Urban

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5min920

There’s nothing worse than planning an outfit in your head and realizing that the key component of your outfit looks like you just came from digging graves.

Call them what you will, whether it’s iBathu, Kicks, iSpova or whether it’s the classic Takkies. We all love our shoes and let’s admit it, keeping them clean isn’t the easiest thing to do.

It’s a matter of how time consuming the effort of washing them is. But with the new age aesthetic that come with shoes there’s techniques and products that comes with keeping your kicks fresh.

L-R: Tebza, Lethabo and Banele. Photo by Mduduzi ‘Meth’ Mahlangu

Enter Drop Shoe, the future of premium footwear hygiene. Founded in 2017 by Lethabo Komane in Tembisa, after having washed his older brother’s sneakers over the years and developing a clientele with his brother’s friends Komane saw a gap in an already existing market. Thus Drop Shoes was born and has since grown from strength to strength with only under 2 years in existence.

Drop Shoe Team from L-R: Tebza, Lethabo and Banele. Photo by Mduduzi ‘Meth’ Mahlangu.jpg

With limited resources, his passion for business and together with his homies Smash, Banele and Tebza footwear hygiene in Tembisa found a home in Drop Shoe. The guys have really changed the narrative of self employment in the township by not only employing guys from their community but also having young interns during school holidays to teach entrepreneurship to teens.

L-R: Tebza, Lethabo and Banele. Photo by Mduduzi ‘Meth’ Mahlangu

Drop Shoe has since grown from just a sneaker cleaning outlet to a premium clientele service provider at an affordable price. With the most beautiful and friendly service that makes you feel at home and at ease with leaving your kicks. They also offer shoe repair, backpack and cap washing. With their impeccable work ethic and professionalism Drop Shoe‘s growth potential is exponential. So show your support to the homies and enter them at parties with fresh clean kicks.

Lethabo with a satisfied customer. Photo by Mduduzi ‘Meth’ Mahlangu

Make sure you follow follow:

https://instagram.com/dropshoe_za?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=1dq9x3anat2ku


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5min350

As the country’s youth month comes to a close, Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, will host young people as they celebrate their freedom of expression at three day festival, Basha Uhuru.

In its fifth year running, the festival is guided by the theme, Join the Movement. This is symbolic of what the youth, not only in Soweto but different parts of the country, did in June 1976 through protests against the enforcement of Afrikaans, alongside English, as a compulsory medium of instruction for key subjects in all black schools through the Bantu Education Act of 1953.

Last year’s theme was We the People. These themes, says Exhibition and Events coordinator Gaisang Sathekge, are decided on by a committee that shares ideas on these. “As a constitutional precinct, we have to ensure that these brainstorming sessions are inspired by the objectives that we stand for which are constitutionalism, human rights and democracy.”

The word ‘Basha’ means youth and ‘Uhuru’ translates to freedom. “So the festival is about providing young people with the freedom of artistic expression,” says Sathekge.

Basha Uhuru kicks off on Thursday and runs until Saturday, but Sathekge tells me planning takes place a year in advance. “…to engage stakeholders, forming partnerships and fundraising. The content curation of the festival is the most important element – ensuring that each year we offer an exciting and unique line-up of activities.”

For a second year running, DJ Kenhero will be the Artistic Director of the festival.

True to their style, this year’s line-up is made up of both established and emerging eccentric artists blazing trails in their respective art forms-from poetry, visual art and music. “South Africa has immense artistic talent; most of it is yet to be explored. We believe in developing local talent and contributing the creative economy of South Africa,” Sathekge says. The festival also celebrates food, film as well as design and fashion.

Music generally has the biggest pull at the festival with its two stages. The main one located on Constitutional Square with the nation’s highest court as the backdrop, with the second at the historical Old Fort Parade Ground. Sounds of Freedom, which has in the past drawn over 8 000 youth, will sure do the same this year with a line-up that includes PRO (Kid), Samthing Soweto, spiritual ensemble Sun Xa Experience, Empangeni singer and producer Muzi as well as Skwatta Kamp just to mention a few.

But Sathekge says their team stays informed about what’s happening in the creative scene, so as to provide the best experience of the festival in its entirety through all represented art forms. “Remaining relevant in our programming ensures that we provide meaningful content and that is what draws young people – topical issues and relevance,” she says.


Jay Madonson06/03/2018
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4min570

The past few decades the world has been looking at major fashion cities such New York, Milan, Tokyo and Paris for fashion and new trends. Many have never imagined that Africa would be considered the fashion inspiration.

African creativity is currently at the forefront of what is happening in the industry worldwide.

We have reached the point where we realize that it is not only about receiving what we see but share with rest of the world how we see ourselves without being influenced by Western platforms. Although with this success, it is hard to ignore that international brands have been appropriating our cultures and excluding us in the process. According to the South African fashion Handbook “the rest of the world continues to take inspiration from across the continent but Africans aren’t benefiting from the popularization of fashion inspired by our cultural garb”.

This is an alarming issue considering that they take what is ours and they protest that it was originally created by them. In all the digital activism, we are seeing many creatives taking the stand, creating platforms that put us in the right directions to be “on demand”. Whether they are fashion designers, photographers, musicians or creative directors, they are seeing the gap created between Africa and the rest of the world. They are seeing the value of being authentically us and in the word of Trevor Stuurman “giving them what they won’t find on Google”.

Siya Beyile of The Threaded Man has been in the lead when it comes to telling the story of young African men who love fashion, and proving that wearing African brands does not make you any less cooler, but sets the tone of how the rest of the world sees our distinctive taste. From designers such as Laduma Ngxokolo, Rich Mnisi and Chuulap, these designers are not shying away from creating sharp edge designs and custom made African patterns inspired by our cultures.

Not forgetting Kwena Baloyi and Sho Madjozi, who have become the African trendsetters and sure have the world looking at them for inspiration. It is comforting to see that Africa is on its way to become respected in the fashion industry. The more people create, the more we are becoming relevant and showing the diverse talent we have. Africa is on its way to become the leading fashion destination and the world is definitely watching.


Jay Madonson05/31/2018
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7min1160

It is not a bizarre moment when you see street wear on the runway these days. We are probably in the greatest era of fashion, not only locally but globally as well. Gone are the days when the magazines, the internet and the fashion weeks were filled with luxury brands that most people can’t even afford. Not to say big fashion houses are not relevant anymore. However we are seeing street brands rapidly growing, becoming affordable and importantly becoming luxury.

Virgil Abloh is one street influencer most people can think of when talking about street culture. He has been able to interpret what he was influenced by and putting it in one form which is Off-White, his luxury street label.

But what does street culture mean to young people who grew up in the era of highly accessible skate culture and pop culture. Why is it important for them to wear these brands, even stand in long lines to get their hands on capsule collections?

Our experiences are told via clothing

Every designer before creating a fashion line is inspired by something. It may be what they saw on the net, a certain influential figure or may be inspired by a certain object. In the street movement, this is a great opportunity for designers to open new dialogue and interpret how they see street culture. Wanda Lephoto, a South African influencer turned designer has been able to create collections inspired by his township experiences.

According to The Citizen “In the past five years or so, a fashion avalanche led by a global movement of hipsters, has found its way onto South African streets where youngsters began making statements by putting together clothing ensembles in various ways.”

Many creatives are finding new ways to define their own spaces. Queer individuals are creating their own paths and displaying it in the streets. What remains important is that, designers are changing the status quo. What was important then has been intertwined by many to cater for their needs.

Collaborations between street and luxury brands

We are seeing rise of luxury brands that are collaborating with street designers. A great example of this is the collaboration between Supreme and Louis Vuitton. This collaboration had love-hate relationship with many street fashion lovers. But it speaks to the power of influence and that customers are sort of gearing the fashion movement, they are now clued up with what they want to buy, what they want to see and how they want to wear those clothes. According to GQ Style SA Virgil Abloh described the collaboration as “the modern moment in fashion that existed in our current time”.

The Internet is ruling the fashion scenes

Industry leaders such as Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington to name just a few were spearheading the fashion industry. If a certain trend or brand is on Vogue, then it meant it was cool and luxurious enough to be consumed. But in the past few years, the digital space became the “New Vogue“. Youngsters are interested in the DIY style, and they are the ones who decide which brands they want to wear, it is no longer the decision of industry leaders to determine what is trending at the moment. If young people want to wear oversized jackets and ironic slogan tees inspired by Vetements they will wear them. If they want to wear jeans with flowers, bags with butterflies, inspired by Gucci they will wear them.

It may be possible that street culture has been the “norm” all these years. But the industry generation next that is highlighting its existence and it seems street style, fashion and DIY movement is here to stay.  Street wear is what is worn on the street and it’s how real people wear clothes. Whatever is happening on these streets, it is definitely setting a new tone for where fashion is heading.


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4min150

Q: Have you or do you often shop online?

A: I have shopped online and I do currently shop online. I’m no longer a regular as I’m trying to curb my spending lol.

Q: Is it a better experience than the traditional walking into a shop and buying clothes?

A: It’s better in terms of variety and better in terms of convenience for a person that’s busy. It’s better in terms of finding unique pieces from international retailers. But I do enjoy going into the shop and trying some clothes on.

It’s important for me to try on because my body proportions are not normal so most things don’t fit me as I imagine they would. So I don’t think it will ever kill physical shopping, especially because the risk of credit card fraud is minimized in physical shopping.

FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE

  • Stick to your budget
  • Take your time looking for the items you want, check the size charts and proportions, look at as many images of the item as possible before you decide on it
  • Always check the Sale section, you are bound to find some gems at a bargain
  • Be careful with your confidential information, always try to use a credit card instead of EFT as EFT transactions are not reversible.
  • Explore different retail sites and compare prices, you’ll be amazed at the price differences

FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE

  • Don’t spend all your money
  • Don’t buy something that doesn’t make sense to your wardrobe because it’s on Sale
  • Don’t divulge your confidential information especially ID number and banking details
  • Don’t be rushed when shopping. Check your cart before you checkout, returning online purchases can be a nightmare
  • Don’t be afraid to take advantage of promos and discounts.


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