Fash­ion Art With Heart

The Lalela Scarf

Indwe - - Contents - Cor­reia Shan­non Text: Scarf The Lalela Im­ages ©

New York-based cre­ative di­rec­tor at Lalela, Sandy Ta­batznik, uses her eye for de­sign to pick the best art­works, which are then adapted and in­cor­po­rated into sea­sonal col­lec­tions of scarves. “Lalela pro­vides ed­u­ca­tional arts to at-risk youth to spark cre­ative think­ing and awaken the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit,” she ex­plains. Chil­dren are taught to dream and set goals, with art be­ing an in­te­gral part of school­ing to ac­com­pany academia and im­por­tant life skills.

While the Lalela Scarf was born to fund the non-profit pro­gramme, it has since grown into a stand-alone lux­ury brand. It is a mem­ber of the pres­ti­gious Pos­i­tive Lux­ury brands, which in­clude other top­tier brands such as Louis Vuit­ton. What makes the Lalela name spe­cial is its ba­sis in pro­duc­ing re­spon­si­ble, show-stop­ping pieces that are rooted in cul­tural and so­ci­etal trans­for­ma­tion.

Fash­ion Mak­ing a Dif­fer­ence

“I am deeply hum­bled by the im­pact our fash­ion items are hav­ing on our cus­tomers. The feed­back from the mar­ket is phe­nom­e­nal! Peo­ple re­spond im­me­di­ately to the vis­ual ap­peal of the de­signs them­selves, but also to what they are about and where they come from. There’s a deeper and more mean­ing­ful en­gage­ment with the nar­ra­tives be­hind the art­works,” Ta­batznik says. “It is a priv­i­lege to be able to show­case the work of amaz­ingly tal­ented chil­dren in this way, and to take their art off the walls into ev­ery­day life.”

Lalela was formed in 2010 and soon be­came a haven for vul­ner­a­ble stu­dents.

What started with 20 chil­dren a week has since grown to over 5,000. Lalela means “to lis­ten” in Zulu. Through the pro­gramme, these chil­dren are heard through the art which they cre­ate – it is all about the power of ex­pres­sion. This art en­cap­su­lates all forms, from po­etry and mu­sic to vis­ual arts.

The ini­tia­tive is based in the Western Cape, although they have sev­eral col­lab­o­ra­tions and part­ner­ships with schools in other prov­inces and coun­tries, in­clud­ing Zim­babwe and Uganda. Lalela, in Ta­batznik’s words, aims to “ig­nite imag­i­na­tion and teach chil­dren how to map and man­i­fest their dreams and goals, launch­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a dif­fer­ent fu­ture for our stu­dents to de­sign a more cer­tain fu­ture for them­selves and their com­mu­ni­ties”.

New Col­lec­tion

Lalela re­leases new col­lec­tions twice year. The win­ter scarves pro­vide warmth and are crafted us­ing wool, silk, and cash­mere. The sum­mer scarves are de­signed for breezy weather, and are made from feath­er­weight cot­ton and silks.

The col­lec­tion also in­cludes can­vas bags and leather clutches, which also fea­ture the chil­dren’s art­works as their de­signs. The prod­ucts have the name of the cre­ator as part of their de­scrip­tion, as well as their dreams for the fu­ture, con­nect­ing you in a very per­sonal way to the pro­gramme through the pieces. In an ef­fort to not be waste­ful, the sam­ples and scarves dis­carded dur­ing pro­duc­tion are cut up to make ban­danas. They are all edged in con­trast­ing colours, mak­ing them a fun ac­ces­sory to add to your cart. They can be worn around your neck, head, wrist, or hand­bag.

The Lalela Scarf’s lat­est col­lec­tion was show­cased at the pres­ti­gious FNB Art

Fair in Jo­han­nes­burg in Septem­ber last year. The range in­cluded scarves, pocket squares, ban­danas, and leather bags. The cam­paign for this col­lec­tion was shot by in­ter­na­tional fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Higor Bas­tos, con­cep­tu­alised and styled by ac­claimed lo­cal fash­ion di­rec­tor Bev Nates, and re­alised with tal­ent from Boss Mod­els.

The art­works fea­tured in the col­lec­tions vary from town­ship scenes to a youth­ful African iden­tity. What they all have in com­mon is that they de­pict the lives and the dreams of the kids that are touched by Lalela.

All pro­ceeds from Lalela col­lec­tions go to­wards the NGO Lalela. For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.the­lale­las­carf.co.za or www.the­lale­las­carf.org for in­ter­na­tional shop­ping.

The prod­ucts have the name of the cre­ator as part of their de­scrip­tion, as well as their dreams for the fu­ture, con­nect­ing you in a very per­sonal way to the pro­gramme through the pieces.

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