Words by Kendra Hunsley
The local streetwear scene in South Africa has grown rapidly over the past couple of years and with streetwear currently dominating the global fashion circuit, we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. With South Africa’s restricted access to international streetwear brands, the inception of homegrown and high-end local brands serve as a remedy. Below are 5 South African Streetwear brands who are on the come up and should be on your radar.
Hamilton Thindisa is a self-taught illustrator known for his dope illustrations of hip hop artists such as Biggie, Tyler The Creator, Stogie T and Stilo Magolide, which most likely filled your twitter and instagram feeds at some point. Hamilton expanded his creativity into fashion and started the streetwear brand ‘OhYesLord’ back in 2015. A symbol of praise for finding his purpose, the brand dropped their fourth collection titled ‘Holidays’ under ‘The Holiday Boyscouts’, a sub-brand under OhYesLord. ‘Holidays’ is a collection comprising of laid-back striking pieces with an enthralling anecdote tied to it. Hamilton explains that the collection was inspired by “holidays with friends and the reckless energy of the youth.”
3AM LIFE WAS NEVER THE SAME
Stylist, designer and trendsetter who’s usually at the top floor, Didi Simelane, is behind the local streetwear brand ‘3am Life Was Never The Same’. Didi’s quirky idiosyncratic aesthetic is noticeable in his clothing brand. ‘3am Life Was Never The Same’ dropped a capsule collection of T-shirts titled ‘Half Empty’, amusingly inspired by a scene in Finding Nemo. The local brand also dropped ‘Very Lost’, a capsule collection comprising of camo-inspired outerwear ranging from classic green and beige camouflage to the designer’s signature pastel pink hue.
“People don’t appreciate you when you’re alive, they wait till you’re dead for them to tell the world how great you were. So, rather I be DEAD. so I can be appreciated when I live.”
Thabang ‘Bangy’ Rabothata offers that intriguing elucidation behind his brand name. Since its inception, DEAD. clothing has produced seasonal collections including its AW 16 ‘Athletic’ offering, a unisex athleisure inspired collection. More than just a streetwear brand, Bangy is set on turning the brand into a lifestyle, producing DEAD. Water, DEAD. Radio and most recently DEAD. Ice-cream, a collaborative effort with Yococo.
Reagan Paulsen and Seraaj Semaar, both in their early 20s, are behind the Cape Town based streetwear brand Youth95. Starting the brand in 2014, the pair have created youthful clothing inspired by 90s street culture. Keeping within the cosy sportswear trend prevalent in fashion, Youth95 dropped a capsule collection of classic two-piece tracksuits.
D.O.C.C : ‘Dream Of Causing Commotion’ is a streetwear brand created by Nokana ‘Dodo’ Majapelo. The Booty Call collection, which was inspired by a breakup, is a raw and vehement expression through art and creativity. Embedded in heartbreak and melancholy, each piece is an expression of a particular facet of the aftermath of the breakup. Nokana’s unconventional approach to fashion is what makes D.O.C.C one of SA’s most sough-after streetwear brands.