What is to be the most pivotal journey for four young, aspiring designers under the mentorship of Zaid Osman, founder of the Sneaker Exchange and Grade Africa, began in March this year at a bespoke Chivas Venture 2020 launch event in the heart of Johannesburg.
Since that enlivening event, the apprentices; Josh Badenhorst, Sabelo Shabalala, Robyn Agulhas and Lindiwe Modiselle, have learned and drawn inspiration from some of the biggest names in the fashion industry in preparation for the hottest, most inspired capsule collection driven by street culture, the art of storytelling and collaboration that the country has ever seen.
The four apprentices are a blend of uniquely skilled, up-and-coming brand founders who share a collective insight into street culture.
To this group, the culture is not a trend but a way of life, expression, authenticity and identity; it is a movement.
Soweto-born Lindiwe Modiselle, the founder of STRSELLE, is a believer in telling real stories through timeless streetwear classics.
Josh Badenhorst’s brand, Very $orry, doesn’t stick to one genre. It is distinctive and immersive, epitomising success as a blend.
Sabelo Shabalala’s brand, Richmanskyf, is inspired by Durban, the city of its origin, and its people, and is a cross between runway chic and luxury streetwear.
Robyn Aghulhas’s brand, SinChui, is innovation-driven, high fashion streetwear inspired by Japanese Culture.
This group, undoubtedly, has all the right ingredients to make the capsule collection a blend of success.
The road to the A Grade began in Cape Town where Zaid, alongside the four apprentices, visited the Laurus Factory for a tutorial on garment construction, various materials and fabrics. They also stopped over at firebrand designer, David Tlale’s Cape Town store on Kloof Street and got insight into the business of fashion and branding from front-runners, Craig Jacobs, Lufuno Sathekge, Hayden Manuel and Anina Malherbe-Lan.
The group left the Mother City, to more workshops across the country, armed to the tee with inspiration and immeasurable knowledge that has put them in a position to create their best work yet. Fast forward to today, according to Zaid Osman, the capsule collection is looking “really sick”. The nine-piece summer collection has pushed the boundaries with the hopes that the consumer will feel the energy and collaboration poured into it.
The Chivas Venture, led by leading blended Scotch whisky, Chivas Regal launched the collaboration with Zaid Osman to build a nine-piece capsule collection that will be sold in partnership with exclusive retail partners across South Africa.
The apprentices have been empowered with the skills and tools to design, source and manufacture the collection from local communities, creating employment opportunities within the ecosystem.
Proceeds from the collection will be given to the apprentices and donated to Osman’s Grade Africa Foundation, whose mission is to eliminate extreme poverty and create unique opportunities in disenfranchised African communities.