Favelo puts young de­sign­ers on global map

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE nokuthula.zwane@inl.co.za @Zwane_2li2ls

AS THE coun­try cel­e­brates Youth Month, three young South Africans re­cently launched a cloth­ing line at an event they de­scribed as a “rare cat­a­lyst” for en­trepreneurs.

Thabiso Molot­soang, 22, who is based in New York, Sipho Phakathi, 21, and Thuba Nx­u­malo 22, all founders of the Favelo Prim­iero col­lec­tion, launched the line in part­ner­ship with J&BHive.

The trio in­vited young in­spir­ing streetwear en­thu­si­asts, stu­dents, de­sign­ers and blog­gers to the J&BHive to wit­ness their big mo­ment in Braam­fontein.

Phakathi told The Star about the sig­nif­i­cance of launch­ing it at the J&BHive, say­ing the Hive ig­nited en­trepreneurs.

“What the Hive does is in­vest in young cre­atives and game-changers. They spot­ted

us in Joburg,” he said.

Favelo was of­fi­cially es­tab­lished in 2014 and the youth­ful fash­ion brand finds now it­self show­cas­ing on a global scale in cities such as Philadel­phia, New York and Lon­don.

Phakathi said the col­lec­tion was in­spired by the 1990s-in­spired aes­thet­ics sports­wear and VHS graph­ics.

He said there was a gap in lo­cal street cul­ture brands and Favelo aimed to nur­ture up­com­ing brands and open a lo­cal streetwear store which not only sells cloth­ing but al­lows for a space where skills are en­hanced and men­tored.

“We want to pro­vide skills for them (up­com­ing brands) such as il­lus­tra­tions, com­pany pro­duc­tion and fab­ric man­age­ment,” said Phakathi.

The name “Favelo”, ex­plained Nx­u­malo, is an acro­nym from F-Func­tional, A-Ad­jec­tive, V-Ver­sa­til­ity, E-Eq­uity, L-Lo­co­mo­tive and O-Op­ti­mism.

“The word Favelo to us means tech­ni­cal streetwear,” Nx­u­malo pointed out.

Ac­cord­ing to Phakathi, the dif­fer­ence be­tween Favelo and other brands was that it was not just a streetwear brand, but a bridge be­tween streetwear and sports­wear. “Hence we came up with an aes­thetic 1990s wear.”

One of the la­bel’s en­thu­si­asts, Loy­iso Mafu, said he loved how Favelo was dif­fer­ent from other brands in fab­ric and print.

“I can’t deny that the brand is good, be­cause when you look at a lot of South African brands, Favelo just does things for you…

“Other brands just print on a plain top and ex­pect it to sell. They don’t think of their pric­ing, but with Favelo they have the right to price their prod­uct higher be­cause they pro­duce qual­ity. Tha’s one thing I re­spect about Favelo,” said Mafu.

Ha­keem Cas­sim, a 19year-old stu­dent, heard about Favelo from his aunt.

“Favelo is like a big men­tor. Th­ese are young guys, and that’s where I want to be…”

Cas­sim said he loves the retro con­cept of the line. “This col­lec­tion is retro, but for mil­len­ni­als,” he added.

Phakathi said they come up with tech­ni­cal and breath­able (ven­ti­la­tion) pieces that al­low a young cre­ative to move freely.

“What I’m wear­ing now is breath­able polyester. You can’t sweat in this.

“And for the mar­ket we are pen­e­trat­ing right now, our pieces are pretty much af­ford­able,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Phakathi, T-shirts are priced be­tween R250 and R350, while jack­ets are sold from R500, de­pend­ing on the de­sign.

They have just launched a new range

P ICTURE: I TUMELENG ENGLISH

SPOT ON: Favelo de­sign­ers Tshepo Mos­esane, left, Sipho Phakathi and Thuba Nx­u­malo, wear­ing pieces from their brand at the Favelo fash­ion launch in Braam­fontein.

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