MOTHER LAND

The root of exploration is our need for connection.
How do we relate to ourselves? And how do we place ourselves in relation to the world?

MOTHER LAND

An exploration of self usually circles around looking inward, as well as observing outward.
We need to allow for our thoughts, feelings, and desires to find their true voice.

This is impacted by both what came before us, and what remains in our surrounds.

MOTHER LAND

Sikhokhele embodies the “us”, and provides a temporary identity for these questions to cling onto.
This is her journey of exploration, of connection. She moves organically into sleek shapes; allowing her to be one
with the natural backdrops. We see strong stances, and deep eye contact, but the atmosphere remains soft and still.
These moments of pause submerge us in reflection. Even the ego sits, mesmerised by the tranquillity.

Where do our origins lead us? What do we absorb from outer inputs?

Where do we lay in between the before, the now, and the oncoming?

And – how does our position transform?

MOTHER LAND

Alexander presents us with both intimacy, and wholeness.
We are eyes to a lens looking in; onto emotion, light effect and stylistic detail. And then we are backed up to frame nature; and we are shown where Sikhokhele, who depicts the “us”, sits within the bigger picture. Fischer uses line and shape to form balance; spread arms and claps into negative space, and imbalance; resting branches and tilted angles.

We are also struck by her intentional use of light to paint a narrative; from beams across the face to shadow play.

Traditions, and cultural expectations, have been seen as more solid and untouchable aspects; in the name of respect, and the will to keep sacred practices, and ideals, breathing. As strong individualism has continued to rise; there is more opportunity to find where we see modernism, and traditionalism meeting. When this is done with understanding and consideration,
we can reach a harmony between the two, and fresh outlooks can surface.

MOTHER LAND

Tsepiso offers the stage to tradition through pattern and colour, while creating a modern ensemble through his styling;
by using interesting ways to wrap fabric, unusual pairings, and accessories.
We feel the appreciation of the bold roots, and see the complimentary value of Seema’s vision.

Traditions cannot lay stagnant, as this is where they shall stay.

The teachings must be continued; one cannot truly reframe something that one does not fully comprehend.
And we do not want to lose traditions through adaption.

MOTHER LAND

But, if we could rejuvenate interest in learning about tradition, through expression that credits influence, as well as relates more naturally; this is a cycle that could both protect tradition, and better understand its relation to our present.

Inge’s use of line, colour and texture reiterate the feeling of a moment frozen in time.
The vibrancy of the makeup highlights, rather than overwhelms. She is evident in the images; her brush strokes loud, her colour contrasting. Yet, the aesthetic remains subtle within the compositions.

MOTHER LAND

As conscious beings, we have no choice in our subjectivity.
We see things according to the way our paths have carved our viewfinders. But, we do have choice in where we choose to look. We may be the product of our environments; but we too have control over how and where our production line deploys our product. We have much more say in our impact than we sometimes believe.

To be more, we have to look to what we lack; and to where we can learn from those who have come before us.

PHOTOGRAPHER : ALEXANDER FISHER
FASHION STYLIST : TSEPISO SEEMA
MAKE UP ARTIST : INGE HEWETT  HERO 
MODEL : SIKHOKHELE TYHALI  TWENTYMODELMANAGEMENT
FASHION BY MILLE COLLINES
COPY EDITOR : JODI REDELINGHUYS

A SENSE OF HOME

The energy surrounding the twins is sunny and warm; you can physically feel the fire between them as they hype one another up, while still grounding each other – together they seem to carry a sense of home.

DOPPELGANGERS

Sister, I stand strong.

Sister, I see long

ahead of me,

of us.

DOPPELGANGERS
DOPPELGANGERS

Sister,

let us thrive

and trust.

DOPPELGANGERS

In two,

we move

ahead like flames leaping

for new;

for more to experience,

with an inherent

desire to discover.

DOPPELGANGERS
DOPPELGANGERS

As one,

we still overflow,

our connection

has no

distance restriction.

I feel your guidance

in every decision;

you remain close.

DOPPELGANGERS

I carry you with me,

a sensory accessory;

a sense of home.

DOPPELGANGERS

Sister,

having a front row seat

in this ongoing show

of you coming into being,

is what pushes me,

is what teaches me,

is what sets the tone

of endless possibility.

DOPPELGANGERS

Sister,

remember to resist

any inclination

to sift

your flower;

lumps and all,

as you are,

you are raw power.

A SENSE OF HOME
DOPPELGANGERS

‘A Sense of Home’

A poem by Jodi Redelinghuys

A SENSE OF HOME

DUNE FACES

WARRIORS

The iconic Atlantis Dunes are the picturesque backdrop for this story; one which highlights some of our favourite faces this season. This ever-changing landscape shifts in motions with the Cape winds, and covers an area of roughly 32km2.  Its white sand dunes reach heights of up to 50 metres. Less than an hour beyond Table Mountain’s shadow, these dunes stretch to fill your entire view; this is rare for Cape Town’s cove-filled coast.

WARRIORS

Not many spaces could create this vast, yet dynamic, canvas for our models to be beheld. This majestic, and enchanting terrain called for a classic approach; denim and wardrobe icons never fail.

“I wanted to create a story with thrifted, pre-loved garments to show that clothing can have a second act – it’s important for us to celebrate circularity in fashion,” explains Ky Bxshxff.

THE FACES THAT ARE HERE TO SERVE:

 

MEET MEIKEL PEEHS | Kult South Africa

23-year-old Meikel was born in Germany, to Ghanaian parents with their roots still sturdy in African soil. His hobbies include soccer, dancing and traveling.

In his own words: “I love modeling because I get to meet new people, and explore new cities; which is one of the best parts of the job. I really enjoy posing, and working with creative people. I also love getting to see myself up in stores; it gives me confirmation that I’ve come a long way.”

WARRIORS
WARRIORS

A MINUTE WITH AWELANI MAMAFHA | Fanjam Management (1)

He is mighty fresh; having just started professional modeling less than a year ago. Soccer is the love of Awelani’s life, he is also an avid lover of volleyball, and yoga. When he isn’t being active outdoors, you’ll catch him reading, or binging on documentaries.

In his own words: “Modeling is a roller-coaster, but that’s what makes it exciting. On set, you get to connect with new people; learning about their journeys, and understanding what in their journey has led to us sharing this chance to create together.”

INTRODUCING LUKMON JIMOH | Kult South Africa (2)

After completing high school in 2020, model Lukmon kicked off his modelling pursuit after being signed with The Hunt Management, an agency in Nigeria; his home country. He then relocated to Cape Town to work under Kult SA.

In his own words: “When I’m not dancing, drawing or playing sports – especially table tennis and basketball – you’ll find me working with talented teams to bring amazing ideas to life – that’s my favourite things about being a model.”

GETTING TO KNOW SEIGNEUR BEWA | Boss Models (3)

Seigneur, known on set as Jay, began modelling while still in school. It was only after finishing his studies that he began to take it more seriously; this was about 4 years ago. When he isn’t in front of the camera, he is skating, playing soccer and designing.

In his own words: “The funny thing is I actually went to my agency to join their Talent board, before being spotted by the Men’s booker who signed me up. I love that I get to inspire complete strangers to wear good clothing, just because it looks good on me.”

WARRIORS
WARRIORS

White sand layers in soft grain to redirect focus; we look onto the features that dress the faces of these four men.

We lay with them in these dunes; somewhere in between raw strength, and tender openness.

PHOTOGRAPHER : PASCAL TRIPONEZ |HE/HIM|
CASTING & FASHION DIRECTION :  KY BXSHXFF |THEY\THEM|
HAIR & MAKE UP :  TARRYN LEE KELLY |SHE\HER|
STYLIST :  DUNCAN RAY NOWERS |HE\THEY|
STYLIST ASSISTANT :  JORDAN POTGIETER |HE\HIM|
PRODUCTION :  KELVIN BUDD |HE\HIM|
WORDS :   KY BXSHXFF |THEY\THEM|
COPY EDITOR :  JODI REDELINGHUYS |SHE\HER|

MODELS
SEIGNEUR BISALA BEWA   |HE\HIM| BOSS MODELS 
LUKMON JIMOH |HE\HIM|  KULT SOUTH AFRICA 
AWELANI MAMAFHA |HE\HIM|  FANJAM MANAGEMENT 
MEIKEL PEEHS |HE\HIM| KULT MODELS

ANTIDOTE

‘The time’ has been waiting for us to come.
Time does not ask for our cooperation, but rather unfolds according to how we behave.
And the only known cure to lost time, is to intentionally spend the time that remains.
KULT

We need to act now. We need to acknowledge the antidote.

Kult Models presents us with their study into the human condition. 
A look into a version of our world that thrives on leading change rather than attempting to conquer. An existence that constantly pushes for unity and love.
A place for the strong, a place for the truth, a place for positive action.

The setting’s romance and drama is met by captivatingly powerful styling by Chrisna de Bruyn.
The Kult crew toy with the elements, uniformed in Viviers Studio and Gavin Rajah, with accessories by Ida Elsje.

Winds grip and pull glistening materials, and push fills of air to give soft fabric defined form. 
The sun creates glowing borders around moving shapes of collars, mountains and hands. 
The ocean crashes down and across the audio; hitting against boulders and splashing drops into our ears. In between the plush grass and coarse rock, the earth stands steady and strong.

This strength is only challenged by the intensity of the eye contact we are subjected to.
A loud, yet unspoken; “we see you.” 
As if these characters have fallen into a life process closer to nature, and they do not only want to reveal it to us. They want to see whether you choose to allow the effect in. 
What will you do with access to the antidote?

Viviers Studio’s WOMB COCOON ’21 collection attempts to “capture the yearning of humanity to feel loved, protected, duvet(ed) and comforted. Mothered. Earthed.” 
We are more connected to nature than we sometimes acknowledge. We need her more than we can comprehend. 

“Symbiotic relations underline our oneness, our interconnectivity, our interdependence,” Viviers expands further on their collection, and its declaration for unity with nature. 
Sprinting through long grass and sunlight is the rush we are always chasing.

It is up to us to design this new world. Gavin Rajah expresses the importance of finding a fresh African aesthetic; “one that is in collaboration, not tamed into stereotypes.” 
We are constantly moving forward, but – how we move determines where we lead to.

Where better to look for guidance on survival, strength, community and rehabilitation than nature?

The jewelry collection by Ida Elsje was influenced by African soil and spirit. We are graced with warm brushed gold and shimmering grey sapphires.

Nature is raw. She is hard, soft, wet, dry, strong and vulnerable. She is not to be processed in order to ease your consumption. She will remain an overwhelming force.
And so, we march toward a battle with an ending in unity.

Let us embrace the form we create when standing together.

What we share is that we have all had our rhythms interrupted, our weeks suspended, and watched the hours in this new reality turn into years. 
We now reside in the age of vaccines and booster shots. 
We’ve had to face more screens than not. Connection has become a term to discuss internet speed. Engagement has become an indication of being seen. 

How close are we to one another if we only show up most as activity?

DIRECTOR : NADIA VON SCOTTI
DOP : DYLAN BOERSTRA
STILLS : NADIA VON SCOTTI & JOHN SECOND
FASHION DIRECTOR : CHRISNA DE BRUYN 
FASHION BY VIVIERS STUDIO & GAVIN RAJAH 
JEWELRY BY IDA ELSJE 
HAIR & MAKE UP : NEVEEN SCELLO
1ST AC : REINIE SWART
2ND AC : JEREMIE BISIMWA KARANI
LOADER : LUKE STULINSKI
MODELS : TIAAN FLUKS, GABRIEL ZENARI, SOPHIA FARBER, KWEZI NDHLOVO
AGENCY : KULT SOUTH AFRICA 
PRODUCED BY NORTH SOUTH PRODUCTIONS
EDITOR : DYLAN WRANKMORE AT ICONIC AGENCY
COLOURIST : HENRI OLIVIER

A BRAND FOR THE BRAVE

The Practice of Living Your Brand’s Message; Masa Mara As A Uniform For The Brave.

The fashion brand, Masa Mara, was born out of a need to be heard, and a need to belong.

Masa Mara translates to “building something, from nothing”.

Nyambo Masa Mara can be found this weekend (18-20 February 2022) at the Investec Art Fair at the CTICC, amidst many other talented creators and visionaries.

He continues to expand and grow as a multi-disciplined artist and we are honoured to be seated for the show; for his unfolding.

Nyambo MasaMara was born into a harsh reality; he was three years old when he and his family had to escape the turmoil in Rwanda and set roots in refugee camps. 

He believes that his loss of home, and his upbringing in heavily controlled spaces, had a huge impact on his creative expression. 

“Almost everything is told, so your life belongs to others. And when I had freedom, when I had a voice; it didn’t come with words”, he recalls, “clothes became a voice or a platform that I could express myself.”

His brand, Masa Mara, is unapologetic in its use of colour. The designer believes that colours are language and energy. The brand proudly exclaims; “I’m here. I belong here. I do not have to say a word.” 

Along the way Nyambo received a lot of repetitive feedback about his bold garments,

“it’s too colourful”, “you’re too noisy”, “you’re too bright.”

Mentors and others told him to tone it down and simplify; to use colour and pattern more selectively. His response was consistent, “how am I going to tell my story within the hem of a collar or sleeve?”

Fashion was not actually his initial focus. Years of work had gone into his music career. When he started designing custom pieces for his performances, he felt the power that this ‘uniform’ gave him, and decided that he needed that energy to bleed into his daily life. This is when he started getting noticed for his unique pieces, people were intrigued.

“I saw and understood that people were not ready. I knew from the beginning that they wanted it, but they were not ready. So, how do I make them ready?”

He took the leap, leaving his corporate job. He realised that he was building skills that he did not connect with. Comfort was left behind to make space for chance.

The next phase was dedicated to research, observing, teaching and learning. From YouTube garment construction crash courses, to assisting friends who were talented tailors; Nyambo stitched together his techniques and understanding of this new fashion world of his.

The brand moved into its true evolution when Nyambo started producing and printing his own fabrics, which he uncovered at a show in 2016. “People were excited that I was allowing African fabric to speak. That was the beginning, that was the show that highlighted everything. This was my brand.”

Between 2017 and 2018 Masa Mara, the brand, went quiet while Nyambo MasaMara ventured to Rwanda in search of home. 

He was surprised to still feel as if he did not belong in his homeland, the same feeling he had felt for years living in South Africa. He felt stuck in his experience of being welcomed into spaces, yet with limitations. He was chasing the human need to belong, but coming to terms with the fact that perhaps it would not be to a particular place. 

An honest conversation with a friend brought to light the concept of being third cultured. He researched it and found that there was a whole nation of people that too felt this way.

“You belong everywhere but you also do not belong anywhere at the same time,” Nyambo expresses. 

Having been away and deep within his personal journey, his brand had run stagnant. He needed a way to recapture attention. He knew that he needed to be consistent in his message of bravery.

He decided to crash SA Menswear Week in 2018. 

He took along eight diverse models, dressed in Masa Mara. He re-taped used wristbands and he led them into the show. 

“When we walked in – the cameras, the media, everyone turned and looked at us. And in that moment, I froze,  ‘What do I do?’ The models are walking to my signal.” The audience, thinking this was a part of the show, left the stage and surrounded the Masa Mara warriors. People wanted to understand why he had done it. 

“I said I’ve been in the industry for some time but the eyes were not seeing me. I’m here to introduce myself and let people know what I can do. The following year they invited me.”

This was a reminder that these colours are not just pigments and patterns, and that the moment you put them on, you feel it. 

They led by example, they led by encompassing the brand message.

“Doing this revived me, it showed me that the brand is brave. It showed me that I am brave,” relays Nyambo, “I told the models that this is what the brand is about. When you put this garment on, you are putting on armour; you go through anything.”

SA Menswear Week 2019 was the first time Masa Mara was invited on stage. And this is when the commercial eye started appreciating his craft.

The next big moment was when Merchants on Long reached out to him with a request to stock his garments. This was a massive shift, but a harmonic one as both brands align in their goals to uplift Africa.

I asked Nyambo what’s next for him and the brand.

“The things that people have seen so far, was me learning, studying and equipping myself with knowledge and skills. I need to start now.”

So many of us are putting out a message of what we want our brands to say. Nyambo doesn’t do that, he lives in the practice of it. 

It is not ‘this is for the brave ones’, it is ‘we are brave, we are here.’

FASHION DESIGNER : MASAMARA 
FASHION DIRECTOR : CHRISNA DE BRUYN
COPY WRITER : JODI REDELINGHUYS
PHOTOGRAPHER : DEMARCUS ALLEN
MODEL : SAM @OUTLAWS

BEYOND THE SURFACE

African Design Dealers: Merchants on Long

The Cape Town store that was born out of a desire to feed the world the incredible design coming out of Africa. Merchants on Long opened its doors in 2010, and has since established itself with the reputation of being a “home of African fashion”.

Why is a shop with this objective so crucial for African designers?

Laduma Ngxokolo, founder of MaXhosa Africa, believes that it is a paramount space; especially with Africa having a smaller fashion market than the Western world. “It is difficult to build a brand that is self-sustaining and self-sufficient.” voices Laduma. 

“I have an immense love and respect for what they do. [Merchants on Long are] always putting local designers first, which contributes vastly to the local fashion landscape” relays Thebetsile Magugu, the architect behind South African luxury brand; Thebe Magugu.

The global interest, and appreciation, of African design continues to expand and Hanneli Rupert maintains that, “South Africa and our designers hold a central position in this.” Her store, Merchants on Long, was the first stockist of many respected designers and she feels fortunate to have been a part of their journeys. 

“I love designers like Lukhanyo Mdingi for his sophisticated use of local, sustainable materials.”

MaXhosa is easily one of the most influential South African fashion brands coming out of the last decade/s. They are admired for their translation of traditional Xhosa beadwork patterns into beautiful, modern knitwear. 

“The world Laduma has created with MaXhosa is unbelievable and irreplaceable,” expresses Hanneli Rupert, the owner, and soul, behind Merchants on Long. The brand and store made their connection back in 2011.

Thebe Magugu serves us sleek designs that pay homage to the African continent and her textured stories. We are met with firm fabrics, course pattern and soft colour.

“I like to think of my brand as encyclopaedic – there are so many stories from our rich cultural heritage and history, and I like to use fashion to create totems alluding to, and explaining those histories. Fashion is my mouthpiece for all my thoughts and opinions, and I would [have] felt unheard or unseen without it,” voices Thebetsile.

 When it comes to aligning with designers, Hanneli Rupert notes that she has “always looked for brands that have integrity in their story and production. We do not have a homogenised “look” but there is a focus on quality, authenticity and originality.”

The store is dedicated to celebrating fashion that goes beyond the surface of beautiful textiles.

Amongst the array of talented brands and designers that make up the collective deemed the “first African concept store”, we also find Marrakshi Life.

Marrakshi Life illustrates their commitment to creating a conscious impact with their designs; “we wanted to build something authentic in nature, that was sustainable at its core and inception, and focused on creating pieces made for the human that orders them. Not polluting the world with stock and inventory that just sits there. The made to order concept is something that makes every piece special. Made just for you.”

Laduma, the MaXhosa visionary, highlights the separation between retail as an industry, and the innovators in the fashion sphere, “ we are masters of design.” The store took on the roles necessary to allow the designers to focus on their craft.

“[Merchants on Long] took all our unique voices, that speak to Africa luxury, in one space and made it a special dedication to what we were trying to create.” he reminisces.

Merchants on Long remains committed to uplifting African voices and stories. The store helps frame many emerging designers in the industry. Hanneli Rupert has sustained what began as her passion, but transformed into a hub for the future leaders of our continent’s fashion and design.

PHOTOGRAPHER :  DAVID SESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT : WINSTON SUSSENS
FASHION DIRECTOR : CHRISNA DE BRUYN
MODELS : SAM AVATAR & NKOSI  @OUTLAWSMODELS
COPY EDITOR : JODI REDELINGHUYS
FASHION DESIGNERS : MAXHOSA AFRICA & THEBE MAGUGU & MARRAKSHI LIFE
MERCHANTS ON LONG STREET & WATERFRONT 

KO LAPENG “HOUSE OF LEATHER” AW22

KO LAPENG is a story about home.

Home as a structure. Home as a comfort. Home as in the four walls that write the preface to our stories.

A concrete memory; home will always be home.

KO LAPENG

MADONSELA launches their new collection KO LAPENG and here they open the door, inviting you in.

KO LAPENG emphasizes the effect home has on building character and personality. 

Our stories do not necessarily define us, but rather equip us with a perspective that we alone own, but, one that has been built by our surroundings, our choices, and the journey to here, now.

KO LAPENG recognizes the cultural representation of what builds communities inside of a home.

A space that defines your perception. An emotion you carry with you. From home, we become.

Home and experience aids and challenges our progression, as well as it’s continuation.

“Becoming is the best identity,” express Warren & Prince, of MADONSELA.

Our foundations are layered through what, and how, we experience.

We move through this life with our perspectives longing for constant enhancement. This growth determined by our willingness to be aware; how conscious we are of our environments, and, the impact that both us, and they, have upon each other.

We are always in conversation with our environment. We are not always listening.

The collection is an embodiment of bold.

We see striking glossy leather neutrals and warm tones of tenderly vibrant colour. Their use of asymmetry and shape has added their stylised taint to classic pieces. As if they are filling in the gaps. The suit you always felt you needed, is here – at home.

Home is used to highlight the exploration of how we were raised, how the world has since changed and how adaption has become a means of survival

We bear witness to the beauty and power exuding from this transcendence of expression.

Riky Rick and Kwesta wear MADONSELA within a household, and step into the we made it narrative. An amalgamation of passions driving forward; fashion and music as differing agents of enriching African culture. An expression of success in conjunction, and the energy illuminates how far we have all come.

We celebrate this together, we celebrate this at home.

We advance through life cycles while they prepare us for that first day of independence.

But, we must remember to face beyond just forward, as the beauty of it all, is the message we leave behind. When we carry our stories with us, we have the opportunity to leave footprints of growth for those that come after us and shine the light that will guide us to redemption, and this all begins where it starts, “ka Philo le moya,” – at home.

And so here we are, at home, in appreciation of home.

We stand in power, in leather, together; KO LAPENG.