04 Aug DEEP IN THE SHARK TANK!
DEEP IN THE SHARK TANK!
Cabin fever was getting ultra-real in the studio, which is why the team headed down to Durban this week for a special surprise challenge. Before jumping straight into the task, the group got the opportunity to visit uShaka Marine World, to relax a bit, take in the scenery, let their hair down and, as David put it, “To see some sharks and some fish!”
But as we know, it’s not all about fun, so the team was quickly whisked away in Mercedes vehicles straight to the Jockey head office to meet with the Jockey team, have a tour of the factory and learn what Jockey stands for both in image and in brand.
Natalie Bennie, Key Accounts & CSI Leader from Jockey, explained more about the brand. “Jockey has been around for the last 140 years in the US and they manufacture locally in South Africa but still to international standards. Jockey is a proudly SA brand and is one of the largest manufacturers, striving to push the boundaries and still be fun simultaneously. They decided to partner with the equally renowned David Tlale brand because his image and work is in line with what they are passionate about: pushing boundaries, being fun, and developing skills.
Joyanna Naidoo, Technical & Product Development Leader from Jockey, is responsible for the patent and bill of materials when they purchase.
Melissa Isaac, a Menswear designer, is passionate about design and innovation.
These two ladies were going to be the guest judges from Jockey’s side and sit with David when judging, reviewing and providing guidance to the contestants. Their feedback and advice to the team was not so much about design couture as about the all-important comfort of garments. David then let the contestants in on the requirements of the challenge. They would each each need to design two fitted underwear garments, either menswear or womenswear. The decision was theirs. It needed to be comfortable, while still best representing the Jockey brand. The themes set were ‘new modernist’ or ‘natural wonders’. To add to the challenge, contestants had to work with the production team and could only work within operating hours – so no pressure then, right!
The top designs, it was announced, would be featured in Jockey’s Autumn/Winter collection and the winner would score a much sought after 1 year contract with Jockey! The contestants were given the opportunity to be taken through the intricacies and specifics of the Jockey brand, to ask questions to the Jockey judges and get guidance on the themes. Contestants were given 1 hour to do their sketching, and then David got real and began reviewing their sketches. He was often as fierce as the sharks at uShaka the contestants saw earlier. He was ripping up designs which were wrong, pointing out the positives in others and often sending some of the contestant back to re-sketch their designs, before giving them the go ahead to proceed to production. The pressure was truly on for the contestants then, who had to get their designs finished for review. A lot of running around and panic was the order of the day, and then the reality of the real-world business environment hit home as they were forced to stop for the day at it was 16h30 and operating hours had ceased!
Day 2 arrived with even more pressure as experienced factory staff gave feedback. With so much on the go, it was only natural that something was going to give, and it did! Frank and Keletso bumped heads as both of them were doing print on fabric, which infuriated Frank, because he believed that Keletso was ‘stealing’ his idea. But David was having none of that, and walked in and chased Frank out. David then, in true David Tlale style, turned to the cameras and told the audience at home, “I’m still looking for an assistant designer. Not someone who wants to get an Oscar for acting.” Ouch! Time was up and David and Jockey team reviewed the designs. Feedback was constructive, entertaining, harsh and to the point, but it really got entertaining when David got to Frank’s designs which looked almost exactly like David Tlale’s Jockey designs! With reviews done, David announced that he would see the contestants the next morning for final fittings and to announce the winner.
As the sun rose early the next morning on the East Coast, contestants were getting their models dressed, make-up applied and ready for the show, which, being Durbs, was going to be held on the beach! That’s how you do it in Durban which as an all-year-round summer. The models took the beach and showed off the designs. David and Jockey team gave their feedback and announced the results:
The Top designers who will have their designs added to Jockey Autumn/Winter collection:
Cyla, Welhemina, Keletso, Sam, Denver, Boitumelo
Top designs for Womenswear and Menswear wear went to:
Overall winner was Sam.
Frank, Kuena, Mosa, Michalene
Mosa & Michelen