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What has been around for about 150 years but never grows old? What has been around for 150 years, changes every few years, but still remains as popular & fashionable as ever? The answer? Your denim jeans!! Invented in the 1870’s as workwear for farmers & miners, who would have guessed that denims would just continue to grow in popularity, & become more & more fashionable with time; that they would continue to be the fashion designers’ darlings & would become an essential in nearly everyone’s cupboard, male or female, young or old, as well as popular in every country around the world!

Each generation seems to think they have the newest & best version. Nevertheless, our denims are so loved that each person has a fashion favourite. During the 1950’s it was all about James Dean looking sexy in straight leg cuffed jeans & a tight T-shirt. Then along came the hippies of the 60’s & 70’s in embroidered bellbottoms – a far cry from the next look with the torn & ripped denim of the punks! These days we combine a bit of all of these. Can you believe that back in the day one had to sit in a bathtub & get your jeans to shrink to fit? Now we have stretch denim so that anyone can get that made to measure look. And as for wearing jeans for months, or even years, to get the gorgeous soft, worn look that’s so popular? No need -now every version is possible, straight off the shelf – torn or faded, colours or bling- just take your pick!

With recent trends of recycling, either by donation or by clever sewing, turning an old pair of jeans into something new makes denim forever fashionable, & sometimes it seems forever lasting! True to the saying – “old jeans never die – they just fade away!”

Vaal Mall has received a PMR Diamond Arrow Award for doing the most in its sector to stimulate economic growth and development in the Sedibeng area over the past year. Vaal Mall was voted the area’s Best Shopping Centre for the sixth consecutive year.

The Diamond Arrow is the highest possible PMR rating in an entirely public rating process where locals choose the most deserving businesses.  The rating is decided by business owners and leaders, and senior public officials, based in Sedibeng.

Vaal Mall was rated “Outstanding” and was placed first overall among Sedibeng District shopping centres.

“This has been a challenging year for our community, shoppers, tenants and our own operations. Shopping centres were called upon to step up and contribute to the economy, businesses, and society in ways we’d never before experienced and couldn’t even imagine doing in the past. So, we are especially grateful for this recognition during a difficult time when we had to respond to countless changes and challenges. So many individuals, businesses and organisations worked with us to serve and sustain our community during a very unusual time indeed, and we thank and salute them,” says Shana Maree-Paraskevopoulos, portfolio manager for Vaal Mall.

She adds, “This award is an acknowledgement of the tireless effort of our management, operations and marketing teams and partners, and the dedication of all our retailers and restaurants, to keep our community’s needs front-and-centre in everything we do, even during an extraordinary time in history.  It is a real honour and high praise indeed. There is no doubt that we have the best shoppers and an amazing community, and it is their support that truly makes us the best shopping centre in the region.”

Vaal Mall, the heart of Vanderbijlpark, is the Vaal Triangle’s shopping capital with 65,000sqm of convenient shopping and a variety of more than 150 retail stores.

The Vaal Mall Diamond Arrow Award rating is based on independent perception during research undertaken in 2020.

Centuries ago, long before we started watching our movie stars & celebrities fall in & out of love, there were Roman gods. We have Brangelina & the Kardashians, Meghan & Harry, William &Kate. Back then they had gods for everything, & one of the favourites was Venus, goddess of Love. She had a son called Cupid – a mischievous little god who had fun shooting arrows at couples to make them fall in love! His arrows were tipped with gold & when they pierced lovers’ hearts their fate was sealed. These days some are lucky enough to get Valentine gifts of gold, but the quirky hearts, chocolates & cuddly toys are far sweeter. And Valentine cards! Is there more joy in choosing one with just the right message, or is the best part solving the mystery of the secret admirer? Is the message filled with love, or is it going to be cute & spicy? And the secret admirer….. is it “The One”, or horrors, is it the one you’ve been avoiding all year? It all adds to the fun of a day filled with red & white, of chocolates & cuddly bears, hearts & cupids, & all things to do with love.

Vaal Mall celebrated the festive season with some extra cheer through its “We Love Our Community” initiative in which a remarkable R100,000.00 was donated to families in need to make Christmas a little brighter this year.

The centre worked closely with various NPOs in the community, including the Vereeniging Lions, Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce, Lusa Community Chest, Go Purple Foundation, IFM 102.2, Open Hands Project and Minenhle Arts and Culture Forum, to help identify struggling families.

Carla de Villiers-Malan, Regional Marketing Manager for Vaal Mall says that after a difficult year it was especially important to remember the spirit of giving during the festive season. “We are so thankful to be part of such a wonderful community and are proud to play a part in making a difference, however small, where it matters most.”

Vaal Mall hosted an official handover on 15 December where 100 families each received a R1000 Vaal Mall Gift Card. “We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to the Vaal community NPOs for collaborating with us on this special initiative, and of course to all Vaal Mall shoppers for their continued support throughout the year. We wish our community health and happiness for 2021,” says de Villiers-Malan.