In the past two weeks the Smarteez had visitors from Sweden by the name of Stocktown.com. 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