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Pick n Pay clothing expands local designer collab project

| Supplier news

Pick n Pay Clothing today launched its third limited edition locally produced collection, designed by Gavin Rajah – a well-known South African brand synonymous with style and design.

“Customers will be able to shop this incredible designer range at everyday, affordable prices,” says Hazel Pillay, General Manager for Pick n Pay Clothing, commenting on how the collection is perfectly timed with the launch of Black Friday deals now in stores.

A year ago, Pick n Pay Clothing and Gavin Rajah conceptualised the idea to launch a collaboration project to assist up-and-coming designers launch a commercially-viable range. The project sought to entrench their brands in the local market, while also providing customers with access to the latest trends and attainable proudly South Africa designer collections.

Pillay says the project nearly hit a speedbump with the national shutdown, but instead, it reinforced the need to support local and accentuated customer demand for quality clothing at great prices. In August, PnP Clothing successfully launched a ladies’ range designed by Julia Buchanan, and a men’s range by Katekani Moreku in September. Both showcased the designers’ creative style and the range was quickly snapped up by customers.

The third collaboration collection – PnP Clothing x Rajah – has closely followed the latest fashion trend towards casualisation based on months of remote working, but, this wasn’t the original plan for the collection, explains Pillay.

“Customer preferences changed during lockdown – they wanted comfortable clothes and many prioritised shopping for their kids. So we launched a completely new range for the whole family, including shorts, tops, dresses, swimwear, and accessories.”

Rajah says the lockdown inspired him to create his “What the world needs now is love” collection which includes bold playful prints. “The collection celebrates life and the common thread of 'love' that binds us all together, something that we now need more than ever.”

He adds, “Despite current economic conditions, customers still want to be able to afford something that is beautifully made and designed. They want an element of escapism and clothing has the power to elevate or transform a person’s mood.”

The collection will also include a trendy Athleisure range, launching early December. “We reacted to customers’ outdoor lifestyles and the comfort they embraced in lockdown. We think customers will really enjoy the full range,” says Rajah.

Collaborating with local designers and suppliers over the past year has showcased the level of talent in the country and the opportunities these collabs offer to build local businesses and offer customers greater variety, says Pillay.

To discover new talent for future collaborations, Pick n Pay Clothing launched Futurewear – a mentorship project for emerging local creatives, in association with Atelier Gavin Rajah. Nearly 200 applicants applied in a month and two winners were selected to create limited edition, exclusive designs for PnP Clothing in 2021.

Zarah Cassim, is a fine arts graduate currently practicing as an artist, with a very romantic, nostalgic view of the world. The other selected creative is Sipho Mbuto, a Durban-based fashion designer, with a flair for innovative thinking and social entrepreneurship.

Both creatives will be supported over the next year with mentorship in business and practical application of skills in a commercial environment. “Collaborating with a retail partner is crucial to taking an item that is niche or generally inaccessible, and making it accessible and commercially viable, says Rajah, who will closely mentor each winner alongside Pick n Pay.

The PnP Clothing x Rajah range is available in selected PnP Clothing stores and online

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