Q&A with the young creatives.
Q: What’s the story behind who you guys are and what brought you all together?
Xzavier Zulu: I’m a 25-year-old art director by trade and visual communicator by love, who’s from the Zulu tribe and residing in “Little Europe” – Cape Town. I’m really trying to continue the journey of those before me.
I’m fulfilling the dreams I had and worked towards when I was younger, tears running down my face, trying to customise denim on my bedroom floor while listening to the “Out My Mind” version of Pharrell’s You Can Do It Too.
That song raised me to who I am today. Those are the times when I realised my purpose. Who I needed to be for my time. For people who looked like me and shared a passion beyond their immediate environment.
Wanda and I had been following each other on Tumblr for some time. This was definitely the era when Tumblr was popping. Realising we shared similar interests in art, music and culture. We would direct message each other to meet up. The guys really opened my eyes to thrifting and more. I was a suburbs kid that was still new to Joburg and they had given me the crash course. The lay of the land.
Wanda Lephoto: I think we all grew up with different backgrounds but the need to reflect our times and to highlight often neglected stories of our country and even our continent is something that gives us our creative edge. The need not to forget where we’re from but rather celebrate it.
We’re born in an era where those who have paved the way are often neglected and undercelebrated and that is our main source of inspiration that informs who we are and what we’d like to do.
Q: As a collective, what is the creative process when starting on a new project?
Xzavier: I’ve never said this aloud, but one of the key things I learnt in college is how to put together one fire cohesive presentation.
That coupled with my vision and the odd premonition/dream of creative executions and talking in my sleep allows me to take all of that and discuss it with my brothers – who all know something I don’t, and we come together to get to a greater idea, narrative and execution. So basically, I lay the foundation, the structure where we could very well go with various ideas and we take it from there.
Kabelo and Wanda: Our roles, having co-founded the collective in 2012 together, at the time was to become story-tellers and to tell stories through style.
Over the course of time and through our respective educational backgrounds in fashion design and journalism, we went on to become collectors of memories and stories, trying to convey them so people understand our vision, that accompanied by the need of making those very same stories have meaning beyond just simple aesthetic pleasures.
Essentially our roles within the collective is to build and create alongside the foundations built by Xzavier to come up with ideas and to execute them by providing direction for them and collaborating in order to create an environment where we learn from each other and grow in order to ensure sustainability, not only within the collective ,but for the culture and growth of our industry.