JAN MALAN AND GREG MEYER ARE A DIRECTOR-PRODUCER DUO WHO’VE RAISED A NEW BAR, AND HAVE THE MILEAGE TO BACK IT UP
The globe-trotting Umzingeli Productions director-slash-producer duo have staged high-profile productions in 36 cities across four continents. The driving force behind their well-travelled portfolio is a never-ending pursuit for fresh and captivating venues for their shows. No location is off-limits: they’ve staged shows in train stations, on bridges, piers, inside city halls and traditional theatre spaces. Apart from a myriad of productions in Africa, Malan and Meyer also took the reins on several shows on schedule as part of New York Fashion Week over the last 16 years.
It’s work that has turned heads and garnered the attraction of top industry players and media houses over the years, with The
Daily Front Row describing their production for Arise magazine at the 2010 edition of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York as a “rousing fashion moment” where they enabled the “designers’ riveting, vivid talent” to shine through with their “flawless production”. More recently, in 2015, and 2016, they directed shows for LDJ Productions, most notably, Tokyo Runway meets New York, Concept Korea, Ran Fan (winner of the 4th Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week China Emerging Designer Award), and a show for
Project Runway winner Leanne Marshall. Last year, they put on a show for Marc Bouwer’s Spring Summer 2017 at The Museum of the City of New York. The media lauded the show for its diversity, one of the cornerstones of their productions.
“One of the best decisions that the Swahili Fashion Week team has made over the years is taking Jan Malan to direct and choreograph the whole event,” says Missie Popular, a Tanzanian blogger. “This guy is a genius!”
Their success is the combination of a daring vision, combined with an eye for detail, an unwavering ability to execute on their ideas, and, just as importantly, attract the biggest and most sought-after talent in the world.
Think: industry icons such as Karlie Kloss, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede, Behati Prinsloo, Chanel Iman, Oluchi Orlandi, Lara Stone, Coco Rocha, Tyson Beckford, Freja Beha Erichsen, as well as legends such as Pat Cleveland, Grace Jones and many of the globe’s top runway models.
They leverages their talent and depthless experience to turn every one of their productions into a memorable and thought-provoking experience.
The proof: the positivity and energy they brought to the direction of the special 10th anniversary of Men’s Health Menswear event took it to new heights, making it MH’s biggest and best production so far.
And that’s just one client, one of many in South Africa which include names such as Carolina Herrera, Elton John, Tyra Banks, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Daniel Swarovski, the BBC, Ford Models, L’Oréal and Mercedes-Benz.
The pair also have a passion for charity, producing the United Nations Catwalk World Fashion for Food shows in Accra, Ghana, Lagos, and Nigeria in 2006.
They have staged shows for Hospice Wits in Johannesburg, The Organ Donor Foundation in Cape Town and for the United Colors of Fashion in New York. United Colors of Fashion honoured Malan awarding him the prize of “Producer of the Year” in 2012.
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