This week, in fashion news from around the world, Sudan holds its first unisex fashion show in over 3 decades, e-commerce fashion startup Bagallery raises $900,000 and more.
Sudan Holds First Unisex Fashion Show In Years.
For the first time in over 3 decades, Sudanese designers organised a unisex fashion show where designers got to showcase their mixed-gender fashion lines. Under the rule of the ousted president Omar al-Bashir, such a move was unthinkable.
The shows saw female and male models walking down the runway for the first time in a long time.
“In the old days, it was very difficult to organise a show like this. One would not dream of getting approval for it from authorities,” Sudanese designer Khaled Onsa said. “We used to face repression instead, but now we are ruled by a system that guarantees public freedoms.”
Bashir, a general who seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, ruled Sudan harshly until his ouster in a palace coup in April last year following months of mass protests on the streets. He criminalised everything from drinking alcohol to women wearing clothes deemed as ‘revealing’.
With the new transitional government that has been set up, his legacy of repression is being dismantled. It scrapped Sudan’s 1996 public order laws which empowered policemen to take action against people dressed ‘indecently’.
“What we offer are outfits that everyone will accept. I don’t think anyone in Sudanese society would object to them,” said Nermin Awad Sharif, a female designer who organised one of the shows.
According to model Barza Mostafa, the show was an opportunity to introduce fashion to the Sudanese people and Sudan to the fashion world.
“We want to introduce the world to our culture,” she said. “Previously, people did not understand the idea of a fashion show but now we can see the audience watching and interacting.”
Designer Hossam Mohamed Ahmed believes the shows are a testament to the spirit of change in Sudan.
“I can now show people my designs. It was impossible before,” he said.
Flipkart Invests In USPL.
In a strategic industry move, Walmart-owned e-commerce marketplace Flipkart has invested in Bengaluru-based fashion brand Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd. (USPL). This is another strategic move the company has made in a move to becomes the country’s largest online fashion retailer.
Recently, the company invested in Arvind Youth Brands and Aditya Birla Fashion. Over time, USPL has created partnerships with celebrities and owns brands such as Wrogn, Imara, Ms. Taken, and Single which are sold through Flipkart, its online fashion platform Myntra, and offline channels.
“USPL’s unique brands, backed by celebrity endorsements, have a strong appeal for the young fashion-driven Indian consumer. This investment will help USPL and the Flipkart Group find deeper synergies as we continue on our commitment to grow an ecosystem of partnerships that deliver value for consumers and brands,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO at Flipkart Group.
USPL which was founded in 2012 by Anjana Reddy has over 750 retail outlets in 100 cities across India. Their brands, Wrogn and Single deals in male casual fashion with Wrogn being among the fastest-growing casual wear brands in India and among the top-selling brands on Myntra.
Imara and Ms. Taken both deal in womenswear, but with Imara catering to the traditional outfit needs of Indian women and Ms. Taken specialising in casual womenswear.
Over time, USPL has received endorsements from celebrities such as actor Shraddha Kapoor for Imara, a tie Kriti Sanon for Ms. Taken, and Team India captain Virat Kohli for Wrogn.
E-Commerce Fashion Startup Bagallery.com Raises $900,000 From Lakson VC.
In a statement on November 5, Pakistan-based beauty and fashion e-commerce platform, Bagallery announced that it has closed a $900,000 Pre-Series A funding from Lackson Venture Capital (LVC).
“The plan is to further raise funding next year, hopefully by the mid of 2021,” said Mina Salman co-founder of Bagallery.
Co-founded by husband and wife Salman and Mina in 2013, Bagallery started with Facebook and Instagram pages that showcased beauty products and garnered a large following because of their influencer-driven model. Due to the demand for their products, they started a native e-commerce platform in 2017.
“We are really excited to have received LVC’s backing at a time when Bagallery is growing rapidly. The funding will allow us to expand to multiple cities in Pakistan by upgrading our technology stack, inventory management systems and logistics partnerships to efficiently scale,” said Bagallery.com Co-founder Mina Salman.
Bagallery has entered into partnerships with Unilever, Procter&Gamble, L’Oreal, Kiko Milano, and many more to focus on authentic supply giving them competitive access to brands sought by its target market.
Bagallery is a fashion brand that focuses on providing high-end western fashion from around the world to the doorstep of its customers in 18 to 25 days. They offer fashion products ranging from runway inspired clothing and handbags to every fashionista’s dream list of accessories, fragrances, makeup, and hair and skin care products for women, men, and children.
Gerber and Alvanon Announce 3D collaboration.
US-based innovative solutions provide, Gerber Technology has announced a collaboration with Alvanon to further strengthen its innovative 2D-to-3D for fit solution. This collaboration will allow fashion companies to accurately simulate their customer’s size and fit.
With the increase in online shopping intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion companies are looking for innovative ways to get clothes to perfectly fit their customers’ body shape and size. Through this collaboration, Gerber’s AccuMark 3D users will be able to leverage the Alvanon Body Platform (ABP) to develop production-ready 3D samples and reduce fit errors.
“We know how difficult it is for fashion and apparel companies right now as they navigate through the pandemic,” Mary McFadden, vice president of CAD Product Management, said in a press release. “Digital transformation is now inevitable for companies who want to succeed in the next era and our collaboration with Alvanon will give them the tools they need to fully transform product development.”
The collaboration, which will be demonstrated at ideation 2020, will empower and accelerate digital product development and e-commerce.
With the shut down of many brick and mortar stores worldwide, Gerber’s collaboration with Alvanon will help fashion brands recover from the effects of the pandemic by enabling them to use digital product development and e-commerce to their advantage. With this collaboration, fashion brands can develop perfectly-fitting garments that reflect the sizes and body shape of their customer base resulting in more satisfied customers.
“We have an opportunity today, with the technology and tools available to us, to build a new future for the apparel industry,” Jason Wang, COO of Alvanon, said. “One where the digital and physical are closely connected and work together.”
Fashion brands, retailers and manufacturers will be able to go into Alvanon’s vast library of over 6,000 3D virtual bodies, each representing a specific brands’ fit standards, and download the 3D avatars for AccuMark 3D, use it to test patterns in all sizes and validate fit. Alvanon’s library offers both standard (ASTM) and brand-specific avatars.
Mulberry Relaunches Alexa Handbag With a Sustainable Twist.
On the eve of their 50th anniversary, Mulberry is relaunching its ‘It’ bag of the 2010s, Alexa, along with some sustainable upgrades.
The handbag which was discontinued in 2016 after new designer Johnny Coca arrived at the label, was inspired by Alexa Chung’s carefree confidence and quickly became loved by all. Now, Mulberry is relaunching the bag with a few important upgrades.
The upgraded Alexa is made with leather from gold-standard, environmentally accredited tanneries and each piece has been crafted at the brand’s carbon-neutral factories in the UK. All of these are a reflection of the brand’s commitment to sustainability.
“We always knew that sustainable updates would be key to ensuring this bag still feels modern and relevant today,” Thierry Andretta, CEO of Mulberry said. “We’ve been very focused on improving the sustainability of our products across the entire range and it was vital that when we re-launched the Alexa that we updated it with the same level of attention to detail and responsibility commitments.”
The new Alexa colour palette ranges from earthy neutrals (Charcoal, Chestnut, Chalk), to eye-catching neons (Neon Pink and Neon Yellow) and key shades from the signature Mulberry palette (Mulberry Green, Deep Amber and Black).
In recognition of its cult status, an original Alexa bag, from Chung’s private collection, will be featured in the V&A’s forthcoming exhibition Bags: Inside Out, sponsored by Mulberry.