WEAR HEARTS ON THEIR CLOTHES

Dec­o­rat­ing your denim jacket in bright and quirky em­broi­dered patches was a hot fad in the ’90s. This was a fun way to ex­press your per­son­al­ity, and with fash­ion mov­ing more and more to­wards cel­e­brat­ing in­di­vid­u­al­ity, we wel­come the re­turn of this trend

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - GERRY CUPIDO

THE ’90s child will fondly re­mem­ber col­lect­ing patches that had pic­tures of their favourite car­toon char­ac­ters or state­ment. Sew­ing them on made for hours of DIY fun in which they cus­tomised and breathed new life into their favourite item of cloth­ing.

Top in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers like Gucci, Miu Miu and Marc Ja­cobs have in­cluded patches into their lat­est col­lec­tions – and it’s catch­ing on.

Here at home, Levi’s South Africa has col­lab­o­rated with the pro­gres­sive cre­ative col­lec­tive, The Sartists, to ex­plore dis­tinc­tively South African iden­ti­ties and cul­ture by creat­ing seven patches.

The faces and sto­ry­tellers be­hind the Jozi-based col­lec­tive are Andile Buka, Kabelo Kung­wane, Wanda Lephoto and Xza­vier Zulu. They are all like-minded youth on a mis­sion to chal­lenge ideas in modern so­ci­ety and take a doc­u­men­tary ap­proach to style and iden­tity.

“Through­out the years, we’ve shared our own in­di­vid­ual love of the Levi’s brand whether it was Xza­vier cus­tomis­ing denim on his bed­room floor years ago, or Kabelo and I thrift­ing our now 250-plus col­lec­tion, in the streets of Jo­han­nes­burg,” says Zulu.

“It was a dream come true to share our sto­ries through a brand that has a grow­ing voice in our com­mu­ni­ties and is one that we love.”

The patches were in­spired by South African town­ship cul­ture, sig­nage and ver­nac­u­lar art. The Sartists ex­plain: “We’ve al­ways ac­knowl­edged the ex­ploita­tion of our his­tory, cul­tures and tra­di­tions, and this in­spires us to rep­re­sent our peo­ple and take our cul­ture for­ward by ad­dress­ing the is­sues that rid us of our in­di­vid­u­al­ity.”

In ad­di­tion to the patches, The Sartists cre­ated a lo­calised look­book that was in­spired by the Spike Lee movie School Daze as well as fa­mous ‘90s sit­com cou­ples such as Urkle and Laura from Fam­ily Mat­ters.

“A story on love and young love was at the cen­tre of this con­ver­sa­tion,” say The Sartists.

PAGE TURNER: The Sartists cre­ated a look­book in­spired by fa­mous 1990s sit­com cou­ples.

SEW IN: These patches were in­spired by South African town­ship cul­ture, sig­nage and ver­nac­u­lar art.

IN­FLU­ENCE: Levi’s South Africa has col­lab­o­rated with The Sartists, to ex­plore dis­tinc­tively South African iden­ti­ties.

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