Tag Archives: apparel

46664 Apparel arrives on SA shelves


From the notorious prison number to a modish clothing brand, that’s the story of 46664.

The number that identified Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, the place that the apartheid government jailed him for his political activities, has grown to be a name of a unique fashionable clothing line. The product range made its first appearance on South African shelves on 24 August 2011.

At the moment the range is readily available in 15 Stuttafords stores across the country, 46664 Apparel is also available for sale in Namibia and Botswana. It’s set to be promoted abroad in 2012.

The initial batch of the collection comprises of men’s and women’s clothes, which were all designed and manufactured in South Africa.



The eye-catching men’s golf shirts – retailing for between R399 (US$56) and R599 ($83.41) – are expected to swiftly gain popularity among the many young and stylish, at the same time the traditional seshoeshoe shirts convey a vintage African feel to the collection.

46664 Apparel men’s jeans and chinos can also be purchased. The women’s range consists of elegant dresses and skirts, in addition to stylish blouses.

The summer collection is simply a taste of what the brand is sure to offer, which, as reported by Stuttafords’ executive chairperson Hilton Mer, is a “combination of fashion and quality”.



46664 has gone from a degrading prison number to one that “celebrates beauty”, stated Tokyo Sexwale, a Cabinet minister who is also a Nelson Mandela Foundation trustee. Sexwale spent 15 years on Robben Island together with various other political prisoners including Mandela.

“Mandela was branded in jail, but look what taken place,” Sexwale added. “46664 today honors the victory of good over evil.”

The number – pronounced four, double six, six, four – is additionally made use of as the brand name for a global HIV/Aids awareness and prevention campaign.


Funds for Mandela Foundation

Royalties from 46664 Apparel sales will go to the Mandela Foundation, which created the concept of a clothing range as way to make a sustainable income.

Seven percent of the profit derived from sales will go directly to the NGO, as indicated by Brand ID CEO Wayne Bebb. As the brand grows, royalties will increase to 9%, he explained.


Brand ID, the group licensed to produce and manufacture the line, guaranteed to maintain transparency in their allocation of funds to the Mandela Foundation.

“For the next season we’ll be able to say this is what we donated to the foundation, and this is what they’ve done with the funds,” said Bebb.

Former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss added: “It’s unlike any other (clothing brand) produced in South Africa, given that the profits guarantee that the Mandela Foundation continues to generate an income.”


Local designers aboard

A group of 3 top designers deisgners were roped in to make sure the 46664 range is attractive to consumers. The well-known Craig Native is commissioned with designing the brand’s T-shirts.

Chris Vogelpoel – also highly regarded – designs the 46664 male denims, while Barbara Tosalli conceptualises the women’s range.

“They’ve all been leading designers in South Africa for many years,” said Mer.


The entire range is manufactured locally in four factories in South Africa – two in the Western Cape and two in KwaZulu-Natal. The brand has created almost 1 500 work opportunities in the factories two of which owned by Seardel, one of the country’s largest clothing and textile manufacturers.

“We’ll continue to grow the production sites in South Africa and generate more jobs,” said Bebb.

The new line and brand will showcase the crème de la crème of South African talent to the world, said Sexwale.



“We’re planning to spread the brand and make it possible for people see the quality that we have in South Africa,” he added.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com


Fashion Designers

Significant Points

* The highest numbers of fashion designers were employed in New York and California.
* Employers usually seek designers with a 2-year or 4-year degree who are knowledgeable about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends.
* Keen competition for jobs is expected as many applicants are attracted to the creativity and glamour associated with the occupation.

Nature of the Work

Fashion designers help create the billions of dresses, suits, shoes, and other clothing and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Designers study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing and accessories, select colors and fabrics, and oversee the final production of their designs. Clothing designers create and help produce men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, including casual wear, suits, sportswear, formalwear, outerwear, maternity, and intimate apparel. Footwear designers help create and produce different styles of shoes and boots. Accessory designers help create and produce items such as handbags, belts, scarves, hats, hosiery, and eyewear, which add the finishing touches to an outfit.

Some fashion designers specialize in clothing, footwear, or accessory design, but others create designs in all three fashion categories.

The design process from initial design concept to final production takes between 18 and 24 months. The first step in creating a design is researching current fashion and making predictions of future trends. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on trend reports published by fashion industry trade groups. Trend reports indicate what styles, colors, and fabrics will be popular for a particular season in the future. Textile manufacturers use these trend reports to begin designing fabrics and patterns while fashion designers begin to sketch preliminary designs. Designers then visit manufacturers or trade shows to procure samples of fabrics and decide which fabrics to use with which designs.

Once designs and fabrics are chosen, a prototype of the article using cheaper materials is created and then tried on a model to see what adjustments to the design need to be made. This also helps designers to narrow their choices of designs to offer for sale. After the final adjustments and selections have been made, samples of the article using the actual materials are sewn and then marketed to clothing retailers. Many designs are shown at fashion and trade shows a few times a year. Retailers at the shows place orders for certain items, which are then manufactured and distributed to stores.

Computer-aided design (CAD) is increasingly being used in the fashion design industry. Although most designers initially sketch designs by hand, a growing number also translate these hand sketches to the computer. CAD allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual models and in various colors and shapes, thus saving time by requiring fewer adjustments of prototypes and samples later.

Depending on the size of their design firm and their experience, fashion designers may have varying levels of involvement in different aspects of design and production. In large design firms, fashion designers often are the lead designers who are responsible for creating the designs, choosing the colors and fabrics, and overseeing technical designers who turn the designs into a final product. They are responsible for creating the prototypes and patterns and work with the manufacturers and suppliers during the production stages. Large design houses also employ their own patternmakers, tailors, and sewers who create the master patterns for the design and sew the prototypes and samples. Designers working in small firms, or those new to the job, usually perform most of the technical, patternmaking, and sewing tasks, in addition to designing the clothing.

Fashion designers working for apparel wholesalers or manufacturers create designs for the mass market. These designs are manufactured in various sizes and colors. A small number of high-fashion (haute couture) designers are self-employed and create custom designs for individual clients, usually at very high prices. Other high-fashion designers sell their designs in their own retail stores or cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores. These designers create a mixture of original garments and those that follow established fashion trends.

Some fashion designers specialize in costume design for performing arts, motion picture, and television productions. The work of costume designers is similar to other fashion designers. Costume designers, however, perform extensive research on the styles worn during the period in which the performance takes place, or they work with directors to select and create appropriate attire. They make sketches of designs, select fabric and other materials, and oversee the production of the costumes. They also must stay within the costume budget for the particular production item.

Source: bls.gov, alternativeconsumer.com, parisfashiondesigners.com, yourfashionblog.com, allartschools.com, itzcaribbean.com, apcom.net, catwalk.co.uk


Textile, Textile Product, and Apparel Manufacturing

Nature of the Industry

The textile, textile product, and apparel manufacturing industries include establishments that turn fiber into fabric and fabric into clothing and other textile products. While some factories are highly automated, others still rely mostly on people to cut and sew pieces of fabric together. The apparel industry has moved mainly to other countries with cheaper labor costs, while the textile industry has been able to automate much of its production to effectively compete with foreign suppliers. This industry is evolving and its need for a more highly skilled workforce is growing.

Goods and services.

The establishments in these industries produce a variety of goods, some of which are sold to the consumer, while others are sold as inputs to the manufacture of other products. Natural and synthetic fibers are used to produce threads and yarns—which may be woven, knitted, or pressed or otherwise bonded into fabrics—as well as rope, cordage, and twine. Coatings and finishes are applied to the fabrics to enhance the decorative patterns woven into the fabric, or to make the fabric more durable, stain-resistant, or have other properties. Fabrics are used to make many products, including awnings, tents, carpets and rugs, as well as a variety of linens—curtains, tablecloths, towels, and sheets. However, the principal use of fabrics is to make apparel. Establishments in the apparel manufacturing industry produce many knitted clothing products, such as hosiery and socks, shirts, sweaters, and underwear. They also produce many cut-and-sew clothing items like dresses, suits, shirts, and trousers.

Industry organization.

The three individual industries—textile mills, textile product mills, and apparel manufacturing—have many unique characteristics. Textile mills provide the raw material to make apparel and textile products. They take natural and synthetic fibers, such as cotton and polyester, and transform them into fiber, yarn, and thread. Yarns are strands of fibers in a form ready for weaving, knitting, or otherwise intertwining to form a textile fabric. They form the basis for most textile production and commonly are made of cotton, wool, or a synthetic fiber such as polyester. Yarns also can be made of thin strips of plastic, paper, or metal. To produce spun yarn, natural fibers such as cotton and wool must first be processed to remove impurities and give products the desired texture and durability, as well as other characteristics. After this initial cleaning stage, the fibers are spun into yarn.

Textile mills then go on to produce fabric by means of weaving and knitting. Workers in weaving mills use complex, automated looms to transform yarns into cloth. Looms weave or interlace two yarns, so they cross each other at right angles to form fabric. Knitting mills use automated machines to produce fabric of interlocking loops of one or more yarns.

At any time during the production process, a number of processes, called finishing, may be performed on the fabric. These processes—which include dyeing, bleaching, and stonewashing, among others—may be performed by the textile mill or at a separate finishing mill. Finishing encompasses chemical or mechanical treatments performed on fiber, yarn, or fabric to improve appearance, texture, or performance.

Textile mills that also make the end products in the same factory are included in this sector; otherwise, if the fabric is purchased the product made is considered a product of the textile mills products sector or apparel manufacturing sector. The textile product mills sector comprises establishments that produce a wide variety of textile products for use by individuals and businesses, but not including apparel. Some of the items made in this sector include household items, such as carpets and rugs; towels, curtains, and sheets; cord and twine; furniture and automotive upholstery; and industrial belts and fire hoses. Because the process of converting raw fibers into finished textile products is complex, most textile mills specialize.

The apparel manufacturing industry transforms fabrics produced by textile manufacturers into clothing and accessories. By cutting and sewing fabrics or other materials, such as leather, rubberized fabrics, plastics, and furs, workers in this industry help to keep consumers warm, dry, and fashionable.

The apparel industry traditionally has consisted mostly of production workers who performed the cutting and sewing functions in an assembly line. This industry remains labor-intensive, despite advances in technology and workplace practices.

Many of the remaining production workers work in teams. For example, sewing machine operators are organized into production “modules.” Each operator in a module is trained to perform nearly all of the functions required to assemble a garment. Each module is responsible for its own performance, and individuals usually receive compensation based on the team’s performance.

Photo source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com