FASHION2019-08-30T18:12:47+00:00

GINGER MARY

This collab between AFRICA IS NOW and Ginger Mary is a celebration of spring and the feminine form.

Ginger Mary’s fashion fingerprint is all about boldness and softly accentuating the female form. The latest range, as always a well-balanced blend of eclectic and on-trend clothing, heralds in the warmer months with a rainbow of earthy, vibrant, saturated colours. Expect an array of unique prints and patterns, plus a selection of quality fabrics and trims. Each item is ultra-wearable, characterised by meticulous attention to detail and easy to combine with your existing wardrobe.

africa_is_now-gingermary-fashion-22

Ginger Mary is exclusively available at selected Truworths stores. Shop the brand here.

PHOTOGRAPHER: MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE – HERO
DIGITAL ASSISTANT: NICOLE SUTTLE
LIGHTING ASSISTANT: JOHN MARKS
ART DIRECTOR: TARYN HESSE
SENIOR STYLIST: CAREN WALSH
AFRICA IS NOW FASHION EDITOR: CHRISNA DE BRUYN
FASHION ASSISTANT: ROBYN CLARKE
FASHION ASSISTANT: CHACONNE KAYE
HAIR AND MAKE: ALICE COLORITI – SNCM

MODELS:
LEBO MLYUMKISI – ICE GENETICS
TONI OLOKO – BOSS MODELS

PRODUCTION:
PRODUCER: NEIL ROBERTS – HERO
ASSISTANT PRODUCER: JULIE ASSRTS – HERO
ASSISTANT PRODUCER: CATE ROCHAT – HERO
DRIVER: XOLANI

STATE OF FLOW

Cape Town-based fashion designer Onesimo Bam has full faith in the collaborative creative process. He also believes in allowing things to unfold organically. The OneIAm collective is testament to his sartorial philosophy and the ancient paint technique employed in its latest collection celebrates the one-of-a-kind power of fluidity.

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative

It all begins with words… A surprising start for a fashion designer who has a background in surface design (essentially print making), which he studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). An avid reader, Onesimo (26), who was born in the Eastern Cape, loves to disappear into books for creative inspiration.

‘I go to the library as often as possible. I read a lot, especially about different cultures or specific periods of history. I look at what textures and colours they used, what sort of food they ate, what sort of art they surrounded themselves with, etc. I take that all in and then I go into the studio, never knowing what’s going to come out.

‘I try not to think about it and rather let my hand do the work when I create a pattern or something new. I just go in, I never really plan or let myself get too much in my head. I never sketch anything. I like to be fluid about it and to let my current emotions influence the creative process.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative

This process is often operating on a deeper level; one that’s not instantly accessible to the designer. For a previous collection called Dichotomy, Onesimo says he was playing around with an unusual bulbous shape. ‘I had been feeling in some way unsafe. I only later realised that this shape was womblike,’ he says. ‘So sometimes things come out during the creative process that are taking place on a subconscious level. It often only clicks for me at the end.’

‘What I love about the kimono is that whoever wears the garment creates their own unique silhouette.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative

The kimono is central to OneIAm collections and an expression of Onesimo’s enduring fascination with Japan. ‘I’ve never been to Japan but I look at designers like Yohji Yamamoto [who uses Japanese design aesthetics] and Rei Kawakubo [founder of Comme des Garçons] and what they do in terms of how forward-thinking they are. The techniques they use and their design processes are intriguing.’

The kimono’s ability to transform is another element that drew Onesimo’s attention to the garment. ‘What I love about the kimono is that whoever wears the garment creates their own unique silhouette. As the wearer, you create your own shape – for each and every person it’s different; it’s individual.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative

While Onesimo didn’t get to finish his surface design course at CPUT due to financial constraints, he says that he knew he’d be involved in the fashion industry. ‘I’ve always been in love with fashion in a way. The garments that you wear are an interpretation of who you are. The more expressive they are, the better. Clothes are who we are. They express emotion; they express your mood on a specific day. I was always going to explore the world of fashion.’

And explore it he does. With a difference. Onesimo is drawn to a mélange of creativity, which he seeks out via collaborations. He sees similarities between the Japanese and African cultures, which he believes are linked by a shared sense of community. ‘My way of working involves a deeply collaborative process. I bring in a lot of people.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam, Chrisna de Bruyn and WeAreCreative

The designer started out small with what was supposed to be a collaboration with different artists who also happened to be friends. ‘I gave them each a kimono and they all came up with ideas and I also did my own kimonos. In the end, we couldn’t go ahead with the exhibition, but we did a really cool shoot, which was conceptualised in collaboration with one of my mentors, Kassie Naidoo. Things began from there really. Kassie and I have been working with each other ever since. It’s an ongoing journey. We’re not sure where it will lead.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam

‘There’s something so beautiful about the suminagashi process because you never know what the end result will be. It’s the beauty of it. You have no control over it. It is what it is.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam

For this collection, OneIAm’s third, the collaborators were his mentor Kassie, who is a creative director, and Mbongiseni Dube, an architect. ‘I met Mbongiseni when I was doing my first show last year. He told me he was keen to collaborate. I don’t sketch so it’s difficult for some people to understand my thinking. But Mbongiseni and Kassie speak my language; they understand me easily.’

When Onesimo first met Kassie, he explained to her that while he’d studied surface design, he was more interested in making commentary about art through clothing and textiles. ‘I thought it was a fascinating approach,’ says Kassie. ‘Onesimo showed me one or two pieces and I thought they were incredible. While we initially had a very loose collaboration, my role has grown into one very much of mentorship. What’s nice about Onesimo and I is that he’s a young creative who’s passionate about making his mark and leaving some kind of an impression as an artist. And what I’m doing from my end is helping to conceive of the big idea, then fine-tuning the concept, and the detailed thinking around it. What I’d like to do next is to help Onesimo on the business side.

‘Unfortunately, this kind of collaboration between young creatives and seasoned creatives doesn’t always happen in this country and it really needs to happen more in order to shift and create more roles in creative fields, whether it’s fashion or art, or design. Collaboration creates fresh perspectives.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam
Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam

Onesimo says that he usually gives his collaborators one word. For his most recent collection that word was furō – the Japanese word for ‘flow’. ‘I love all sorts of creative energies so I like them to go crazy in whatever direction they decide to go,’ says Onesimo. ‘It’s interesting because it usually comes out looking similar, like one body of work, even though it’s different interpretations; different brains; different eyes.’

They discovered an ancient Japanese technique called suminagashi, which means ‘floating ink’. Each collaborator was then assigned a plain kimono and they went into the studio to experiment with the technique.

‘There’s an element of it that is so meditative,’ says Onesimo. ‘You drop paint in the water and then you dip the fabric in the water. There’s something so beautiful about the suminagashi process because you never know what the end result will be. It’s the beauty of it. You have no control over it. It is what it is. It only comes out once and you can never reproduce it. It’s unique.’

The OneIAm collective unfolds organically as needed. ‘It’s never planned,’ says Onesimo, before directly contradicting himself. ‘Sometimes it’s planned… but that’s never a good thing [laughs]. I rather let things happen naturally. I never want to force things.’

Africa Is Now Magazine - State Of Flow by OneIam

FASHION FEATURE
PHOTOGRAPHER: NADIA VON SCOTTI
TEXT: FIONA DAVERN
FASHION DIRECTOR: CHRISNA DE BRUYN
ASSISTANT: GABRIEL MWORIA
MAKE-UP: ALET VILJOEN 
MODELS: FIFI @ BOSS MODELS
TOBI @BOSS MODELS
BRIAN @ICE MODELS
LEBO @ICE GENETICS

VIDEOGRAPHY
DIRECTOR: DILLON BUIRSKI @DILLONBUIRSKI
DOP: NICOL DIPPENAAR @NICOLDIPPENAAR
1ST AC: DANIEL SNYDERS @DANIELSNYDERS
LIGHTING: CASPER ERASMUS @CASPERERASMUS
EDITOR: LUKA SCOTT @WEARE_CREATIVE
COLOUR: KYLE STROEBEL @REFINERY_CAPETOWN
SOUND DESIGN: ROSS MACDONALD @HEYPAPALEGEND
POET & VO ARTIST: IAIN THOMAS @REALIAINTHOMAS
PRODUCER: CALVIN SHUSHU @CALVI_SHU

RICH MNISI

At 27 years old, Rich Mnisi, has worked his way into the African and global fashion landscape at a furious pace with no sign of slowing down.

A charismatic, young and dynamic designer with no off switch, Mnisi’s creative skills and curatorial eye have allowed his to translate between a number of creative disciplines, ensuring his distinct, signature designs are, already, in the closet or the ‘Wishlist’ of a diverse set of consumers, fashion lovers and celebrities alike.

Nicola Cooper, Senior Trend Analyst and Cultural Strategist aimed some rare questions to the, notoriously, productive designer. This is what the man behind the RICH MNISI brand had to say about life, his Mom and what it feels like to dress both Queen B’s.

Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi

What was your first introduction to the fashion space and how old were you?

I was 4 years old. My sister looked at a pair of jeans and she saw a skirt – the way she reworked and altered her clothing was absolutely inspiring.

She triggered my desire to play with clothes myself; at a very young age and got me  I into the trend of cutting up clothing, wrapping curtains around my body and cutting up magazines to make paper clothing.

You are formally educated/trained in Fashion, do you think this gives you an advantage or a point of differentiation for other designers?

Not necessarily, besides technical skills, fashion is really about having a good eye.

Creatives pull inspirations from a variety of sources, where is your starting point for a concept for a range, a shoot or a product, how do you kick start the process?

Generally my design process is different from season to season, sometimes it starts with a song, fabric, the core inspiration or just me strutting down my corridor imaging how a skirt moves.

South African designers are often limited with fabric, you have gotten around this through the use of clever cuts, textures such as pleating, print design etc.  Do you think that the limited accessibility of materials has pushed you into being more creative?

Yes and No, in the beginning that was definitely the case. I had to design smart and within my means but now I’ve developed my own aesthetic and there’s certain things that will always be in a RICH MNISI collection.

Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi
Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi
Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi

How does it feel to receive news that Beyoncé/Naomi Campbell/Bonang Matheba is wearing a RICH MNISI piece? 

It means that we are magic and that our work travels well globally. That we have a growing market to attract.

I always feel incredibly humbled and motivated to do more when people wear my clothes no matter who they are. As long as people feel good in them, then I am fulfilled and more so when I get to fly my country’s flag high.

You have referenced your Mom as inspiration behind your work, what is the thing you want your Mom to be most proud of in you? Each parent has a dream for their child,  I hope her dreams are realised when she thinks of me. I want our family name to be referenced in history.

Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi

You are known as a Designer, but you have moved beyond this categorisation into Art Directing/Creative Direction/Furniture Design and much more, is there a reason to this?

I do it to recharge my creativity, to feel uncomfortable and to explore my creativity fully. Fashion can get repetitive and you can find yourself being comfortable and relying on your past successes.

What is your favourite outcome this far into your career, anything that came out even better than you anticipated or could plan?

My collaboration with Southern Guild on my furniture pieces has been the highlight of my career. The process, the outcome and the response were a pleasant surprise and I’m only excited to make more.

As a successful, young, black, African designer do you think/feel that you are paving the way for other designers and does this add any additional pressure to your career? 

I think everyone’s contribution to the local fashion industry contributes greatly to how the industry is shaped.

If you could sum up – in your own words – Young, Contemporary African Aesthetic.

Honest

And how does the Rich Mnisi brand fit into this? 

My work is based off lived experiences.

Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi
Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi
africa_is_now-richmnisi-fashion-08

You surround yourself with equally talented friends and often work with them as well, is it easier or harder to work with friends?

It’s very fluid, and never forced. The best is that it’s ‘ignited’ by conversation and mutual interests.

Beyond your talent you have become “somewhat of Celebrity” is there a difference between your private and public persona? 

I’m always myself.

What is the perfect soundtrack to a Rich Mnisi life?

Beyoncé – Bigger 

What do you do to disconnect or relax?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever fully disconnected to be honest.

Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi

How would you explain your personal style?

Informed by how I feel or want to feel.

Is there an end goal for you or are you just seeing where life takes you?

We have a lot of amazing plans for the future of the brand.

Do you have something new that we can to the Africa Is Now Audience?

After a year of research, design and prototypes – I am excited to announce that I am collaborating with Southern Guild on a group show opening on the 24th of October 2019. The show will launch my new furniture pieces titled Nwa-Mulamula: Alkebulan. A fashion collection with the same title will follow shortly after.

This release will be different to what I usually do each season.

Africa Is Now - Rich Mnisi

PHOTOGRAPHER:  AART VERRIPS  LUSTRE REDHOTOPS
STYLING:  CHRISNA DE BRUYN  WWW.CHRISNADEBRUYN.COM
MODEL:  NYAGUAA  FABULOUSMODELS.COM
MAKE UP:  LYNN KENNEDY  REDHOTOPS

LOCATION:  DE BRUYN KLEIN PARADYS  & ZEBRA COUNTRY LODGE

INTERVIEW:  NICOLA COOPER  WWW.NICOLACOOPER.CO.ZA

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

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

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