Young designers in South Africa are on the come-up! There are big millennial and youth markets in streetwear and creatives are using their relations to these groups to design collections that really speak to their peers and say something about the culture. Thabang is one such designer but more accurately, visionary and we spoke to him about his new line, DEAD.
1. What is DEAD. and what does it encompass?
Hmm, tough question! DEAD. is really whatever you want it to be. I don’t want to box it or call it something certain when there’s just so much to it. Amongst others things, it is a street wear brand that focuses on being limitless and is constantly pushing boundaries.
2.How did DEAD. begin and what was the inspiration behind the first collection?
DEAD. basically began when I was approached by a friend, Thatiso Dube, who advised me to start my own brand because at the time, I was just designing clothes for myself. From there, it took some time until I actually looked into it and started doing my thing. I’ve had about two collections before DEAD. was really DEAD., but to me, 0:00:00 (Time is up) was my first collection. It was basically my way of telling the “competition” ( I’m my own competition) that their time of giving the kids lame designs and basic printed tees was up. It was also meant to relate to anyone who’s either on a path of self discovery or success. It’s you telling the world, the time is up.
3. Your lookbook is so dope, what brought to that concept for the photography?
Thank you, thank you very much. I worked with one of the best oues in the game, Anthony Bila. I basically shared ideas on how I wanted it to be and we shared ideas and came down to one thing that suited the images best.
4. What is your take on streetwear designers and culture in SA?
I’m not too sure whether you’d want me to tell the truth or lie but to be quite honest, young “designers” (don’t like calling myself a designer, I’m more like a visionary, I see visions and work on them) are taking over. It’s quite interesting because people are sleeping on the youth, they’ve changing the culture so quickly and drastically, its too deep.
5. Are there any brands that you source inspiration from?
I really really fuck with Raff Simons. I don’t necessarily source inspiration from him but his work ethic is too crazy and is too *painful. He really always tries pushing the bar and doing more than expected and I think that’s exactly what a designer is supposed to do.
6. What does 2016 hold for Thabang and DEAD.?
Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t like planning shit. I take it as it comes and plan shit as Life goes by but what I can say is, painful shit is about to follow. Forever painful. DEAD. “Love No Exist” Summer ’16 dropping soon, no dates mentioned. Be on the look out.
DEAD. gon’ live forever.
Instagram & Twitter: @BANGYISDEAD
*Painful (Botloko) [adjective] – Something that is really dope