Friday, August 6, 2010

Fingers in every cookie jar

In the past two weeks the Smarteez had visitors from Sweden by the name of Teddy and Benjamin are urban street lifestyle followers from Sweden and were in South Africa for the duration of the Fifa 2010 soccer world cup and a few weeks after to document contemporary urban lifestyle. On their trip here they documented Gazelle the originator of Limpop, Ree-birth which is a rock and roll band from the Soweto, the Smarteez and many other more cool urban movements happening in the streets of South Africa.

They got to know about Smarteez through a photo exhibition which was held in Stockholm and had featured Chris Saunders representing Johannesburg and South African fashion street culture by the form of Smarteez. What they have told us is that if I were to gallivant a few photo and youth culture exhibitions in Europe and other places I would probably spot myself more than once. Which actually makes me very proud because these images and more that were taken by Nontsikelelo Veleko before actually not only represent the movement which is Smarteez but is a representation of South Africa and where we are at as a country.
Fashion is not selfish platform were people are forced by default to show off their status, it is not an aesthetic replacement of self inferiority and nor is it a breeding house for weight obsessed sale junkies as the world perceives it and the media as a catalyst to these ideas. In a bigger more universal picture beyond the cloth fashion represents what is happening in the world at that time. What people are doing and living at a particular place and how they express these vibes and what they actually mean because as we all know that world fashion comes from and actually lives in the streets.

What this means holistically is that from about five or six years ago till present The Smarteez street culture has been representing South Africa where it comes from and where its going, its youth based and the youth is inevitably the future. So apart from Mr Mandela's and 2010 soccer world cups South Africa has been talking to the world through music and fashion and once again I'll have to say that I am proud to be part of this representation and a part of South African history, Yes i do want my fingers in every cookie jar

De ja vous, or dream come true?

Ever since my first encounters with fashion, first flirts, flings and eventually going full on I have experienced the sad times, good times and heartbreaks. I already knew as a scholar that it was fashion that I wanted to go into and thanks to the net(which was a bit slower then) I used to follow up on fashion news and updates globally and locally, but mostly locally since it was more in my face resulting from of the local designer emporium boom along with other chain retails shops.

I used to subscribe to online fashion newsletters and google a lot of local designers and brands that were big at that time like Strange love, Darkie, Ephymol etc. aspiring to be at the stage that they were at and just to be part of those circles within fashion. Years have past and I have paid some of my dues and still am, been to fashion school did my internships and so on. Yesterday to my suprise when I received the S.A. Fashion week newsletter my clothing was actually featured and was a bit startled and thought, "could I have made it?"
Even though not many people know of my clothes and brand I could somehow safely say I have in a bit of a way have made it and it occured to me that I might be those designers I used to google and admire to some aspiring fashionista some where out there, well it's my pleasure.

A dream come true it is for my side, it shows that so progress is definite so step by step eventually I will reach my peak and continue being a soldier of expression.