Excuse Me……

life on the edge of cool

Any guys into fashion should read this

We found a copy of Red Bulletin in the office as it featured Nicki Minaj on the cover it caught our eye, but it was this fashion feature which really kept us hooked. (Red Bulletin is published in print once a month)

Colour-obsessed, odd-ball Sowetan fashion movement the Smarteez are developing a cult following in South Africa that’s tipping into global recognition.

Being excluded has consequences. In South Africa’s case, the exclusion was both a geographic and, later, a political prohibition from the sandpit of global culture. The consequence was an outward-looking neediness and a neglect of our own music and street culture. Derivative, watered-down American and European pop culture seemed sufficient.

Now, 17 years on, something is happening in post-Apartheid South Africa. We’re getting over the hangover, putting out our own offerings and, in turn, international lenses are turning southwards for inspiration and ideas.

Breakthrough musical acts like BLK JKS, Die Antwoord, Shangaan Electro and DJ Mujava are getting airplay on both sides of the Atlantic. Elements of Pantsula, South Africa’s township dancing style, have been cherry-picked for the highly choreographed caterwauling of Beyoncé’s latest music video. And what about Kanye West’s reinvention from a black-clad dapper rapper into the preppy platinum-selling gent sporting a brightly coloured wardrobe?

Old news to the colourful Smarteez crew, who’ve been pushing the palette boundaries in the greys of Johannesburg and its jaundiced minedumps. It wouldn’t surprise them if Kanye pinched some of their ideas. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Read the full story in this month’s issue of The Red Bulletin.


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