25 January 2022

The Cross Trainer Welcomes Top Local Fashion Designer To The Fold

Submitted by Mikateko Maswanganyi
The Cross Trainer Welcomes Top Local Fashion Designer To The Fold

Johannesburg: In a major win for the company, leading sports fashion retailer The Cross Trainer is proud to announce that it has welcomed top local designer Jade Helene Shimmin to the helm of its private label brand, XT. 

Shimmin is a graduate of Cape Town’s Fedisa fashion school and recipient of a coveted internship with Paul Smith. She has also spent time working at textile company Maison Henry Bertrand, in London. After a few years spent working as a freelance designer and stylist, Shimmin launched her own range, which featured a collection at the African Fashion Week in Amsterdam. In 2014, she opened popular design concept store Level Eight in Berlin, before returning to South Africa in 2020. 

Shimmin notes that she is particularly attracted to XT’s emphasis on fresh and forward fashion, and its openness to innovative design thinking.  

“XT already offers a great balance between sportswear and fashion, and my vision for the brand moving forward is to further refine its aesthetic and help it develop its own unique identity as a fashion leader,” she says.  

“There’s a great opportunity to inject an element of surprise and delight into the XT brand through creating limited editions and more collaborations with young up-and-coming designers. I’m really excited to join the label and I can’t wait to see what the future holds – this is definitely a space to watch.” 

The Cross Trainer Chief Marketing Officer Nick Rheeder notes that the recent success of its partnership with local fashion brand The Watermelon Social Club, on a basketball-inspired collection, has set the tone for the brand to embrace more design collaborations.   

“As the XT brand seeks to push the envelope on streetwear and athleisure, we are thrilled to have Jade on board to take the lead, and to cement XT’s position in the local fashion market by creating unique, special pieces and collections,” he states.  

“Jade brings a wealth of street credentials to her designs, and as evidenced by her past work, she will be instrumental in helping us to put a modern spin on the XT brand, ensuring that it remains relevant with fashion-forward sport enthusiasts. By giving the brand even greater style purpose, we hope to see XT become a staple that is able to compete with global giants.” 

Commenting on the appointment, The Cross Trainer CEO Mark Frame adds that the company is delighted to welcome Shimmin to the team, and that he is looking forward to seeing the XT brand grow under her leadership.  

“Jade brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the role, and as we continue to implement our strategic focus on locally made and designed apparel, I am confident that she will be crucial in helping XT differentiate itself and take the brand to the next level.”