solid colours or monochrome prints head-to-toe, colour blocking and mixing opposing prints is out,” says the Fashion Volturi – me. We’d suggest soft pastel tones, camel or monochrome for strong unicolour looks, and if you’re playing with print go for simple repetitive patterns that can be worn in abundance.

Make a statement

Do you like words on your clothes? (If you answered yes, please continue. If not, that’s ok! Click through to the next feature, there’s nothing for you here). Still with us? Great job, you’ve made it into one of the most exciting fashion movements of the year. Bold branding and slogans on tees and jackets are the quickest and easiest way to show your alliance with a cause and unite with a group. You’re the coolest and we don’t need to tell you how to wear things, because your T-shirt is probably far too busy telling us what to do.

3 African nations may face AGOA sanctions if Mitumba banned

Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will face US trade penalties, including losing eligibility for duty-free clothing exports to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), if they decide to stop import of used clothes from the United States, according to the US State Department. The three countries have time till next week to take the call.

Washington sees stopping of used clothing imports, known as Mitumba in east African nations, as a blockage of free trade.

“I believe the results of the meeting next week will determine how we proceed,” Harry Sullivan, acting head of the economic and regional affairs unit in the State Department’s Africa Bureau, said, according to media reports from east Africa.

The East African Community (EAC) member states agreed two years ago to impose a phased ban on Mitumba over a three-year period beginning 2019.

Kenya later withdrew from that agreement following US threats. US trade officials maintain that the Mitumba ban violates an Agoa stipulation requiring beneficiary countries to eliminate barriers to trade with the United States.

Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda argued last July that the ban was key to their efforts to develop domestic clothing manufacturing industries, which the Trump administration disputes, saying making inexpensive used clothing unavailable will adversely affect many in the three countries.

A better way of developing domestic clothing industries would entail encouraging middle-class consumers to buy locally made apparel, Sullivan proposed. F2F

Over 250 buyers attended the India Leather & Footwear Trade Expo in Cape Town

The Council for Leather Exports (CLE) India, in association with the Consul General of India, Cape Town, organised the 4th annual edition of the India Leather & Footwear Trade Expo which took place on 21 & 22 February at the CTICC.  40 exhibitors from all over India participated and displayed a wide range of products including footwear, leather goods, leather garments and finished leather. The event attracted over 250 industry decision makers including buyers from TFG, Due South, Cape Union Mart, Queenspark, Truworths, PEP, Poetry Stores, Miladys, Mr Price Sports, Superbalist.com, Busby Group to mention a few.

South Africa is the largest importer of leather and leather products in Africa.  India is a significant player in the global leather business – the second largest global producer of footwear and leather garments and the fifth largest exporter of leather goods and accessories. Exports from the Indian leather industry has grown from USD107.97 million in 1966-67 to USD5665.91 million in 2016-17.

India accounted for a share of 4.53% of South Africa’s total leather import trade of USD978.41 million in 2016, providing ample scope to further enhance our exports to South Africa. India’s exports to South Africa has increased from USD36.07 million in 2012 to USD44.29 million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 5.27%. Footwear accounts for about 55% of India’s total export of leather and leather products to South Africa followed by finished leather, leather goods and leather garments.

For more information on exhibitors, email: nthomas@worldonline.co.za

Did you know……..

It was once taboo to wear black unless one was in mourning.  Victorian widows were expected to wear black mourning clothes for two years after their husbands’ deaths.

Until around the beginning of the 20th century, Chinese culture regarded small feet as beautiful, and it was a common practice to bind women’s feet from an early age to keep their feet small.   This practice was limited to the wealthy, however, as the feet of women who underwent this procedure were so deformed that they had difficulty walking.

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