Pick n Pay’s fashion business, Pick n Pay Clothing, is preparing to launch exclusive fashion ranges from three young South African designers in the coming months, in-store and online, the business said yesterday.

Pick n Pay Clothing said it had partnered with designers Zarah Cassim and Julia Buchanan from Cape Town and Sipho Mbuto from Durban to prove that “local is lekker” when it comes to fashion.

The company said the initiative, a continuation of a collaboration with renowned fashion designer Gavin Rajah, aimed to shake up the local fashion industry by making designer wear more affordable and accessible to its customers.

A year ago, Pick n Pay Clothing launched a partnership with Rajah, who will mentor the designers in creating exclusive and limited collections for Pick n Pay Clothing over the coming months.

Pick n Pay Clothing’s general manager, Hazel Pillay, said the company was passionate about supporting local initiatives, and this project had unlocked an opportunity to elevate local designers and manufacturing.

“The success of the designer collaborations when first launched last year, and the positive response from Pick n Pay Clothing customers to the exclusive collections, spurred us to build on to what we had achieved and to get them excited once again about updating their wardrobes,” said Pillay.

Pillay said the aim behind the collaborations was to support local talent and make designer clothing more accessible to more South Africans at affordable prices.

“This is an initiative that celebrates and nurtures the incredible design talent we have in South Africa, and with invaluable input from one of South Africa’s veteran designers, allowing them to carve out a niche in the fashion industry and the space to showcase this,” Pillay said.

Pick n Pay Clothing said a special 2021 collection by Gavin Rajah Atelier, his second in the collaboration, would be launched later in the year.

Rajah said he was enthusiastic that, through the initiative, he was sharing his years of experience with up-and-coming designers and giving them the freedom to express their unique art while helping to hone this to create exclusive pieces with everyday stand-out appeal.

“Now in its second year, this watershed collaboration has brought to designers a much-needed platform to flex their talent, access support from a technical and entrepreneurial perspective, as well as understand the clothing manufacturing landscape from a mass retail perspective. We are slowly building a community of creatives that can lean on each other for mentorship and direction,” said Rajah.

Proudly SA chief executive Eustace Mashimbye said collaborations with young designers provided them with access to a mass market that they would not otherwise have had.

“The retail clothing, textile, footwear and leather sectoral master plan, in which the retailers have partnered with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and organised labour, is showing real results, and we congratulate PnP Clothing on joining the likes of TFG and Mr Price Group in extending their locally manufactured clothing ranges. The sector supports thousands of jobs, with many of them female employees, and so this job-creation element is critical,” added Mashimbye.


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