SLOW LIVING

Featuring Ghanaian model Napari, shot by a South African team, at the peaceful expanse of Langebaan, this magical shoot celebrates slow fashion and the potential it has to correct our course as clothing over-producers.

Think about this for a moment: the global production of clothing has doubled since 2000. In only two decades, we’ve increased clothing output by 100%. But, while people buy more clothing today than 20 years ago, they only keep clothing for half as long.

That’s a pretty scary fact when you marry it with the fact that one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill – every second!

Let’s not even get into the labour issues, natural resource over-consumption and pollution problems that surround fast fashion and our obsession with something new to wear. What a legacy: we are literally wearing ourselves out of a planet.

It’s against this background that Daisie Jo is charging ahead in producing even more clothes, with her eponymous brand Daisie Jo.

Daisie Jo, former assistant creative director at Marianne Fassler, stands in total opposition to everything that fast fashion has normalised. Championing “mindful consumption”, she creates slow fashion that celebrates ‘slow living’ – in fact, the designer herself recently relocated her studio to the calm and quiet of the Karoo.

Her primary focus, far beyond what’s cool or trendy, is on craft, quality and timeless beauty. “At Daisie Jo, we embrace our imperfections and humanness,” she says, explaining that she creates season-less clothes with their lifespan in mind – “a piece you mend over time, instead of chucking it out.”

Each limited-edition piece is hand-crafted and is either once-off or part of small-batch collections, all produced in-house. Using fabrics like linen and silk, her garments feel that much better on the skin, knowing that they stand for something.

Daisie Jo’s playful but sophisticated brand asks each one of us: what will I stand for? Without a doubt, it’s time to stand with slow fashion.

For more about the brand, visit www.daisiejo.com.

WORDS AND STYLING: @KYLEBXSHXFF
PHOTOGRAPHY: @ELIEBENISTANT
MODEL: @NAPARI_ISHA @THEMANAGMENTMODELS
MUA: DEONBOTES_CIAO
STYLING ASSISTANT: @LEBONE.S
BTS PHOTOGRAPHER: @NICK_JAFFE
BRAND: @DAISIEJO BY @DAISIEJODAISIEJO

THE DISTRICT

This story was shot by South African/German Photographer Daniela Müller-Brunke with local models, on the grounds of what was previously known as District Six.

Whenever Daniela shoots in her native South Africa, she always tries to somehow –if the work allows it–include a message. A reminder of the important history that shaped the country as we know it today. This is why she chose the old District Six, an overgrown piece of wasteland now known as Zonnebloem, to capture MCM’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection. A collection without boundaries, celebrating fluidity of identity and the freedom of expression.

Going by its name since 1867, the district was mainly inhabited by freed, slaves, traders, artists and immigrants. However, this multi-cultural melting pot was forcibly evacuated. In the late 1960s the apartheid government declared it a “whites only” area, as part of the Group Areas Act. They relocated more than 60.000 people to townships in the Cape Flats, a sandy plain southeast of Cape Town. Nine Years after the end of apartheid, the government built 24 new homes on the old grounds of District Six. And in 2004, Nelson Mandela handed over the first keys of these homes to returnees, enabling them to move back. 

Our story shows a new generation of young South Africans: overlooking the city of Cape Town whilst standing on the grounds of what was previously known as District Six. A new, free generation with hopes for the future and more possibilities than their grandparents and parents ever had.

PHOTOGRAPHER:  Daniela Müller-Brunke
FASHION DIRECTOR:  CHRISNA DE BRUYN
ALL COTHES:   MCM AW 2019
HAIR & MAKE UP:  SASKIA BUXTON
TEXT BY SANNE NOOITGEDAGT
MODELS:  YIVA HULTKRANTZ @MYFRIENDNED
ZANA SIBOBOSI @BOSSMODELS
SIYA ZENILE @MYFRIENDNED
MUSA KEDAMILE

ORANGE CULTURE

For Adebayo Okelawal, passion and resilience lead to growth which in turn lead to more knowledge and confidence in his work. Fashion stylist Anna Rykova chats to Adebayo about his growth, the hardest parts of fashion and the role of social media in business.

You are a self-taught designer who’s first profession had nothing to do with fashion and it wasn’t really your choice. Was it difficult to tell your family that fashion was what you want to dedicate your life to? What scared you the most when you worked on your first collection and how did you fight your fears?

It was difficult to tell my parents, especially my dad. In Nigeria, the generation before us had not seen a lot of fashion careers to use as yardsticks or examples to encourage their belief in us having such careers. So it took a lot, and a lot of sacrifice for me; I had to intern while I was in school and work on the side without their knowledge and learn on my own. My mum was easier to convince but my dad was very adamant about it because he didn’t believe I could survive financially on fashion.

That scared me and it also was one of my fears growing up, wondering if fashion could sustain the life I dreamed of.

When it came to my first collection, my biggest fear was that it would be hated and which it honestly was haha. I think what helped me defeat my fear was the realisation that I doing it with fear! I learnt to just go for it no matter what.

Fast forward to 2020 my parents are now so supportive because they’ve seen how resilient I am and they’ve seen growth. I am still designing every collection afraid but with a little more knowledge of self and more confidence!

When I first interviewed you in 2013, you were at the early stage of your career, you were very excited and “hungry”. Did anything change about how you feel for fashion now?

I am still very excited and even more hungry. I’d say more hungry than excited lol.

I work with a lot of aspiring designers and for many of them, fashion seems to be easy. A lot of them are misguided by Instagram success stories of other designers and brands and look at the fashion industry as a happy place which is not always as such. What did you have to sacrifice on your journey? What sides (moments) are the most challenging?

The hardest parts of fashion for me are the business side, manufacturing locally and understanding the ever-changing customer.

Fashion is one of the most difficult businesses in the world and it requires a lot of passion for it to stay running for years!

Speaking of social media. You seem to enjoy blogging. You are more than a designer but also an influencer. Do you think being active on Instagram (and I am speaking about your personal account) helps the business?

It does! I wear a lot of Orange Culture and so people who love my style, shop what I’ve worn. Also, I find a lot of customers want to know the face behind the brand and once they buy into the person behind the brand, they also sometimes buy into the brand.

Do you try to make your Instagram life look prettier than it actually is? What do you like to blog about the most?

To be very honest – I just post what I feel. I think with social media, you post what makes you happy and moments you don’t want to forget! Which is why I rarely post really sad moments.

I do not post anything fake or pretentious though.

You follow more than 4000 people on Instagram. Who are they?

Editors, stylists, style connoisseurs, artists in general, flower shops, foodies, animal lovers ( especially cats ) and Instagram crushes.

At your most challenging times, what makes you go on? What motivates you?

Family, close friends and prayers!

A couple of years ago I met participants of one design project in Nairobi. What surprised me was that none of them wore their own designs! You, on the other hand, always wear your stuff. Which is the right thing to do if you ask an editor. Apart from Orange Culture, what are your other top 3 brands to wear?

Thank you so much! Wow, my top 3 brands that I wear aside from Orange Culture!

  1. DRICKY
  2. Emmy Kasbit
  3. The Ruin

If you were offered the job of a creative director at one of the big international brands but you would have to give up your own brand, would you take it?

I would not give up my brand, we would have to negotiate better haha. I would love to be the creative director of a big brand though.

If you had a chance to have an internship or be an assistant of any fashion designer dead or alive who would it be? And in fact, do you believe nowadays, when everything changes so fast, it’s still necessary to assist for few years before you start your own thing?

I agree you should most definitely intern! I’d assist Kim Jones.

What does your regular day look like?

No day is regular haha.

PHOTOGRAPHER: JOLAOSO ADEBAYO @ADEBAYOPHOTOGRAPHER
FASHION EDITOR, STYLIST: ANNA RYKOVA @MUDFISH77 @ANNARYKOVASTYLE
FASHION EDITOR ASSISTANT: MOSES EBITE @MOSESEBITE
ART DIRECTOR: KWEN MAYE @KWENMAYE
DAPO @DARKPRINCE_M @FUSEMODELS
LOLADE @LOLADEMANUEL @FUSEMODELS
CHUKA @ICHUKA_ @MY_BOOKER_MODELS
DOLAPO @DOLAPO.CRA @BETHMODELAFRICA
SHOES @MALIKOSTUDIOS

BEACH CULT

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

What inspires you?

Everything! I live in a constant state of conceptual redesign. Particularly when I travel – a whole new collection could be inspired by the color of a fruit, a piece of modern art or the song of a street band

Are there any tips you would like to give young entrepreneurs locally and in Africa on how to start a fashion brand?

Keep it local and be consistent. I produce 100% locally with small local artisans and CMT’s, and all my prints are collaborations with local artists and illustrators. Whilst this can be more expensive, it translates very well both locally and internationally on a sustainability and design front. I would also suggest avoiding trying to compete with high street fashion – they produce millions of units and you won’t be able to compete on price, so rather compete on design! I specialise in one of a kind prints designed here in South Africa in unique silhouettes – I’m not trying to appeal to everyone – just to my loyal customer base who have grown over the years and who I treasure.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

Give us an idea of a day in in the life of your business

It’s December now so it’s particularly busy for me! I head off fabric shopping while also collecting our printed fabrics, to get some production in before Christmas ( all our key dresses have sold out early) and the lovely ladies at my favourite CMT, Merwe Mode, are staying open so we can finish some more styles in time. At the same time, the girls head to our Loop Street store to send out our online orders, before going down to our pop up at the waterfront – we have just launched The Ultimate Summer Pop UP opposite Woolworths until the end of January, which is pretty exciting. I meet everyone at the waterfront and manage the staff and check on merchandising before we sit down for a marketing meeting. We run all of our own marketing and typically each week we will send out a mailer to our clients, as well as 3 – 5 Instagram and Facebook posts per week. Then it’s back to running the pop up – we have 15 other local designers on board and we run the sales for them as well. The girls will finish up the day at the waterfront whilst I head to design meetings – I’ve started conceptualising next year’s collection already and I’m meeting with print designers to work on some ideas. To finish up, most evenings in December have a fashion event or party on – tonight we have the Bokeh fashion film event at the Silo for some champagne and to catch up with the local industry!

What’s your favourite swimwear trend for 2020?

I’m really turned on by animal print – somehow it’s just working for me this season. All our current season prints feature animals in some way, and we will definitely carry this tone forward to the next collection (without giving anything away here).

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

Tell us a bit more about where you source your fabrics?

Most of our fabric is sourced locally, except some of our swimwear fabric which is sourced in Italy and Asia – but all printed locally.

Do you manufacture your swimwear in South Africa?

Yes, 100% locally here in Cape Town.

Where is your biggest clientele? Local or international?

Our main loyal clientele is actually local. We have the same wonderful clients who purchase all the pieces from each collection, they know our fits and prints and refuse to buy swimwear anywhere else. We do however now sell in Greece and Turkey, and we sell online internationally – mostly to Europe and the USA.

Where can we buy your product?

The best place this summer is at our V&A Waterfront concept store – The Ultimate Summer Pop Up, opposite Woolworths on the Lower Ground floor ( we also have a selection of other fabulous local designers there). Otherwise online at www.beachcult.co.za, or at our studio store at 30 Loop Street.

Do you see a future for local designers in South Africa?

Yes – as long as they continue to produce locally with a strong South African flair – I think we can grow our export market and compete in terms of authenticity and uniqueness on an international level.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Creative, Caring, Entrepreneur.

How do you design to cater for different shapes?

We have a big variety of shapes in our brand – from tiny Brazilian style bikinis and high cut deep v one pieces to high waist 50’s style bikinis and full coverage one-pieces. I do however think that as a small brand you should avoid trying to appeal to everyone – I have someone tell me what style of bikini I should make or what other size almost every day, despite making nearly 50 swimwear styles in 5 sizes. I don’t think niche brands should shoot themselves in the foot by trying to make everyone happy – I simply don’t have enough sales volumes to justify it – I think you should make your brand for your target market and don’t dilute your brand by appealing to absolutely everyone.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

Do you see a future for local designers in South Africa?

Yes – as long as they continue to produce locally with a strong South African flair – I think we can grow our export market and compete in terms of authenticity and uniqueness on an international level.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Creative, Caring, Entrepreneur.

How do you design to cater for different shapes?

We have a big variety of shapes in our brand – from tiny Brazilian style bikinis and high cut deep v one pieces to high waist 50’s style bikinis and full coverage one-pieces. I do however think that as a small brand you should avoid trying to appeal to everyone – I have someone tell me what style of bikini I should make or what other size almost every day, despite making nearly 50 swimwear styles in 5 sizes. I don’t think niche brands should shoot themselves in the foot by trying to make everyone happy – I simply don’t have enough sales volumes to justify it – I think you should make your brand for your target market and don’t dilute your brand by appealing to absolutely everyone.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult
Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

What’s sparked your interest in fashion?

My grandmother. She was completely fabulous. She made me all kinds of amazing clothes when I was a child – from tartan little suit dresses to clown costumes – anything I wanted she would make on her sewing machine. She believed in dressing up everyday in fantastic dresses, feathered hats and jewels and always made everyone smile.

Where do you see your brand going in the future?

Our online sales are really booming and we would like to keep this is our focus, along with our loop street store as our base. I’d like to expand to being sold in swim concept stores in Europe and the USA as well.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult
Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult
Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

As a creative how do you plan on giving back to the community?

I produce 100% locally with small groups of local artisans and women from Cape Town. I believe in supporting mom & pop industries in all of our production, as well as employing locals. I believe one of the best things we can do to support our economy and community is to create small local businesses to create jobs and increase local production. The trickle-down effect of each job created is critical to the local economy on a very basic level – the more sales we get, the more jobs we create, and the more local industry we support.

I also employ four interns per year, as I remember how hard to was to break into the local industry which is dominated by either mass industry, or small local designers who don’t have employees. To date, everyone who has interned with us has gone on to get a job or has been employed by us!

Who do you really want to dress in your swimwear? Who’s your dream client?

I love fabulous, outrageous women. Gypsetters who was to wear a whole look from BeachCult and go adventuring in Zanzibar or Tulum, and don’t abide by the clothing rules of society.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Beach Cult

PHOTOGRAPHER: ALEXA SINGER @LUSTRE
STYLIST: CHRISNA DE BRUYN
MODELS: YEMI @BOSSMODELSCT
ENIKO @THEMANAGEMENT
PRODUCTION: @LUSTRE

LESOTHO RODEO

Chu Suwannapha’s unisex Spring/ Summer ’20 collection is inspired by Sotho culture and the Sotho mountain people, a swirl of cultures and a blurring of borders.

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Think Wild Wild West; Africa edition. There is a distinct cowboy reference, but it’s more complex than the sheriff hat. The unexpected combinations of Western Cowboy scarves, streetwear beanies, sporty re-deconstructed sandals, and sophisticated tailoring give the story it’s edge.

The looks can be described as sophisticated streetwear and African dandy-esque.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Lesotho Rodeo
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PHOTOGRAPHER:  FRANCOIS VISSER
CAMARA:  PHASE ONE
STYLIST:  CHRISNA DE BRUYN
DESIGNER:  CHULAAP
HATS:  SIMON AND MARY
LEATHER BAGS AND BELTS:  MISSIBABA
SANDALS:  AIR MBADADA
MAKE UP ARTIST:  ALICE COLORITI
STUDIO:  SUNRISE FILM STUDIO
MODELS:  COLIN  @BOSSMODELSA
TIAAN @ICEMODELSCT
HUI  @MYFRIENDNED
AZAH  @MYFRIENDNED

STILL LIFE

Bringing the creative process to life is often a challenging task for local designers. There is a need to keep their product competitive in a world of giant retailers, fast fashion and mass production. We asked our featured local designers what their brand stands for, where they get their inspiration from and why it’s so important to be supporting local.

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Earrings, Lorne, Waistcoat, KLûK CGDT,Top, Hannah Lavery, Ring, Anvil&I, Pants, Selfi

“We believe African fashion should be part of an international market with a local perspective.” – KLûK CGDT

“If everyone just bought fewer, better quality garments every year it would make a massive difference in the world.” – Hannah Lavery

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Above: Earrings, Anvil&I, Coat, Kat Van Duinen, Culotte Jumpsuit, Merwe Salt, Autumn Sandal, Hannah Lavery
Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers

“We focus on bringing together form and function by combining locally sourced, quality materials to fashion smart, modern and sophisticated pieces.” – Justine Shelly, Anvil&I

“At it’s heart our brand is proudly South African, guided by a commitment to nurture local artisans and industry as well as to source materials, whenever possible, from within this rich, eclectic country.” – Kat Van Duinen

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Above: The Iris Bag with shearling, Thalia Strates. Left: Blouse, KLûK CGDT, Jumpsuit & Angle Shoe, Hannah Lavery, Ceramic bowl, Dayfeels

“We play around with mock-ups at the studio a lot so often a pattern morphs into something completely different from what I originally designed – like its leading the way.” – Hannah Lavery

“We are a tiny team and a proudly female run brand in the heart of Cape Town and stay true to creating ethically made, authentic and quality pieces inspired by the landscape and oceans of Africa.” – Amor Coetzee, Dayfeels

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Above: The Mini Bucket Bag, Thalia Strates

“By consuming items that are of good quality and only when we need them, we minimize all the unnecessary things being introduced into the world.” – Thalia Strates

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Above: Earrings, Lorne, Waistcoat, Selfi, Ring, Anvil&I, Satin Jumpsuit, Merwe Salt, Fold Over Mule, Hannah Lavery. Left: Earrings, Lorne

“Our products proudly stand for an ethical and fair work environment. Our high quality garments are priced competitively to try to contribute to a consumers mind shift of buying long lasting garments made locally and giving them access to actually get to know who made their clothes.” – Deeva Merwe, Merwe Salt

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
The Mini Bucket Bag, Thalia Strates

“We aim to inspire slow fashion and pride in conscious consumption through the creation of meaningfully made products.” – Thalia Strates

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Above: The Athena Bag, Thalia Strates. Right: Earrings, Lorne Jumpsuit, Selfi, Ring, Anvil & I, Suede Vellies, Hannah Lavery, Art, Dayfeels
Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers

“If everyone just bought fewer, better quality garments every year it would make a massive difference in the world.” – Hannah Lavery

“Our ‘Devine Femme’ collection explores the balance between the feminine and masculine energy within the self. The Divine Feminine is beyond gender.” – Celeste Arendse, Selfi

Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers
Right: Earrings, Lorne, Above: Maxi Shirt Dress & Jumpsuit, Merwe Salt, Mali Beltbag, Thalia Strates, Ring, Anvil&I, Suede Vellies, Hannah Lavery
Africa Is Now Magazine - Still Life, support local designers

“Supporting local creative and cultural industries has a direct impact on constructing our national identity as well as the obvious benefits on the economy and job creation.” – Gillian Lawrence, Lorne

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 Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
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Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths
Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths

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

Africa Is Now Ginger Mary, MICHAEL OLIVER LOVE, truworths

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