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City of Johannesburg Merchandising Competition

06/28/2006 08:04:22

Artslink.co.za News

City of Johannesburg Merchandising Competition

Joburg creatives outdo themselves in interpreting the city


The emergence of Joburg on the global design scene was celebrated at the awards ceremony for the Joburg City Merchandising Competition.

The emergence of Joburg and South Africa on the global design scene was celebrated at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, 27 June, for the first annual Joburg City Merchandising Competition. The submissions of 30 up-and-coming designers were showcased at the gala event, as well as works by specially invited professional designers.

The competition, which was sponsored by the City of Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Development Agency, the Fashion District Institute and Sanlam, drew over 500 entries from more than 378 local design professionals and students. In a separate initiative that ran concurrently with the competition and was sponsored by Sanlam, top designers were invited to show work that was aligned to the theme of the competition.

The top entrants in the competition`s three categories of fashion, accessory and functional design walked away with cash prizes of R25 000 for first place and R10 000 for second, as well as the opportunity to work with Joburg City and retailers to produce and market their winning products.

Head of the judging panel and top local trend forecaster Dion Chang says: "We were overwhelmed by the quality of workmanship and level of creativity of the competition entries. We asked for exciting work and we got it!"

Their brief had been to create a product which can form part of Joburg`s contemporary range of merchandise that will eventually sell through retailers and can be used by the City of Johannesburg as mementoes and gifts for visitors and guests.

Chang, who was also master of ceremonies at the awards evening says during the judging process, the judges had to constantly reference the competition criteria to prevent them from getting carried away and to ensure a level playing field for each the entrants.

Firstly, the entries were divided into the three distinct categories, namely fashion, accessory and functional items - each category representing a potentially vibrant economic sector within the city`s cultural industry

Secondly, the team of judges was looking for exciting, innovative and creative work which would best show off the city`s talent to the rest of the world and they examined each piece to determine its artistic value and commercial possibilities.

Then there were the specific criteria: taking the culture of Joburg and its environment and directing this into a new vision for style and culture; a high degree of versatility and quality of production that would encourage locals and tourists alike to buy into the concept of Joburg; originality of products that had never before been marketed in their exact form within South Africa.

Chang says it is a privilege to have had the opportunity to see so many wonderful creations which have the potential to be lauded on the world stage in the years to come. "Joburg must be commended for having the insight to launch an initiative of this nature," he says. "Not only is it calling on its people to express their take on Jozi, but it is also providing an opportunity to those who have potential to interface with business and develop and grow the city`s creative industry."


Fashion design

The first prize of R25 000 was awarded to the collaboration between Yda van de Walt and the Imbali Visual Literacy Project for their three Kimonos in Red, white and blue.

The judges felt that the gowns showed a fresh expression of sights from the streets of Jozi which have been incorporated into highly desirable items which are well designed and executed and reflect the multiple layers of Johannesburg.

The second prize of R10 000 was awarded to Ntando Xorille from Urban Afrika Visual Lab for his three patch sewn skirts featuring the skyline of Jozi.

The judges felt these skirts were a young sassy take on fashion and would bring a unique flavour to the streets of Jozi.

Accessory Design

The first prize of R25 000 was shared by two contrasting but equally deserving designers - Bethuel Mapheto and Kevin Friedman.

Bethuel`s set of broaches made from recycled materials showed both initiative and expressed the creativity of design using recycled materials. They are fun, funky, and inexpensive to produce and are ready to roll out onto the streets of Johannesburg. Kevin is an international award winning jeweller and designer and his entry clearly reflects recognisable elements of Joburg in designs which can be applied to both precious metals and fun and funky materials

The second prize of R10 000 was awarded to Marcel Steinberg for his stunning range of pictographic bracelets highlighting historical images of the urban city centre.

The judges felt that the creative use of photography for this design was uniquely captivating; mixing two powerful media that resulted in a functional and fashionable design.

Functional design

The first prize of R25 000 went to Peter Mthombeni for his range of crockery featuring an element of the Joburg logo.

Again, the judges were very impressed by the strong iconography and style of this entry and felt that it definitely has potential to be marketed both locally and abroad.

The second prize R10 000 went to Linda Williams for her design and the application of the design into a product range.

The judges were impressed with the broad range of possibilities open for this project and felt the iconography best showed off the vibe of Joburg as young and fresh.


Fashion Awards

The judges were impressed with the massive business potential in this category. They felt that they had found "a number of nuggets ready to be spun into fine gold for our city". The innovation and iconography was superb and showed a rounded array of talent of which all the entrants can be very proud of.

1. Cream Postage Stamp Shirt by Romy Luntz, a designer whose piece represents the eclectic nature of our city perfectly presented in hip young fashion wear.

2. "From Jozi with Love" T-Shirt by Zigmante Victoria Rangayah, a young sexy item that is perfect for commercial development. The item illustrates the vibrancy of the new South Africa and uses iconography which parallels the life of the youth in Jozi.

3. Three designs for a panel skirt by Lisa Jaffe, and a male and female baby wrap over piece which easily combines both functionality and futuristic fashion fusion!

4. Blue, White and Red unisex Kimonos, by Yda Van de Walt and Imbali Visual Literacy Project, whose unique designs juxtaposed traditional Japanese clothing with traditional ethnic designs and afro fusion, showcasing the multi-cultural nature of Joburg.

5. Africa-Swiss Shirt submitted by Thato Mafubelu of Kapha Fashion. The African-Swiss dynamic clearly reflects the burgeoning new economy of Johannesburg and cleverly plays on our existing preconceptions, a clearly marketable design

6. Three patchwork skirts featuring the Jozi skyline by Ntando Xorille from Urban Afrika Visual Lab. This artist/designer captured the emotions of the city well in a young and trendy design ready for the streets.

7. The Soweto Towers by Nomthunzi Jacobs. A stunning design showcasing the towers as a unifying symbol culminating in a colourful fashionable design that is ready to wear.

8. Stiki-Tup T-Shirt, by Rees Mann, communicates an obvious sense of humour and easily translates into a fashionable piece for the youth.

9. "I love JHB" laser-cut embroidered T-Shirt by Clive Rundle, cleverly combining technology and workmanship to present a finished design which is both functional and fashionable.

Accessory Awards

Here the judges felt that each of these items captured and translated the multilayered quality of Joburg. Each designer rose to the occasion and submitted a piece which would attract not only tourists, but the interest of locals as well. "We look forward to seeing these items find their way to the shelves very soon!"

1. South African Handbag and Cushion by Nelsie Ndimande, illustrating the Gauteng Province in a functional design that showed good workmanship and ideas.

2. "Mapped Out" fashion takkies by Danielle Armer, graphically illustrating street life in JHB. The perfect pair of shoes for a long walk through the fast developing and revitalising inner city.

3. The Jobag Handbag by Shibolet Krispel, subtly introduces a functional concept whilst remaining commercially viable and marketable in the real world.

4. Bracelets by Marcel Steinberg, which showcase a highly functional and fashionable design, combining photographic elements with good workmanship and iconography.

5. Hand-embroidered bags illustrating the iconography of Johannesburg by Yda van de

Walt, who was inspired from her school days and the raw side of the city.

6. Jozimental Bag, by Lerato Mahlatsi, which illustrates the pace of life on our streets and the hectic vibe of Johannesburg.

7. Range of jewellery, by Kevin Friedman, which clearly combines the functional with the aesthetic and results in a stunning design which will take its place in the commercial arena.

8. The Jozi bag, by Sinoneliso Xaba, is a young and vibrant impression of Jozi and is a great functional piece, ready to be sold on the Jozi streets.

9. A range of designs including a handbag by Theodoore Ramoadi, showcases Theodoore`s talent for combining traditional sense with modern functionality.

10. Pin-broach collectables made from recycled parts by Bethuel Mapheto who works from the busfactory in Newtown. Bethuel`s designs are innovative and unique and highlight the thin edge between craft and design as well as providing an opportunity to clean up the environment.

Functional Awards

Again each of the judges was impressed by the range of work and talent showed with each of the finalists. Over 40% of the entries were ready for market with only very few needing further development.

1. Wood-carved set of pens, a radio and picture frame by Brett Sher and Robert Lunolpi. These designs showed excellent workmanship while providing a functional use to the consumer.

2. Architectural pieces by Josephat Sumaid, which clearly illustrate the monumental architecture of Johannesburg in a fun, friendly and creative way.

3. A design by Linda Williams, expressing Afro Chic and contemporary urban culture in the city of Joburg. The designs are clever, sassy and appealing and lend themselves to application over a range of media is very exciting.

4. Vase by Ira Bekker, juxtaposes rough texture with solid glossy design. The piece clearly illustrates contemporary design and traditional methods of design culminating in a well rounded and fashionable piece.

5. Hand-painted cups and mugs by Peter Mthombeni. This range shows a subtle yet clever usage of iconography. Take a closer look at the handle of the mug and you will see it is the B as seen in the Joburg logo. A clever design and a professional execution which is deserving of praise.

6. Hand-painted frame by Lerato Mtshali. This design clearly illustrates Joburg iconography and is a well-made and well-presented piece.

7. Range of sand-blasted mugs by Anne Tshidi Elane, who inspired by the city of Jozi, where creativity and teamwork are the building blocks of the future.

8. Clocks by Lisa Martin of Urban Decay, which feature easily recognisable elements of the city. Both functional and aesthetically pleasing, these items are definitely ready to be sold in Jozi.

9. Traditional Makgabo sculptured doll dressed in ethnic Pedi wear by Isabel Joffe, is a great example of how new and old can come together in a fusion of fashionable design and marketability.

10. Range of cutlery and crockery inspired by urban activities in Jozi and perfect for functional and aesthetic use.

The Sanlam Judges by Invitation Awards

In addition to the three categories, one of the sponsors, Sanlam, gave the judges the opportunity to invite professional designers of their choice to create a specific item for the awards. These designs were meant to illustrate the wide range of possibilities that await each of the finalists and to showcase the flair and creativity that helps breathe life into the dusty streets of our city and firmly places Joburg in the position of THE creative capital of South Africa!

1. Amanda Laird Cherry is best known for building afro-chic aesthetic into contemporary South African Fashion. While maintaining international relevance Laird Cherry draws her inspiration from home and the dusty streets of Jozi. Her stylish range of shoes and casual wear were on show at the awards evening.

2. Marchand van Tonder displayed a set of brooches. Van Tonder is a dynamically talented goldsmith and jeweller who works mainly on commission. His intention is to contribute to the establishment of a truly South Africa jewellery genre

3. Craig Native recently won the Young Designers award from the Menswear Group of South Africa and is one of the hottest talents out there today. Craig`s entry consists of his infamous casual wear.

4. Chris Diedericks is one of South Africa`s most acclaimed artists. He has had 40 group shows locally and internationally and his work is in significant collections both in South Africa and abroad. He has won numerous prestigious awards and in July leaves for New York take up the prestigious Ampersand Foundation Fellowship.

5. The Design Team compiled a range of functional accessories. This award-winning team, which focuses on the design and printing of uniquely South African textiles, started as a student project in 2000 and has grown into a fully fledged business which currently has seven full-time employees. Their work has been showcased at a number of exhibitions such as Rooms on View.

6. Jeweller, artist, activist and enameller Beverly Price showcased a functional and fashionable range of jewellery. Price, who incorporates South African cultural hybrids in her jewellery design, has won numerous prestigious awards and exhibited both locally and internationally. Her quirky foiled icon necklaces and bracelets have become legend.

7. Marianne Fassler, the legendary South African designer whose work can be seen across the country and abroad. Her wonderful fusion of fashion and aesthetics was showcased in a range of exquisite jewellery.

8. Khanyisile Ntfhingita, a dynamic Soweto-based newcomer to the design scene is inspired by the fusion of traditional and new.

9. Sun Goddess, started by Vanya and Thando Mangaliso in 2001, has a distinctive look that combines Africa`s rich heritage with a decidedly contemporary design. It is not surprising this label has flourishes nationally and internationally.

10. Black Coffee and `love jozi` collaboration. Jacques van der Walt`s fresh conceptual and historically referenced style is showcased in his quirky and thoughtful take on creating a new SA identity. Jacques has collaborated with Bradley Kirshenbaum of `love jozi` to create stunning products Joburg-inspired products


Bongiwe Walaza: Based in the Johannesburg Fashion Design District, Walaza has an array of awards under her belt including the Du Pont Lica Paris and the M-NET Africa Design awards. A respected Johannesburg Fashion District Designer, Bongiwe has made her mark by her distinct Afro-Chic signature that sets her apart from other designers. She has showcased her ranges in New York, Milan, Switzerland, Japan, Vietnam, India, Singapore and Las Vegas.

Monna Mokoena: Owns the MOMO Gallery in Parktown North, Joburg. Monna has developed his passion for art through studying local and international fashion and architecture. His gallery shows a mix of overseas and South African artists and he works to encourage Joburg to develop a keen interest and knowledge of art.

Adam Levin: The award-winning South African author and journalist is an anthropology graduate, with key interests in African popular culture and fashion. He has worked in product development with craft producers both locally and internationally and designed ranges of African handbags, accessories and game-skin luggage for the US market. Levin, who is a prolific author, is the joint winner of the Alan Paton award for his book Aids Safari.

Eugenie Drakes: Among many other things, Drakes founded and runs piece - an initiative that collaborates with craft artists from all walks of South Africa life, exposing their designs to South African and international markets. The piece shops are in Rosebank and Michelangelo Towers Mall in Sandton, form a central point for the direct sale of unique high quality products. In addition, piece negotiates the sale of products to the corporate, retail and export markets. In addition a specific focus is placed on developing business skills with the producers to enable them to take their rightful place in the marketplace

Dion Chang: Chang headed up the panel and acted as master of ceremonies at the gala event where the award winners were announced. He is South Africa`s top corporate trend analyst and design consultant, as well as being a respected freelance journalist, columnist and social commentator. Currently Chang fulfils the position of Program Director and official spokesperson for the South African Fashion Week.


Designers, Fashionistas, Photographers, Crafts people alike were invited to take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop products that would position Joburg as the creative capital of Africa.

Over R100 000 in prize money was up for grabs as well as the opportunity for the winners to produce and market their product or products.

The top entry in each category earned the winner R25 000, with runners up each receiving R10 000.

Competition judges included trend forecaster Dion Chang who headed the panel; supported by Bongiwe Walaza, a clothing designer based in the Joburg Fashion District; Monna Mokoena, gallery owner; Adam Levin, a fashion author; and craft specialist Eugenie Drakes.

Participants were required to register on-line at www.joburg.co.za before the end of May and hand in their completed entries on 13 June. Judging took place that week.


Chantal Collet
Fashion District Institute
011 337 1539
082 857 2282

Picture: Yes
Submitted by Roslyn Jones

PR Company: Roslyn Jones Communication
Cellphone Number: 083 307 0049
Client`s name: Joburg City; Johannesburg Development Agency; and Fashion District Institute



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