In The News | 16 March 2023

Nigeria launches i-DICE, global fashion tech makes serious strides and Spotify's fashion forward playlist gets its first African designer.

In The News | 16 March 2023
Thebe Magugu joins the ranks of Brandon Blackwood, Zerina Akers and Misa Hylton with a curated Spotify Fashion Forward playlist of what he had on repeat while designing his new collection, FOLKLORICS.

Good morning all,

Coming soon: I'll be participating in 2 talks at the end of this month, one on fashion careers (Lagos; virtual) and another on fashion media's role in the sustainability conversation (Joburg; might be streamed). Neither's been officially announced yet but comment or reply if you'd like details! Get comfy; this is a bumper edition. [If there's any missing media that doesn't render in your inbox, let me know! And try reading it online.]

With thanks,
Modupe Oloruntoba

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Spotify's Fashion Forward playlist gets the Thebe Magugu treatment, hot on the heels of his BoF interview. Magugu became the first African designer to curate the playlist last week, joining the ranks of stylists and designers like Brandon Blackwood, Zerina Akers and Misa Hylton with a selection inspired by his career and his new collection, FOLKLORICS.

"At Spotify, being right at the heart of where culture takes shape alongside the creators who mould it is important to us," says Phiona Okumu, Head of Music for Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa. "Collaborating with creators like Thebe Magugu, whose growing global impact in fashion is so inspiring, is one more innovative way that we highlight African creativity on the platform, and it's exciting!”

Thebe describes the playlist as two acts: the first being the ongoing dance between familiar African sounds and a modern attitude, and the second focusing on vocal and acoustic folklore explorations. The 55 song strong list features a thoroughly South African selection of legends and contemporary heroes across genres, from Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and Brenda Fassie to Kwesta, Cassper Nyovest and friends like Desire Marea.

“The collection [FOLKLORICS] looks at the past through a modern sense - much like the artists selected, who beautifully combine the past, the present and slight suggestions for the future through their intelligent, genre-bending and afro-centric stories,” Thebe says.

i-DICE, or the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Program, launched in Abuja this week, marking the rollout of a flagship initiative that will drive vital funding for upscaling entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria’s digital and creative industries, which include film, fashion, and music.

The program is part of the federal government of Nigeria’s efforts to create better, more inclusive, sustainable jobs for its surging youth population and consolidate the country’s position as Africa’s leading start-up investment destination and youth entrepreneurship hub. The DICE Fund, a venture capital outfit to be created under the program, will bring additional funding from other investors into the program's fold.

Nigeria to Launch the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Program (i-DICE)
What: Launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises Program Who: The Federal Government of Nigeria, including the Vice President, ministers, and other senior officials; and heads of the African Development Bank Group, Agence Française de Développement, the Islamic Development Bank, a…

The Folklore connect offers a guide to global wholesale retail seasons, the Financial Times covers African designers doubling down on upcycling in the wake of western waste overwhelm and wardrobe supply store Waiting For Sun launched in South Africa this week to offer high quality wardrobe kit items to stylists and buyers.

How to Navigate the Wholesale Retail Calendar
Read about the buying calendar for retail businesses and how you can prepare your wholesale assortment planning for those key buying periods throughout the year
The African designers turning western waste into fashion statements
Creatives are upcycling discarded items into desirable clothes — and drawing attention to the impact of throwaway culture on their local industries
Waiting For Sun supply store
A curated wardrobe supply store

The Design Futures Lab has extended the 2023 lab entry period to 26th of March. South African and Zimbabwean fashion practitioners (including accessories and footwear) are invited to apply to the creative economy project that allows for the worlds of fashion and immersive technology to merge in a radical exploration of storytelling, world-building, and reimagining futures. - Twyg

Designer features: Lukhanyo Mdingi and IAMISIGO's Bubu Ogisi share their journeys on various platforms.


Jumia's growth and regulation struggles continue:

Jumia Wants to Be the “Amazon of Africa.” But It Can’t Find the Customers - NextBillion
An Initiative of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan
African watchdog forces Jumia to review its terms in push to protect consumers
Jumia has amended its terms and conditions after COMESA competition commission, compelled it to review “misleading and false” clauses.

Play-to-wear metaverse ASTRA hosts a Mystery Box challenge in collaboration with AAMIL Clothing, as well as a twitter space breaking down the project.

The Future of Fashion Ep 1: Mystery Box Challenge AAMIL clothing ✨🚀 | ASTRA-

Woolworths celebrates a strong balance sheet, even with R90 million rand in loadshedding losses; TFG joins them in loadshedding losses to the tune of almost R1 billion. [See also: Sage accounting shares continuity plan for small businesses struggling with loadshedding]

Woolies reports biggest ever first-half profit
‘We now have the strongest balance sheet we’ve had in the better part of 10 years, having paid off over R12bn worth of debt’: CEO Roy Bagattini.
Load shedding hits Woolworths for R90 million
Retail group Woolworths has been hit hard by load shedding.
Load shedding costs one of South Africa’s biggest retailers R1 billion
The Foschini Group says that load shedding and its knock-on effects wiped R1 billion from its turnover.


Elsewhere, Vogue Singapore drives its digital fashion agenda forward by co-sponsoring a digital fashion design competition ahead of Metaverse Fashion Week.

Vogue Singapore x Metaverse Fashion Week digital fashion competition

BoF covers Ib Kamara's journey to his first collection for OFF-WHITE BoF (register to read)

SA's very own Janine Jellars is quoted in this Dazed article unpacking the death of teen-girl specific culture and spaces for it.

Are we witnessing the demise of teen girl culture?
While the 90s and 00s had an abundance of tween-focused pop culture, it seems to be slowly going extinct – so what does that mean for young women today?

Vogue Business reports on Paris' independent talent rise (fuelled by a shortage of entry level design roles at established brands) and questions whether the commercial success of Daniel Roseberry's ready-to-wear for Schiaparelli will measure up to the creative success of his couture.

Meet Paris’s nouvelle vague: The young designers making it on their own
As bigger brands reduced design teams, the pandemic gave rise to a new wave of independent talent in Paris. Ahead of their Autumn/Winter 2023 presentations, the city’s emerging designers are maturing, in spite of a challenging retail landscape.
(register to read)
Beyond couture, can Schiaparelli succeed in ready-to-wear?
CEO Delphine Bellini and artistic director Daniel Roseberry talk to Vogue Business ahead of its first ready-to-wear show at Paris Fashion Week.
(register to read)

The industry and fashion fans react to Law Roach's shock drop retirement announcement.

Is Zendaya’s Stylist Law Roach Really … Retiring?
If so, red carpets will never be the same.

In labour & environment ethics, garment workers blow the whistle on Nike, BoF hosts a discussion on solutions for the end of a product's life cycle, and a Reuters investigation uncovers how shoes that left Singapore to be recycled ended for sale in Indonesia — illegally.

Garment Workers Blast ‘Dangerous’ New Normal at Nike
A group of 20 garment-sector unions filed a complaint alleging that the Just Do It firm violated OECD responsible business guidelines.
(register to read)

How can fashion rethink the end of life of products? BoF (register to read)

Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them in Indonesia
A Reuters investigation found some shoes meant for recycling in Singapore ended up in shops in Indonesia, where it is illegal to import second-hand clothing.

In fashion tech, The Interline reports on the possibilities emerging in twin digital fabric profiles, the infrastructure needed to succeed at making digital products, and other developing stories across fashion technology.

URL To IRL And Back Again: How Digital Fabric Twins Are Defining Fashion’s New Trajectories
Fashion is on a 3D / DPC journey, making digital fabrics and digital fabric twins vital to the industry’s creative and commercial futures.
Building The Infrastructure For Successful Digital Product Creation
Beyond the technology, cultural change and organisational composition could dictate how successfully brands are able to migrate to digital-native working.
Standards, Sizing, and Sustainability: This Week In Fashion Technology
The status quo for the fashion industry continues to shape-shift.

Shopify shares plans to use ChatGPT to build a personalised assistant for shopping recommendations, possibly as part of the Shopify Magic AI toolset that already allows merchants to automatically generate product descriptions.

OpenAI launches an API for ChatGPT, plus dedicated capacity for enterprise customers
OpenAI has launched an API for its ChatGPT text-generating system, with initial partners including Instacart, Snap and Quizlet.

A DAO funds the production of a 3D printed fashion collection that debuted at premiere Web3 event NFT Paris.

Nouns DAO Funds 3D Printed Fashion Collection Shown at NFT Paris
Nouns DAO has funded a 3D printed fashion collection designed by Danit Peleg, which made its debut at NFT Paris.

In social media, Alex Kantrowitz documents how platforms are shifting focus from users to creators and brands who will pay to do business on them, and regulations are set to redesign the influence industry in France in an effort to protect both influencers and consumers.

Social Media Is Changing, And Paid Accounts Are The Response
Monthly fees for Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are not for ordinary users. They’re for the professionals who’ve taken over the feeds.
France to regulate social media influencers

Also, some excellent thoughts on the emergence of the 'taste economy' and brand building,  Nordstrom's partnership with the Folklore Group to increase the number of black-owned brands on its shop floors, Diane Von Furstenberg gives WWD a business update following the commercial turnaround, and Vital Voices takes to the streets to empower women in business (many in fashion) with mentoring walks.

Nordstrom Joins Forces with The Folklore Group, Continues Growing Assortment of Black-Owned Brands | Nordstrom
Nordstrom and The Folklore Group are joining forces to bring the best in global fashion closer to the Nordstrom customer. Through The Folklore Connect platform, a first-of-its-kind e-commerce tool, Nordstrom will be better able to identify and engage with wholesale fashion and lifestyle brands
Diane von Furstenberg Talks Legacy, Future of the Brand and New Projects
On deck are a DVF documentary and exhibition in Brussels.
Women Have Found A Powerful Way To Form Authentic Connections In Business - Mentoring Walks
Vital Voices sponsors 135 Mentoring Walks in 45 countries. These women-only walks bring together established and emerging female leaders to create authentic personal and professional connections to inspire the next generation of female change makers. And sometimes they even lead to jobs.
The Taste Economy
Magazines are the original creator economy.


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