The leaders of South African streetwear
13 Jun 2019 ARTS & CULTURE
By Nomali Cele
This youth month we are celebrating the continued contribution of young people as well as young people’s voices in the arts and moving culture forward. Across generations, there have been young people who shape their present and impact the many futures we live after their time.
In South Africa, the dawn of freedom brought with it many different ways for the youth to express themselves. From kwaito and hip hop to locally-made fashion, the young people of a newly free South Africa were all over it and expressing themselves. Streetwear has continued from the 1990s to present day with many independent labels popping up every so often. But few have made an indelible mark on the country’s cultural landscape.
In 2019, Loxion Kulca celebrates 20 years. The label grew to be as latent to South African streetwear as the international brand Converse. The brand, which has always been linked with township culture and black youth, was founded by Wandi Nzimande, Sechaba Mogale and Brian Abrahams.
Loxion Kulca collaborated with the late rapper PRO on his own line, which included shoes and t-shirts.
Thesis Lifestyle, which has encompassed everything from merchandise (caps, t-shirts, jerseys) to events and a store, understand that the young person can be loyal when given products and experiences that speak to their lives. Over the years, the business included flagship events, a running club – all of which are built around the Mofolo, Soweto location.
Ama Kip Kip
Ama Kip Kip was a mid-00s style symbol in urban areas of South Africa, starting in Johannesburg. The brand was so ubiquitous at some point, the t-shirts started showing up in Nigeria’s cities.
Sho Ngwana is the only woman-run streetwear concept to gain attention in recent memory. The duo behind Sho Ngwana, Lebogang Tlhako and Nati Kgobe, came up with the concept for the “Mnike” t-shirt. The design is simple, the t-shirt’s slogan is set above a Nike tick and a quick glance, “MNIKE” could still just be “Nike”.
Thesis Lifestyle founder, Wandile Zondo, was recently a Guest on The Best T In The City for My Top 10 at 10, listen below:
Which South African streetwear brand is your favourite? Tweet us using #KayaOnline