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ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd. Reports Unaudited Consolidated Financial Results for the Second Quarter of 2020

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Dolphin Entertainment Reports First Quarter 2020 Results

TAIPEI, Taiwan, R.O.C., July 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd. (TAIEX: 3711, NYSE: ASX) (“We”, “ASEH”, or the “Company”), the leading provider of semiconductor manufacturing services in assembly and test, today reported unaudited net revenues(1) of NT$107,549 million for 2Q20, up by 19% year-over-year and up by 11% sequentially. Net income attributable to shareholders of the parent for the quarter totaled NT$6,937 million, up from a net income attributable to shareholders of the parent of NT$2,690 million in 2Q19 and up from a net income attributable to shareholders of the parent of NT$3,899 million in 1Q20. Basic earnings per share for the quarter were NT$1.63 (or US$0.109 per ADS), compared to basic earnings per share of NT$0.63 for 2Q19 and basic earnings per share of NT$0.92 for 1Q20. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were NT$1.60 (or US$0.107 per ADS), compared to diluted earnings per share of NT$0.62 for 2Q19 and diluted earnings per share of NT$0.89 for 1Q20.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

2Q20 Results Highlights – Consolidated

  • Net revenue contribution from packaging operations, testing operations, EMS operations and others, each represented approximately 50%, 12%, 37% and 1%, respectively, of total net revenues for the quarter.
  • Cost of revenue was NT$88,740 million for the quarter, up from NT$81,201 million in 1Q20.
    • Raw material cost totaled NT$50,216 million for the quarter, representing 47% of total net revenues.
    • Labor cost totaled NT$13,477 million for the quarter, representing 13% of total net revenues.
    • Depreciation, amortization and rental expenses totaled NT$11,699 million for the quarter.
  • Gross margin increased 0.9 percentage points to 17.5% in 2Q20 from 16.6% in 1Q20.
  • Operating margin was 7.8% in 2Q20, compared to 6.2% in 1Q20.
  • In terms of non-operating items:
    • Net interest expense was NT$771 million.
    • Net foreign exchange gain of NT$718 million was primarily attributable to the depreciation of U.S. dollar against New Taiwan dollar.
    • Loss on valuation of financial assets and liabilities was NT$17 million.
    • Net gain on equity-method investments was NT$105 million.
    • Other net non-operating income of NT$417 million were primarily attributable to miscellaneous incomes. Total non-operating income for the quarter were NT$452 million.
  • Income before tax was NT$8,879 million for 2Q20, compared to NT$5,237 million in 1Q20. We recorded income tax expenses of NT$1,646 million for the quarter, compared to NT$1,175 million in 1Q20.
  • In 2Q20, net income attributable to shareholders of the parent was NT$6,937 million, compared to net income attributable to shareholders of the parent of NT$2,690 million in 2Q19 and net income attributable to shareholders of the parent of NT$3,899 million in 1Q20.
  • lOur total number of shares outstanding at the end of the quarter was 4,338,345,132, including treasury stock owned by our subsidiaries. Our 2Q20 basic earnings per share of NT$1.63 (or US$0.109 per ADS) were based on 4,265,407,583 weighted average numbers of shares outstanding in 2Q20. Our 2Q20 diluted earnings per share of NT$1.60 (or US$0.107 per ADS) were based on 4,273,769,436 weighted average number of shares outstanding in 2Q20.

2Q20 Results Highlights – ATM(2)

  • Cost of revenues was NT$54,434 million for the quarter, up by 3% sequentially.
    • Raw material cost totaled NT$19,026 million for the quarter, representing 27% of total net revenues.
    • Labor cost totaled NT$12,045 million for the quarter, representing 17% of total net revenues.
    • Depreciation, amortization and rental expenses totaled NT$11,080 million for the quarter.
  • Gross margin increased 1.6 percentage points to 21.7% in 2Q20 from 20.1% in 1Q20.
  • Operating margin was 10.4% in 2Q20, compared to 8.4% in 1Q20.

2Q20 Results Highlights – EMS

  • Cost of revenues for the quarter was NT$35,979 million, up by 21% sequentially.
    • Raw material cost totaled NT$31,081 million for the quarter, representing 78% of total net revenues.
    • Labor cost totaled NT$1,358 million for the quarter, representing 3% of total net revenues.
    • Depreciation, amortization and rental expenses totaled NT$487 million for the quarter.
  • Gross margin increased 0.1 percentage points to 9.4% in 2Q20 from 9.3% in 1Q20.
  • Operating margin increased to 3.1% in 2Q20 from 2.4% in 1Q20.

LIQUIdiTY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

  • Capital expenditures in 2Q20 totaled US$495 million, of which US$287 million were used in packaging operations, US$133 million in testing operations, US$70 million in EMS operations and US$5 million in interconnect materials operations and others.
  • As of June 30, 2020, total unused credit lines amounted to NT$253,777 million.
  • Current ratio was 1.17 and net debt to equity ratio was 0.70 as of June 30, 2020.
  • Total number of employees was 95,448 as of June 30, 2020, compared to 96,296 as of March 31, 2020.

Business Review

Customers

ATM consolidated Basis

  • Our five largest customers together accounted for approximately 50% of our total net revenues in 2Q20, compared to 49% in 1Q20. Two customers each accounted for more than 10% of our total net revenues in 2Q20 individually.
  • Our top 10 customers both contributed 61% of our total net revenues in 2Q20 and 1Q20.
  • Our customers that are integrated device manufacturers or IDMs both accounted for 29% of our total net revenues in 2Q20 and 1Q20.

EMS Basis

  • Our five largest customers together accounted for approximately 78% of our total net revenues in 1Q20, compared to 76% in 1Q20. One customer accounted for more than 10% of our total net revenues in 2Q20.
  • Our top 10 customers contributed 89% of our total net revenues in 2Q20, compared to 88% in 1Q20.

About ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

ASEH is the leading provider of semiconductor manufacturing services in assembly and test. The Company develops and offers complete turnkey solutions covering front-end engineering test, wafer probing and final test, as well as IC packaging, materials and electronic manufacturing services through USI with superior technologies, breakthrough innovations, and advanced development programs. With advanced technological capabilities and a global presence spanning Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Mexico as well as the United States and Europe, ASEH has established a reputation for reliable, high quality products and services. For moreinformation, please visit our website at http://www.aseglobal.com.

Investor Relations Contact:

ir@aseglobal.com

Tel: +886.2.6636.5678

http://www.aseglobal.com

Safe Harbor Notice

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Although these forward-looking statements, which may include statements regarding our future results of operations, financial condition or business prospects, are based on our own information and information from other sources we believe to be reliable, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of the date of this press release. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify these forward-looking statements in this press release. These forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgment of our senior management and our actual results of operations, financial condition or business prospects may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements for reasons including, among others, risks associated with cyclicality and market conditions in the semiconductor or electronic industry; changes in our regulatory environment, including our ability to comply with new or stricter environmental regulations and to resolve environmental liabilities; demand for the outsourced semiconductor packaging, testing and electronic manufacturing services we offer and for such outsourced services generally; the highly competitive semiconductor or manufacturing industry we are involved in; our ability to introduce new technologies in order to remain competitive; international business activities; our business strategy; our future expansion plans and capital expenditures; the strained relationship between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China; general economic and political conditions; the recent shift in United States trade policies; possible disruptions in commercial activities caused by natural or human-induced disasters; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; and other factors. For a discussion of these risks and other factors, please see the documents we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the 2019 Annual Report on Form 20-F filed on March 31, 2020.

Supplemental Financial Information

Consolidated Operations

2Q/20

1Q/20

2Q/19

EBITDA (NT$ Millions)

22,488

19,061

18,072

ATM Consolidated Operations

2Q/20

1Q/20

2Q/19

Net Revenues (NT$ Millions)

69,516

66,209

59,594

Revenues by Application

Communication

54%

54%

51%

Computer

14%

15%

14%

Automotive, Consumer & Others

32%

31%

35%

Revenues by Type

Bumping, Flip Chip, WLP & SiP

38%

38%

34%

Wirebonding

35%

36%

39%

Discrete and Others

7%

7%

8%

Testing

18%

17%

17%

Material

2%

2%

2%

Capacity & EBITDA

CapEx (US$ Millions)*

424

394

423

EBITDA (NT$ Millions)

20,037

17,693

16,512

Number of Wirebonders

24,667

24,780

25,059

Number of Testers

5,790

5,554

5,003

EMS Operations

2Q/20

1Q/20

2Q/19

Net Revenues (NT$ Millions)

39,709

32,727

31,533

Revenues by End Application

Communication

46%

36%

40%

Computer & Storage

12%

14%

14%

Consumer

28%

33%

24%

Industrial

10%

11%

15%

Automotive

3%

6%

6%

Others

1%

0%

1%

Capacity

CapEx (US$ Millions)*

70

15

21

* Capital expenditure excludes building construction costs.

ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

Summary of Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income Data

(In NT$ millions, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

For the three months ended

For the six months ended

Jun. 30

2020

Mar. 31

2020

Jun. 30

2019

Jun. 30

2020

Jun. 30

2019

Net revenues:

Packaging

53,622

51,613

47,602

105,235

91,459

Testing

12,690

11,563

10,285

24,253

19,236

EMS

39,703

32,721

31,524

72,424

66,471

Others

1,534

1,460

1,330

2,994

2,436

Total net revenues

107,549

97,357

90,741

204,906

179,602

Cost of revenues

(88,740)

(81,201)

(76,772)

(169,941)

(154,248)

Gross profit

18,809

16,156

13,969

34,965

25,354

Operating expenses:

Research and development

(4,837)

(4,609)

(4,515)

(9,446)

(8,470)

Selling, general and administrative

(5,545)

(5,484)

(5,311)

(11,029)

(10,448)

Total operating expenses

(10,382)

(10,093)

(9,826)

(20,475)

(18,918)

Operating income

8,427

6,063

4,143

14,490

6,436

Net non-operating (expenses) income:

Interest expense – net

(771)

(893)

(909)

(1,664)

(1,875)

Foreign exchange gain (loss)

718

(324)

(340)

394

(520)

Gain (loss) on valuation of financial assets

and liabilities

(17)

186

802

169

2,358

Gain (loss) on equity-method investments

105

(39)

114

66

(40)

Others

417

244

614

661

700

Total non-operating income (expenses)

452

(826)

281

(374)

623

Income before tax

8,879

5,237

4,424

14,116

7,059

Income tax expense

(1,646)

(1,175)

(1,624)

(2,821)

(2,029)

Income from continuing operations and

before noncontrolling interest

7,233

4,062

2,800

11,295

5,030

Noncontrolling interest

(296)

(163)

(110)

(459)

(297)

Net income attributable to

shareholders of the parent

6,937

3,899

2,690

10,836

4,733

Per share data:

Earnings (losses) per share

– Basic

NT$1.63

NT$0.92

NT$0.63

NT$2.54

NT$1.11

– Diluted

NT$1.60

NT$0.89

NT$0.62

NT$2.49

NT$1.08

Earnings (losses) per equivalent ADS

– Basic

US$0.109

US$0.061

US$0.041

US$0.170

US$0.072

– Diluted

US$0.107

US$0.060

US$0.040

US$0.166

US$0.070

Number of weighted average shares used in

diluted EPS calculation (in thousands)

4,273,770

4,280,990

4,256,799

4,279,072

4,256,265

FX (NTD/USD)

29.94

30.01

31.04

29.97

30.90

ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

Summary of Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income Data – ATM

(In NT$ millions, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

For the three months ended

For the six months ended

Jun. 30

2020

Mar. 31

2020

Jun. 30

2019

Jun. 30

2020

Jun. 30

2019

Net revenues:

Packaging

55,732

53,600

48,329

109,332

92,817

Testing

12,693

11,566

10,286

24,259

19,237

Direct Material

1,051

1,014

944

2,065

1,844

Others

40

29

35

69

67

Total net revenues

69,516

66,209

59,594

135,725

113,965

Cost of revenues

(54,434)

(52,875)

(48,494)

(107,309)

(94,427)

Gross profit

15,082

13,334

11,100

28,416

19,538

Operating expenses:

Research and development

(3,777)

(3,648)

(3,414)

(7,425)

(6,457)

Selling, general and administrative

(4,081)

(4,114)

(4,020)

(8,195)

(7,861)

Total operating expenses

(7,858)

(7,762)

(7,434)

(15,620)

(14,318)

Operating income

7,224

5,572

3,666

12,796

5,220

ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

Summary of Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income Data – EMS

(In NT$ millions, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

For the three months ended

For the six months ended

Jun. 30

2020

Mar. 31

2020

Jun. 30

2019

Jun. 30

2020

Jun. 30

2019

Net revenues:

Total net revenues

39,709

32,727

31,533

72,436

66,492

Cost of revenues

(35,979)

(29,679)

(28,657)

(65,658)

(60,686)

Gross profit

3,730

3,048

2,876

6,778

5,806

Operating expenses:

Research and development

(1,085)

(983)

(1,125)

(2,068)

(2,065)

Selling, general and administrative

(1,403)

(1,294)

(1,248)

(2,697)

(2,500)

Total operating expenses

(2,488)

(2,277)

(2,373)

(4,765)

(4,565)

Operating income

1,242

771

503

2,013

1,241

ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

Summary of Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

(In NT$ millions)

(Unaudited)

As of Jun. 30, 2020

As of Mar. 31, 2020

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

58,223

73,829

Financial assets – current

5,483

5,611

Notes and accounts receivable

73,763

73,573

Inventories

50,649

50,027

Others

14,395

13,575

Total current assets

202,513

216,615

Financial assets – non-current & Investments – equity

method

12,950

14,750

Property plant and equipment

238,757

234,419

Right-of-use assets

9,091

9,578

Intangible assets

77,154

77,941

Others

18,127

18,365

Total assets

558,592

571,668

Current liabilities:

Short-term borrowings

42,312

51,620

Current portion of bonds payable & Current portion of

long-term borrowings(3)

11,366

13,725

Notes and accounts payable

54,400

53,944

Others

64,547

53,719

Total current liabilities

172,625

173,008

Bonds payable

39,263

29,276

Long-term borrowings(4)

115,518

134,363

Other liabilities

17,251

17,555

Total liabilities

344,657

354,202

Shareholders of the parent

200,409

203,624

Non-controlling interests

13,526

13,842

Total liabilities & shareholders’ equity

558,592

571,668

Current Ratio

1.17

1.25

Net Debt to Equity Ratio

0.70

0.71

ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

Summary of Consolidated Cash Flow Statements

(In NT$ millions)

(Unaudited)

For the three months ended

For the six months ended

Jun. 30

Mar. 31

Jun. 30

Jun. 30

Jun. 30

2020

2020

2019

2020

2019

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:

Profit before income tax

8,879

5,237

4,424

14,116

7,059

Depreciation & amortization

12,785

12,687

12,637

25,472

25,212

Other operating activities items

(1,659)

(4,476)

(5,438)

(6,135)

(4,630)

Net cash generated from

operating activities

20,005

13,448

11,623

33,453

27,641

Cash Flows from Investing Activities:

Net payments for property,

plant and equipment

(16,587)

(13,605)

(11,451)

(30,192)

(20,329)

Other investment activities

items

1,902

(205)

(774)

1,697

1,976

Net cash used in investing

activities

(14,685)

(13,810)

(12,225)

(28,495)

(18,353)

Cash Flows from Financing

Activities:

Total net proceeds from

(repayment of) borrowings

(18,900)

13,890

(2,521)

(5,010)

(5,693)

Other financing activities items

(457)

194

(896)

(263)

(1,048)

Net cash generated from (used

in) financing activities

(19,357)

14,084

(3,417)

(5,273)

(6,741)

Foreign currency exchange

effect

(1,569)

(24)

(208)

(1,593)

1,025

Net increase (decrease) in cash

and cash equivalents

(15,606)

13,698

(4,227)

(1,908)

3,572

Cash and cash equivalents at the

beginning of period

73,829

60,131

59,317

60,131

51,518

Cash and cash equivalents at the

end of period

58,223

73,829

55,090

58,223

55,090

(1) All financial information presented in this press release is unaudited, consolidated and prepared in accordance with Taiwan-IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards as endorsed for use in the R.O.C.). Such financial information is generated internally by us and has not been subjected to the same review and scrutiny, including internal auditing procedures and audit by our independent auditors, to which we subject our audited consolidated financial statements, and may vary materially from the audited consolidated financial information for the same period. Any evaluation of the financial information presented in this press release should also take into account our published audited consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements. In addition, the financial information presented is not necessarily indicative of our results of operations for any future period.

(2) ATM stands for Semiconductor Assembly, Testing and Material.

(3) Current portion of long-term borrowings include long-term loans and notes payable.

(4) Long-term borrowings include long-term loans and bills payable.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ase-technology-holding-co-ltd-reports-unaudited-consolidated-financial-results-for-the-second-quarter-of-2020-301103698.html

SOURCE ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd.

Fashion

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

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Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

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South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi: Amateur magician; professional tweaker-trickster

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Harry Potter fans would know this as the Room of Requirement; muggle cricketers dub it backend operations. Tabraiz Shamsi is an amateur magician. He is also a professional worrier of why some googlies don’t turn as much as he’d want, in cricket.

For the Proteas chinaman bowler, the room of requirement from where he could pull out any game data, used to be the dependable ‘P Dawgg’, former South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram combining his ken and nous and fast processing laptop. Prasanna enviably would be privy to the trial (and error) runs of Magician Shamsi’s classical Tourniquet coin-drops with the cricket ball. Which was the unglamorous, quirk-in-progress of his left-arm leg spin.

At the stroke of 1 a.m, oftener than not, Shamsi would come looking for what he called ‘shit balls’, in what Prasanna reckoned were otherwise impressive, less-than-run-a-ball bowling spells. This was that one specific delivery that went for a six to sully Shamsi’s 4-0-22-3 T20 match figures. It was the bugs, not the features, that the 29-year-old would cussedly fixate on.

“I’d never point out that he’s missing his length or the back foot was collapsing, at 12.30 in the night. Because Shamo, you see, would then take me to the nets at 1 a.m! He’s capable of calling the manager and telling him at that hour that I have to practice NOW. You had to be careful about what you told him at 1 a.m,” Prasanna laughs, underlining ungrudging admiration for the Proteas spinner’s dedication.

A series of self-recriminations in staccato would follow the ‘Bhai, can you please put on the shit-ball that went for a six.’ “He’d curse himself watching replays: ‘no good, not international class, garbage ball.’ If you try telling him it is ‘well-played’ from Jos Butler and not exactly a poor ball, he’d be hard on himself and say, ‘This is nonsense from Shamo’,” Prasanna recalls of his exacting standards.

For, the South African World No 1 spinner – who lends mystery to the Saffer bowling attack if not entirely upstaging their thunderbolt battery of pacers – knows that all sleights of hand, can come with uncontrollable twists of fate. Both in magic, and cricket.

A young boy of 15 at Paarl who tried to bowl quick like Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, had wound up as a left arm leg spin all-sorts, after years of compulsive fine-tuning. And taken failures and omissions into his run-up’s five-strides.

***
Born in Johannesburg, Shamsi wanted to be a super quick in the land of bolting pacers. His progress though didn’t follow the regular route of being identified early for First teams at schools and playing age-groups. Also, he was told he wasn’t quick enough.

Speaking to the podcast ‘Pavilion conversations with C.S’ recently, Shamsi recalls his earliest break at age 15, bowling alone in the school nets, with the cricket coach’s office nearby. The coach would stop by and ask him what he was upto. “I said, ‘Sir, the U15 trials are coming up. I want to make the Paarl team wanna progress’. He told me – you are not gonna make it. But even there I thought he realised the type of character I am. That was just his way to push me even harder. He said ‘Don’t waste your time practicing coz you won’t get selected. And i was even more driven,” he told the host Mr. Chiwanza.

Shamsi would end up with most wickets that tournament, make the B team (“Still not A”), followed by U17 and U19s for the local side. “I didn’t get selected for SA U19s or invited to camps. My past was little different. In fact I got my opportunity at semi-pro cricket because one player got selected for U19s and went to the World Cup. A spot opened up because of him. I just knew that was my chance I had to make it work. And fortunately I performed. When he came back from the World Cup, he couldn’t get into the team,” Shamsi recalled.

It was around 2015-6 after he had zeroed in on Chinaman as his chosen bag of assorted tricks in franchise, provincial cricket, that he first sought out Prasanna, while closely following senior leggie and his ‘bruv’ Imran Tahir. Prasanna promised to compile a list of outstanding T20 spinners of that year for comparison, when Shamsi asked him: ‘Why just T20? I want to play all formats.’

Prasanna promised to revert after two days on Friday, and on Monday, he had a message from the hotel lobby at 10.30 am that Shamsi was waiting. “Normally, cricketers will turn up at 11.30, if the analyst time is 10.30. This guy made me abandon my breakfast and was ready with a list of questions. I’d prepared a presentation earlier on bowlers like Warne, Ajmal and Herath and how they bowled on unhelpful tracks, what lengths to bowl at what stage, and offered to email it to him. He tells me: “No. I’ll write it down in my own words. I don’t want shortcuts.”

Shamsi would sit and plan for every batsman – his notes diary in tow, even on matchdays when he wasn’t in Playing XI. And once he would spill the beans on why brainwaves struck him at 1 a.m – his preferred time to brainstorm with the analyst. “He once told me he eats my brain at that hour, so that he gets dreams of how to get a Kohli or Sharma out, so he can wake up next day he can execute the training plans.”

Once he came angsty about his googlies not spinning as much as Kuldeep Yadav or Brad Hogg. “When he said it’s not spinning, I told him Shamo’ you didn’t bowl any googly. That’s it. He hit the nets and bowled 1000 googlies non-stop and then said, he’s now hitting the groove.”

But nothing had prepared Prasanna for Shamsi’s mic-drop in the pink ball Test against Australia where the Chinaman was fancied as it’s tougher to spot the wrist in the Adelaidian twilight. Shamsi was instructed to block for 20 balls and support Faf as Proteas were hanging on at 210-9. Shamsi would announce he would score a 50 – against Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Finally he was unbeaten on 18. “He came back and blustered ‘If someone had suported me, I’d have hit that 50’.”

***

This constant state of ‘upbeat’ – talking up his own abilities to score a 50 coming at No 11 against Cummins & Starc – might well be the sort of swag and sizzle that the staid South African teams need at ICC tournaments. For a large part of the last 30 years, the Proteas have entered tournaments with burdensome tags of ‘talented’ and ‘favourites’ and come up short. The tasteless mocking glee of choke-jokes has run its course, and being light-weights might well prove liberating.

For all their botched run chases in 50 overs, South Africa can stake claim to the historic highest run-rally to 438. And the innings-interval remark of Jacques Kallis, the most expensive bowler in Australia’s 434, who had quipped “Guys, I think we’ve done a good job. They’re 15 runs short.”

Shamsi likes his boisterous one-liners too. And his showboating and noisy over-the-top pantomime aggression.

After starring in a T20 win against Ireland earlier, he would tell South African journalist Telford Vice, “In my young age, I started as a seamer but was told I’m not quick enough to be a fast bowler so became a spinner. Grew up watching Andre Nel, Dayle Steyn, Allan Donald, that’s where aggression comes from.”

He knows it’s a double-edged sword and a bowler can be packed off, but it can disrupt batters too. “Whatever it takes to win. I’m in charge of making our presence felt on the ground and ensure the team never backs down from opponents,” he added.

Shamsi recently responded to Darren Sammy’s tweet on who would win the T20 World: “Come on skipper, you know the answer to this already…. South Africa of course.” Scroll down the thread, and some mocker mangles his grammar: “are you comedy me”. A good laugh was had by all. Pressure punctured.

“He’ll say things like ‘I’ll single-handedly win this,” Prasanna says, “Whether it happens or not, it gives confidence to people close to you – your team.”

***

Shamsi’s made it to the top of rankings, taking 49 wickets from 42 T20Is, at a strike-rate of 14.8 and averaging 6.6. There’s been a bucketful of wickets in franchise cricket and The Hundred. He’s 31 and has bidden his time to make it to the national team, and another 4 years into the Playing XI. The Wicket then, is an ocassion to celebrate, he reckons.

“I’m a human being and not a robot and want to make long-lasting happy memories that will live with me forever long after my career is done and that is the reason behind my celebrations,” he wrote in a social media post once. “My celebrations mean no disrespect to the opponents. They help me enjoy myself, switch on and off during the game to release some pressure, and put some smiles on people’s faces too.”

There’s the “Shoe” that got going in the West Indies, where within seconds of a wicket, he’d shrug his ankle open from the left shoe and pretend to speak on a landline receiver. Then there’s the bus driver-celebration with Carlos Braithwaite and something about a birdie’s chirp. A flying kiss to the wife and a mock punch to a fielder like a streets hip hopper. Though the untold back-stories raise anticipation of what he’ll whip up next.

Prasanna says there can be new hairdos before every game, sometimes “thrice a week”, and that magic tricks and celebrations are practiced as diligently as the googlies and top-spinners. “Not only will he say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll get Ben Stokes out.’ He’ll also ask you to watch the celebration.”

Amongst his most famous on-field triumph-trumpetings after snaring a batter is pulling a wand out of a hankey – a magician’s staple. But never in cricket, where magic’s glossary is slathered on the slow bowlers and their guiles.

T20 commentators love his name, lending it a South American football match caller’s vroom: “Shaaa-mzzziii”. But it’s the celebrations that can befuddle the most trained of raconteurs. When Shamsi got Wihan Lubbe in the Mzansi Super League, the commentator would build up to the expected celebration. “Is the shoe coming off? No. Look at that…it’s magic,” he would chortle. Cricket was momentarily put to the side, before he resumed confused: “That was a legspinner…… Beg your pardon… Offspinner… That did the trick..” Shamsi’s delivery had jagged away from the leftie and the post-celebration left the commentator’s mind in knots.

Appearing on the Dan Nicholl Show in SA, Shamsi had pulled one of those ‘I can guess the card pulled out of the deck after being shuffled’ tricks. It was ace of spades.

Magic had been his fallback option till age 16, he’d say. “So if cricket doesn’t work out… I ll practice magic for 10 years… But naa… It’s gonna work out.. I’ll bamboozle you all,” he would say, charming the audience.

At the start of the magic gig, Shamsi had handed a sealed envelope to the host. “Sealed with Proteas saliva” Nicholl had joked with whispered reverence. The distracting envelope had briefly become the centrepiece, and Shamsi would explain later:
“You satisfied you made me stop shuffling when u wanted me to? Funny thing is…You thought you were in charge of the trick… Telling me when to stop. Even though it’s your show, I’m running this party… I was controlling you and I actually made you stop at a specific point. …And to prove that I had written down something in this envelope before starting the trick..” It read Ace of Spades.

Shamsi’s assortment of Chinaman, is a bit like that: planned spontaneity. Allan Donald in a video while introducing him to RCB few seasons ago, said: “Left arm, tweaks it this way, tweaks it that way, then tweaks it the other way.” Offering attacking options in the middle overs, with his ability to turn ball both ways, and variations of top spinner, the side spinner and googly, makes him effective against both lefties and righties. The constant explosion of activity – before, right after when appealing (he once did a spot of bhangra jumps, then sat down altogether while pleading a decision) and when celebrating, is in fact the sealed envelope distraction.

Yet, bad days are not unfamiliar to Shamsi, and his role can be flexible like the magician’s wand, like in the West Indies, to keep things quiet, contain against the big power hitters. “There’s two ways to skin a cat… Not really fussed about not getting wickets in WI. That was a different role,” he told the media later.

Sometimes the magic is in not believing the flimflam and sleight. Like rankings. “I don’t lose sleep over being No 1. Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be on top. But I’ve said it before and I truly mean it. I don’t even think I’m the best bowler in our team. We have some great bowlers in the unit. Rankings don’t mean anything if a batsman gets hold of you. I don’t even know how those rankings work honestly.”

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Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets

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Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets | SuperSport – Africa’s source of sports video, fixtures, results and news






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