IMPRINT SS20

South African label Imprint’s latest spring/summer offering is like a collection of memories. Called Imvelaphi – The Home Coming, it’s a celebration of the brand going right back to the beginning. And it’s the perfect time to look back, as the brand makes the big move to Johannesburg.

Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20

Imprint has a very clear and singular ethos: ‘Leave a mark’. And it does so indelibly and elegantly. For spring/summer Imprint has journeyed back to the beginning; to its very first collections, most significantly the following ones: Our Roots, Geometry & Rock ’n Roll and Harbouring Hope.

‘The collection was a further display of where the brand began, which was with commercial prints and colour,’ says owner and designer Mzukisi Mbane. ‘And how it grew to become a brand which adopted the use of print as a storytelling tool; a brand that has grown into redefining our print identity through creating our own print.’

This show was the last Imprint will have before its move to Johannesburg. ‘This is for a variety of reasons,’ explains Mzukisi. ‘We are opening a new store in Joburg and we really don’t have a buying market in Cape Town, so it doesn’t make sense for us to keep showing in Cape Town. Cape Town fashion weeks never have the media we need, they never have the right market in attendance and it’s really just an expensive exercise that doesn’t give you anything. Hence the bold decision to rather invest in something that will give us some measurable return on investment.’

Imprint’s biggest market is already in Johannesburg – 80% of their monthly sales are with Joburg-based clients, while only 15% can be allotted to those based in other provinces and only 5% is the Cape Town-based client. ‘It then doesn’t make sense to be away from a market that is giving us the financial support we need,’ says Mzukisi.

The new Imprint store at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg will be having a show to launch and officially open on 28 September. The event will be exclusive to Imprint’s clients, media, buyers and celebrities with a surprise guest star performing at the runway show.

Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
Africa Is Now - IMPRINT SS20
2019-08-01T06:32:31+00:00

SOMEWHERE OUT THERE

Africa Is Now - Somewhere Out There
Africa Is Now - Somewhere Out There
CRYSTAL BIRCH    |     AKJP
Africa Is Now - Somewhere Out There
Africa Is Now - Somewhere Out There
Africa Is Now - Somewhere Out There
CRYSTAL BIRCH     |     MAXHOSA
Africa Is Now - Somewhere Out There

PHOTOGRAPHER: NICULAI CONSTANTINESCU WWW.NICULAI-CONSTANTINESCU.COM
@NICULAI_CONSTANTINESCU
STYLIST: CHRISNA DE BRUYN WWW.CHRISNADEBRUYN.COM @CHRISNADEBRUYN
GROOMING: RICHARD WILKINSON @RICHARDPAINT 
MODEL: GIDEON ALLEN @20MANAGEMENT @GIDEON_ALLEN

2019-07-30T10:15:24+00:00

UNRAVELLING

It’s all-out Nigerian style as photographer Noma Osula captures the relaxed masculine-meets-feminine flair of Bloke, with shoes by Maliko.

Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling

Bloke is an androgynous Nigerian label founded by Faith Oluwajimi. As creative director, he likes to explore new knitting techniques seasonally. However, aside from his penchant for knitwear, Faith also enjoys creating carefully considered garments. Known to be quirky and artsy, the brand is embraced by a community described as ‘spiritually conscious, art lovers, unconventional with an African identity’. Bloke won the maiden edition of the Emerge ALÁRA Awards 2018 and was a finalist of the Lagos Fashion Week ‘Fashion Focus Africa’ 2018 competition which seeks to uncover new design talent.

Maliko is an artisanal accessory brand based in the energetic city of Lagos, Nigeria. Ebuka Omaliko is the creative director and founder, who’s known for his use of colours and silhouettes when it comes to shoes. Maliko exclusively engages local artisans as a means of encouraging sustainable craftsmanship and ethical practices. The brand was one of the winners of the 2018 Lagos Fashion Week Green Access competition.

Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling
Africa Is Now - Unravelling

PHOTOGRAPHER: NOMA OSULA @NOMA.O
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT: JAMES UKPAI @U.JAMESOFFICIAL
MODELS: BLESSING SOMA @BLESSINGSOMA @FOWLERMODELS AND
TOMORI AANUOLUWAPO @AANUOLUWAPOTOMORI  
PRODUCTION: GINA AMAMA FOR GENERATION_X @GNATION_X
COLLAGE AND RETOUCHING: GENERATION_X @GNATION_X
CLOTHING: BLOKE STUDIO ARCHIVE @BLOKE_NG
SHOES: MALIKO SS19 @MALIKOSTUDIOS

2019-07-26T08:07:05+00:00

SELFI & MARGOT MOLYNEUX

The Cape Town-based fashion labels take a fresh and fluid approach with their latest collections.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

Selfi designer Celeste Arendse looks to a genderless future with her utilitarian Spring 2019 collection, titled Devine Femme. Rendered in 100% biodegradable raw silks and bull denim, Selfi’s collection is produced by a team of local CMTs in the room behind its Loop Street store.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

The Molyneux pieces are from her recently debuted menswear collection of versatile core pieces designed to stand the test of time. Similarly, Molyneux’s design studio is down the road from her store. Organic styling, genderless embellishment and a highly considered approach to sustainability are its defining qualities.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot
Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot
Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot

Floral artist Alwijn Burger, aka Blomboy, says the fashion shoot was borne from photographer Jacobus Snyman’s vision. ‘He has a brilliant eye and hand-picked a gang of creatives who could each bring a unique angle to the visual. Magic happens when you put 4 creatives in a room – a highly contagious level of inspiration!’

In terms of the foliage and blooms, Alwijn explains that they were selected for their sculptural qualities. ‘I wanted the floral accessories to complement the garments in a masculine and minimalist way, so colour was kept to strong, neutral earthy tones. We used bleached Italian ruscus; guava foliage and green fruits; the petals from a white king protea, preserved hydrangea; and dried banana leaf.’

While his style evolves and adapts, he says: ‘I’d like to think of it as considered, sensitive and masculine.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - Selfi & Margot
2019-07-19T13:52:34+00:00

SA MENSWEAR SS20

The fashion crowd defied the grey, rainy Saturday and showed up at the KPMG building in Cape Town’s city centre for the Spring/Summer collections 2020 of South African Menswear Week

IMPRINT ZA

The collection is a preview of the latest spring/summer offering. The silhouette, mood and inspiration is nothing but a collection of memories. The stand out being their ‘roots’ – ‘sex, geometry and rock ‘n roll – harbouring hope’. The collection was a further display of where they have been, starting out with commercial prints and colour, and growing into a brand that adopts the use of print as a storytelling tool. A brand that has thrived and now redefines their identity through creating their own prints.

GOOD GOOD GOOD

The collection is based around a growing desire to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. It embraces soft colour mixes and tried-and-trusted shapes made exclusively from three textile houses, all notable for their ethical processes and sustainability.

ALC MENSWEAR

This season’s offering is a masterclass in elegant layering with elements of eccentricity such as flowing ribbons. The must-have accessory  is the bucket hat.

SOL SOL MENSWEAR

Sol Sol walks the line between menswear and streetwear using melton, velour, cotton, teddy and nylon. Expect clean silhouettes in red tones and leopard print. Add the Sol Sol shoulder bag to your summer arsenal.

THROWAWAY TWENTY

This year’s SA Menswear week ended with romantic gestures like floral prints and playful stripes. Shorts or ankle-length pants, all paired with white socks and sneakers. The Throwaway Twenty man completes his look with a tied summer scarf.

TEXT: SARAH WECHSELBERGER

PHOTOGRAPHER: ZANDER OPPERMAN

PHOTOGRAPHER: ALEX PATERIMOS

VIDEOGRAPHER: RYNO STOLS

DIGITAL EQUIPMENT:  PHOTOHIRE

2019-07-29T19:03:51+00:00

ALC MENSWEAR

Brendan Sturrock, ALC Menswear designer, gives us insight into the creation of the Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, from the initial artistic inspiration provided by Amanda Laird Cherry through to the inventive collaboration with ceramic artist Frank Nthunya.

Known for its range of considered basics, separates and statement pieces, the Amanda Laird Cherry label is celebrated for giving familiar styles and silhouettes contemporary and avant-garde twists. The label includes ladieswear, accessories and ALC Menswear, created in collaboration with Brendan. We chatted to him about the latest collection.

Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man

Two Katsushika Hokusai artworks served as inspiration for the ALC Menswear A/W 2019 collection. Can you take us through how the process works in terms of creating a new collection? What happens after the initial moment of inspiration and how does this develop into a fully-fledged collection?

The brand has always been influenced by Japanese sensibilities and aesthetics, at times more subtle and at others more obvious. Amanda shared these images with the team as a starting point for both collections. Elements we pulled from these images were the movement captured in the rolling waves, the colour palette from the sky and Mount Fuji, the geometric nature of the style, as well as the balance in colour and composition.

‘The vast history behind the brand is a melting pot for inspiration, and I often lose myself in the archives.’

Where else do you get your inspiration?

My personal inspiration comes from how things are made and my fascination with the architecture in clothing. Amanda has cemented the brand as a force to be reckoned within the fashion industry. The vast history behind the brand is a melting pot for inspiration, and I often lose myself in the archives. So combining these two elements works seamlessly.

How did the collaboration with ceramic artist Frank Nthunya come about and what was it about his work that was a good fit for ALC Menswear?

Amanda has a history of working with the Woza Moya crafters at the Hillcrest Aids Centre in KwaZulu-Natal and Frank has his studio on their premises. We met him a couple of years back and fell in love with his work. We knew immediately we wanted to work with him, but it took a while to figure out how to do so. We collaborated with him for the AW19 ladieswear show at South African Fashion Week.

Frank was inspired by our signature prints in his etchings and we were inspired by his unique silhouettes and process of sculpting clay. The overlap into this season’s menswear collection is rooted in the spontaneous nature of Frank’s sculpting and also inspired by the surface texture and colouring his pots take on after being fired. I reinterpreted this with a hand-dying technique called Ice Dying where, much like the firing process, the final result is largely left up to chance. There is an element of risk involved when Frank fires his pots. While a lot of time and effort goes into the prep, there is a good chance his pots could explode in the kiln. This actually happened during our process which gave me a whole new level of respect for his work.

‘This season, we created silhouettes which are abundant with expressive, voluminous layers, and the styling is a mixture of utilitarian and avant-garde.’

Could you outline some of the avant-garde twists in the A/W 2019 collection?

The avant-garde elements are an opportunity for us to stretch our creativity, put on a show and elevate the brand identity. We love this part and it often encapsulates the season’s story as well. This season, we created silhouettes which are abundant with expressive, voluminous layers, and the styling is a mixture of utilitarian and avant-garde. Some of the looks are intentionally monochrome and others have been styled using the same treatment for the entire ensemble. The garments are adorned with details such as sunken utility pockets, intentional topstitching and the marbled print dyed by hand using the technique I mentioned before.

How difficult is it to strike a balance between artistic aesthetics and commercial sensibility?

It’s a careful and intentional process. We approach each new season by designing the collection that will go into stores first. This ready-to-wear collection consists of considered designer pieces, which are more accessible than avant-garde; we focus on subtle but unusual/unconventional details, which inform and extend into the avant-garde pieces we create for our ramp show. We balance the avant-garde with more commercial pieces so there is enough for people to understand, yet we are able to express our creativity and tell a story at the same time.

ALC Menswear is available at Space+Man stores in Durban and Johannesburg.

Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man
Africa Is Now Magazine - ALC Man

PHOTOGRAPHER: SIMON WINNALL
STYLIST: CHRISNA DE BRUYN @CHRISNADEBRUYN
PRODUCER: IAN CUSH @IANCUSH
TEXT: FIONA DAVERN @FIONADAVERN
MODEL: DINO MINGO @PHOTOGENICSLA
LOCATION: JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA, US

2019-07-14T19:00:06+00:00

NICHOLAS COUTTS

Fashion and textile designer Nicholas Coutts creates unique highly textured, handwoven pieces, blending traditional craft with a fresh contemporary aesthetic.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

Why do you think ‘Africa is Now’?

Creatives in Africa are breaking the mould and the talent is enormous. The dynamic style and vibrancy of Africa rings through all fields of the creative arts, reshaping traditional heritage. It’s driven by young designers who take risks to create a diverse and dynamic aesthetic.

What inspired your men’s collection?

My Cape Flora Kingdom collection was inspired by the natural vegetation that occurs in South Africa, particularly the protea and the disa. Florals and bright colours exude a fresh and optimistic outlook when combined with fabrics and textures that are modern yet used in a traditional way through the use of knits and weaves.

How many skilled staff do you employ and how do you promote growth in your company?

All my work is outsourced. I employ a skilled weaver on an ad hoc basis. I taught her to weave and have always had a vision of employing and teaching more people and forming a cottage industry. I have a pattern maker and a seamstress who have given me amazing support. Hopefully in the future I will become a full-time employer.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine
Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

Who has been integral to your fabrications and business?

My mother! She taught me to weave in my graduate year at fashion design school and has been there ever since to offer advice and support. She is creative and has good business sense.

What advice was pivotal to your personal or business growth?

Keep going! It’s hard out there, but if you stick to your design philosophy and stay focused, the rewards are there.

What skill set do you require for your business and what advice would you give those seeking to work with you? Do you prefer that they have a singular skill or are a budding young local talent?

Must be able to multi task! There are so many different facets to running a business. I find that I am pulled in all directions some days. Budding local talent is great but one needs more than talent to run a business.

How do you support the local industry?

I try wherever possible to use materials, whether they be yarns for weaving and knitting or fabrics that are locally made, but the variety is limited.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

We love the metallic lurex thread in your knits and weaves, your print-on-print and colour palette too. Tell us more about your creative process.

My handwoven and knitted pieces form the basis of my collections so my creative process usually begins with selecting the yarns, colours and textures. I try to tell a story and each garment has its own character. They speak for themselves.

‘Being able to create new fabrics as one weaves is a truly beautiful thing.’

What, for you, is the beauty of weaving?

In the beginning, I did all the weaving myself and it was very time consuming, but the solitude during the weaving process gave me time to think and plan the rest of my collection. Being able to create new fabrics as one weaves is a truly beautiful thing.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

What’s the difference between weaving and knitting?

For knitting one uses knitting needles or a knitting machine. A weaving loom is very different. One has to warp up a loom, the warp is the string-like yarn that forms the basis of the weave and then the weft is pulled through the warp which is lifted up and down by the heddle. This in a nutshell is how one weaves.

We love how you have taken the industry of weaving from granny-style arts and crafts to a fresh design-oriented approach. Do you utilise local artisans from the home industry?

Yes, definitely. I discovered the Cape Town Society for the Blind in Salt River some time ago and have an ongoing relationship with some of the weavers there. I also send tapestry weaving to Philani in Khayelitsha and I have several knitters who work from home. They all work from my specifications and patterns, and I supply the yarns and check on developments on a daily basis.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

Is the yarn from local farming? Have you ventured to those farms and inspected the living conditions of the farm stock/sheep supplying you with the wool?

I haven’t been to many wool-producing farms as mostly the wool is sent to a co-operative where its sorted and sold in bulk. I have visited an alpaca farm which was an incredible experience as we arrived just as a cria (a newborn alpaca) made its way into this life.

Who are your favourite local designers?

Rich Mnisi and Lukhanyo Mdingi.

What is your pet hate in local fashion design?

Lack of retail support. There are so few places in South Africa that stock luxury goods.

Who do you love to see wearing your clothes?

The sophisticated man who loves texture and wants to stand out. He is adventurous with fashion and has a mature confidence in what he wears.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

Where do you sell your luxury brand?

I sell it online at The Folklore and directly from my studio as well.

What is the price range from scarves to coats?

Prices range from R500 to upwards of R10 000.

Where would you like to see yourself in the future?

As an international fashion and textile designer.

Nicholas Coutts - Africa Is Now Magazine

PHOTOGRAPHER: ALEXA SINGER – WWW.ALEXASINGER.COM
STYLIST: CAROLINE OLAVARRIETA AT WWW.LAMPOST.CO.ZA
MODELS:
JAY JAY SIGNEUR OF BOSS MODELS AND RICHARD OF BOSS MODELS

2019-07-14T19:01:36+00:00

SA MENSWEAR WEEK 2019

Cape Town’s fashion crowd descended upon the Cruise Terminal of Cape Town’s Waterfront to view the Autumn/Winter presentation of SA Menswear Week. The raw industrial location provided a clean slate for the eclectic collections showcased. Winter 2019 is set to be a kaleidoscope of colour and texture.

Tokyo James

The Tokyo James man is urban, street and slick. Modern silhouettes and expert tailoring are given an edge with bright pops of colour and graphic prints. His must-have accessories? The bag, the waist belt and the cape. Go for lime green in true Tokyo James style.

SAMW - Africa Is Now Magazine
SAMW AW19 - Africa Is Now Magazine

Nicholas Coutts

Classic winter fabrics, prints and textures are brought to life with primary colours. Confidence and effortless style come in yellows, greens and reds. The designer’s cable-knit sweaters and oversized scarves are sure to be some of the season’s most covetable items.

Nao Serati

Nao’s collection blurs the line between traditional masculine and feminine silhouettes. This vibrant offering is what getting dressed up is all about… saying yes to PVC, yes to fancy headgear and yes to sequins – and above all, yes to having fun.

ALC Menswear

Winter is all about layering and ALC served the heat. Capes, coats and jackets were thrown over shirts of varying lengths. We particularly liked the longer hemlines. And the tie-dye prints and bucket hats scream ’90s nostalgia.

TEXT: NANDI NDLOVU
PHOTOGRAPHER: JUSTIN POLKEY

2019-04-24T21:44:37+00:00

MORSE

British-Nigerian designer Tokyo James’ new label Morse explores the intersection between fashion and art.

From Nigerian Afro-fusion singer/songwriter Burna Boy donning a patent black trench coat and red leather pants from the Tokyo James AW19 collection at a concert in Lagos, Nigeria, to the CEO of Chime Group, Udochi Igbokwe, wearing Tokyo James in Forbes magazine, the designer has gained massive traction since the first show of his eponymous label at South African Menswear Week (SAMW) in 2015.

Now Tokyo, whose creative career began as a fashion stylist for a variety of international brands, is launching a new label called Morse. The Morse campaign launch (featured here) was produced by AFRICA IS NOW’s editor Chrisna de Bruyn and the video was directed by Maxime Thaysen.

In terms of the fashion label’s ideology, Tokyo says: ‘With Morse, we’re interested in how fashion plays and intersects with art from various cultures. It also looks at the visual representation of how fashion and various cultures’ art forms meet and how to interpret that into the real modern world. It’s a system of language that communicates visually to the everyday person how societies express themselves and see themselves through art. After all, fashion in and of itself is an art form.’

While traditional techniques, clean lines and wearability are always at the core of his first label, Tokyo James, this year’s menswear show at SAMW will feature ‘a lot of colour and new fabrics’. ‘I’ve used a mixture of fabrics that I’ve never played around with before,’ says Tokyo. ‘There’s a lot of tie-dye, leather and plastics. I hope people like it, it’ll be exciting to see.’

The Tokyo James AW19 SAMW show is at 8pm on 9 February 2019 at the V&A Waterfront. For the full schedule, click here.

PHOTOGRAPHER: HYLTON BOUCHER @HYLTONBOUCHER @ONELEAGUE STYLIST: LOUW KOTZE @LOUW.77
ASSISTANT: BRIGITTE ARNDT
GROOMING: RICHARD WILKINSON @RICHARDPAINT @HEROCREATIVEMANAGEMENT MORSE COLLECTION BY TOKYO JAMES @TOKYOJAMESS PRODUCER: CHRISNA DE BRUYN @CHRISNADEBRUYN @AFRICAISNOWMAGAZINE​

MODELS:
SETHU N @20MODELMANAGEMENT BRANDON BROWNE @MYFRIENDNED COLLINS BLAISE ONYEJEKEWE @BOSSMODELSSA LIAM LADEWIG @BOSSMODELSSA NICOLAS V @20MODELMANAGEMENT SAMI CHUKWUEBUKA @BOSSMODELSSA

VIDEO
DIRECTOR: MAXIME THAYSEN @MAXIMEBANG @WEARE_CREATIVE CINEMATOGRAPHY: JESS JAMES HARRIS @VAJAYJAY EDITOR: LUKA SCOTT @LUKA.SCOTT
SCORE AND SOUND DESIGN: STUART ZIEGLER @STUART.ZIEGLER

2019-07-14T20:44:49+00:00
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