Colin Cowie wows delegates at the International Mohair Summit

Day Two of the Second International Mohair Summit saw international event planner to the stars and style guru, Colin Cowie present to delegates in Jansenville's Town Hall.. Colin, born and raised in East London, returned to the Eastern Cape to present to the delegates on Thursday 31 October - entertaining and informing attendees through a fascinating presentation on what he does and how mohair could become a key player in the construction of his extravagant events. Colin began the presentation by defining and expanding on the idea of luxury - something often associated with mohair and the mohair products showcased at the summit. He then went on to offer delegates a glimpse intop his fast-paced, fabulous life and line of work. Colin Cowie is not only one of the best event and wedding planners in the world, but also one of Oprah's best friends and personal events organiser. He is also an author and television presenter, as well as a style guru and the go-to man on all things luxurious and exclusive. Colin took us through some of his greatest events; from Hong Kong to Mexico, The Carribean and the cream of the crop of American locations in New York and Las Vegas (to name a few), and the weddings of some of the most influential business families in the States. All of his events and parties utilise custom-made and designed interiors and fabrics, all created from the finest materials including cashmere and silk, but no mohair. This was one of the key points in his presentation - the potentiality of mohair as a luxury fibre to be used in these exclusive parties and weddings and customised decor. He went on to show us some of his other tremendous projects (as if his fabulous events and weddings weren't impressive enough!) - customised interiors for the most exclusive private line of aeroplanes in the world, and personalized interiors made form only the finest materials in some of the most expensive cars in the world. All areas of potential growth for this proudly South African product. There is so much more to mohair than just its capabilities as a fashion and home product, said Colin, highlighting and introducing a completely new range of industries in which mohair could be used and promoted, with a strong emphasis on the automotive industry.   After a whirlwind trip through the exciting life of Colin Cowie, delegates were informed of various issues surrounding luxury and what Colin describes as the new consumer - younger than ever, with men spending more money than women and a huge growth in the luxury market in China. The average age of billionaires in China is a mere 39, as opposed to 49 in the United States. Colin emphasized the need for a return to real, pure luxury; a concept that has "lost its luster" due to mass production and distribution of previously elite, totally exclusive brands such as Louis Vuitton. Colin suggested that the small amount of mohair produced each year (in comparison to other, less luxurious and finely created and manufactured fibres) actually gives it an advantage, as it creates an exclusivity within the niche market. "The smaller the yield, the greater the demand", explained Colin. It is imperative that we market mohair as such: an exotic and extremely lustrious fibre which can be altered and customised to clients' preferences and satisfaction. The time is now, and mohair is bound to shine.   Colin Cowie is an excellent speaker and fully engaged his audience, with knowledge and practical examples of where and how mohair could grow as a luxury product. "Mohair could become the new cashmere", he said. Delegates were inspired and invigorated, asking Colin questions and engaging in discussion with a man who has made his mark as an innovator in luxurious, magnificent creations which use only the best materials in the world, one of which should and could be mohair.   A huge thanks to this dynamic man for sharing with us his knowledge and insight into a world in which mohair has great potential to thrive. Colin Cowie's presentation instilled in our delegates a hope for the future of this exquisite, local product - a definite highlight of the International Mohair Summit 2013!   For images, please see our Facebook and Pinterest pages - www.facebook.com/InternationalMohairSummit and www.pinterest.com/mohairsummit respectively.    

Prestige Ram Sale and Cocktail Function

Thursday night was reserved for the Prestige Ram Sale and Cocktail Function, held at the local Jansenville Cricket Club. Angora goat farmers from in and around Jansenville showcased their most prestigious rams at a festive cocktail party, where buyers and sellers congregated around the beautiful animals. Prices reached record highs with Jan Lategaan taking home the highest bid at a whopping R62000! The party was attended by the who's who of the mohair industry, alongside members of local government and national and international media, in the form of Central China Television (CCTV). After the Prestige Sale - held in conjunction with Angora Ram Breeders and CMW, and a bilingual auctioneer- guests enjoyed lively jazz music and delicious food from Bojangles. Dancing soon ensued as the band got the crowd going! For photos, check out our Facebook and Twitter pages - www.facebook.com/InternationalMohairSummit and @mohairsummit respectively.

International Mohair Summit 2013 Gala Dinner

The Second International Mohair Summit began yesterday, taking place in the heart of the Karoo and the mohair farming community - Jansenville. Perfect weather and esteemed guests joined forces to create a buzz in the town, with the Investor's Conference kicking things off. Mr Gerald Mvoko of the Cacadu District Municipality facilitated proceeding, which aimed at discussing important issues such as empowerment intitiatives, animal beneficiation, development in manufacturing and inter-governmental participation. Mayor of Ikwezi, Sizwe Mngwevu opened the panel alongside Hon. MEC of Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mr Mlibo Qoboshiyane. Various government officials and Mohair South Africa representatives lead the discussion - a successful framework in which to engage in conversation about current issues in the industry. Later in the evening, Local, National and International delegates gathered under the beautiful Karoo sky in a glorious white tent to build communications and enjoy some wonderful local entertainment. MC for the evening and Port Elizabeth born and raised model and presenter, Sashi Naidoo, welcomed local government, media, farmers and buyers and producers of mohair to what was set to be an exciting evening of music, fashion, dancing and the prestigious Zegna Awards. aimed at stimulating skills development in the local community, introducing the end consumer to the luxurious product and creating an awareness of mohair both nationally and internationally - these are the aims of the summit as highlighted by both the Mayor and Hon. MEC Zoleka Capa. Delegates were treated to a variety of acts, including praise singers, a reading by a local poet, gumboot and traditonal dancers, pantsula dancers and jazz by TwoTone Music. But the highlight of the entertainment was the Fashion Show! Outstanding mohair garments made their way down the runway to the delight of delegates, with cheers and applause in abundance. Local designers showcased their latest work, as well as that of two Japanese design students who showed their gorgeous mohair ranges alongside the top third and fourth year NMMU design students and alumni Laduma Ngxokolo and Kelly Esterhuyse who have both been snapped up by esteemed national and international magazines and companies. Chunky knits, all white, capes and hoods monochrome, summer knitwear and Alexander McQueen-esque futuristic pieces were the trends of the night and definitely worth watching for the upcoming seasons. Then it was time for the esteemed Zegna Awards, recognising excellence in the production of mohair and rewarding those farmers who produced the best bales of the yyear. After a lovely video message from the man behind the Italian company, Reinhold du Randt (Chairman of Mohair South Africa) handed out awards the top 10 mohair bale producers and farmers this year, with the grand prize and number one spot going to FE Colborne and Sons. Congratulations and what a groovy farmer Mr Colborne is - dancing his way onto stage to cheers and applause from the delegates. The rest of the evening was spent dancing and celebrating this "Province of Legends", as MEC Capa so adequately put it. Great food and service from the locals (just another way the summit enables growth in this micro-economy) was the cherry on top of a wonderfully successful evening and the start of what is sure to be an incredible summit in Jansenville!

“Luxury re-invented!

“Luxury re-invented- the new Customer” (incorporating the luxury of mohair...and the new Customer... Generation X) This is our topic from our International Guest Speaker Colin Cowie - who is Oprah's go to man when it comes to event planning... in fact he's the man in charge for her upcoming 60th in January 2014. We can't wait to see this icon in person, a former Eastern Cape man, now living and working in the United States, as an Event Planner, an Author(of 9 Books), TV Host and celebrated TV personality, Authority on living with style, Interior Designer, Board Member of several philanthropic organisations, focussing on programmes in South Africa and World Ambassador for Infinite Families!  Cowie is thrilled to be part of this forum and to share his global experiences on a South African platform! Have you booked your spot?

Excitement is mounting

The excitement is mounting and we are left counting the days down to the #Summit.  Our International Delegates are beginning to touch down in Nelson Mandela Bay for the 2nd International Mohair Summit - they hale from afar as America, Denmark, Australia, NZ, Belgium, China, Switzerland, Japan, Argentina, Norway and even Lesotho! Everyone in town is getting ready for this great event that is happening in the heart of Mohair country - Jansenville. We have press coming from all over the country to cover what we believe is going to be the showpiece of  all that is #Mohair. The Summit will be attended by industry leaders, government officials and the media.  The Ikwezi Municipality initiated this International Mohair Summit and it is due to their passion and enthusiasm that the concept of “partnership” with Government and industry, with Corporate and Community is taking shape.   Stakeholders include: * The Mohair Empowerment Trust * Ikwezi Municipality * Cacadu District Municipality * East Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) * The Province of the Eastern Cape: Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism * Province of the Eastern Cape: Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform *Province of the Eastern Cape: Office of the Premier *Province of the Eastern Cape: Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs * Mohair South Africa * SA Mohair Growers Association * Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) * The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) *Coega Development Corporation *Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality   We look forward to seeing and meeting you there! And of course - Don't forget to register if you are attending the Summit! 

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