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Thursday, November 2, 2017


From over 400 entries received, 12 South African fashion industry creatives have been selected for the Threads Accelerator programme, which kicks off this week.

The finalists certainly represent the inspiring diversity of the South African fashion aesthetic - from designers of maternity wear, modesty wear and luxury women ranges, to belts and handbag design houses and denim wear designers, the participants in the inaugural Threads programme have one thing in common – they are each running fashion businesses with enormous potential to become major industry power players.

Inspired by the confounding statistic that the sub-Saharan African fashion industry represents a lamentable 1% of the USD 3 trillion global fashion industry, Threads – Stitched by Standard Bank was conceptualized to support up-and-coming fashion entrepreneurs in transforming their growing businesses into powerful, profitable fashion brands. The programme will take place over a 12-week duration in classroom hubs in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“Selecting the finalists from the deluge of entries we received was thrilling and somewhat overwhelming – we really had our work cut out for us in whittling the list down to the final 12,” comments Tania Habimana, co-founder of the Threads programme. “The creativity in the South African fashion industry is world class - all that these entrepreneurs really need is the vital sales, administrative, financial, and marketing rigor that’ll take their businesses to the next level. We at Threads, alongside with our sponsor Standard Bank, and partner Mercedes-Benz, cannot wait to commence this journey with these very deserving entrepreneurs.”

Included in the 12 participants of the Threads – Stitched by Standard Bank accelerator programme are two creatives from KwaZulu-Natal - Jacqueline Munsami and Lyndall Moodley.

Jacqueline Munsami of JSE Couture – a Durban-based fashion house that has three lines, Jacqui Emmanuel Couture, Jacqui Emmanuel Pret n’ Porter and Emmanuel Sportsluxe. Their prints are exclusive to their label, as are their laser cuts, embroidery and embossing. Instagram: @Emmaneulsportsluxe, Facebook Jacqui Emmanel ii, Website

Lyndall Moodley of Hannah Grace Maternity, a Durban based maternity wear designed to provide expectant and nursing mothers with comfortable, affordable and versatile clothing. Website - www.hannahgrace-sa.comis

Going forward, the 12 creatives will participate in the programme, the curriculum of which was co-created with the e4 Impact Foundation, an initiative of the Universita Cattolico of Milan, which focuses on impact entrepreneurship. The curriculum covers the broad swathe of business operations, including financing and retaining employees, lean manufacturing, eCommerce and specialized procurement methods and marketing. At the conclusion of the 12-week programme, they will present their new business models to the panel of judges, businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo, branding guru Timothy Maurice Webster, creative Jacqui Burger, CEO of online retailer Spree, Vincent Hoogduijin, and Maxhosa fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo.

The participant that the panel of judges ultimately selects as the winner will receive a package of prizes that’s designed to set them up for sure success – a Mercedes-Benz ambassadorship, which will see them driving a brand-new vehicle for a year-long period, a Standard Bank curated SME start-up pack, and international trade trip to Europe, where they’ll present their businesses to wholesale buyers and retailers, a high-impact private distribution network, and attend industry trade fairs.

Threads – stitched by Standard Bank is brought to you by Standard Bank Retail Banking in association with the Standard Bank incubator, Mercedes-Benz and Kaya FM. EOH is the programme’s learning and development partner providing facilitation and mentorship to the finalists, Mecer who provided laptops and notebooks to all the participants, and E4 Impact.

For more information visit