Q&A with the young cre­atives.

The Star Early Edition - - VERVE -

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.

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