by Gugu Masondo
Think Hip Hop: the culture, the music and the people. Get the picture yet? Well let me paint a visual one in your mind. I was invited to experience Hip Hop and all its facets. After the week of rain that we had in Pretoria, I was worried that the attendance would be poor for the OTI (Only The illest) /Rosed Blue fashion show. Boy was I wrong, it was a chilled evening and the venue was Co-fi Brooklyn, where people came out in numbers to view the urban wear clothing fashion show with featured brands: Cloud Nine, La Prez and Apii all relatively new brands in the Urban Wear market.
When i got there, just in the nic of time, everyone was running around trying to get the show started as it was running a bit late and I was trying to get a hold of the organisers to try and understand what made their fashion show different and what had inspired the event as a whole, but I had to be patient as organisers were frantically waiting for the designers while the models were getting dressed, you could see that the pressure was on.
I spoke to Ayanda Dube one of the organisers and founder of Rosed Blue Events about what was the inspiration behind the fashion show and she said “ the inspiration behind the show was to give aspiring designers and aspiring models – oh the models but how gorgeous were the male models and this is an objective statement as they stepped out in nothing but Cloud Nine jeans and great worked out torsos, sculptured to perfection, those boys did not need a t-shirt at all- the platform to showcase their talents and get a foot in the door of the fashion/modelling industry”.
The two companies are planning on hosting another fashion show later on in the year, which will show case the spring collections of various brands and still pushing the “PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN” brand and we were told to watch this space…
While back stage I spoke to the models and tried to find out what they thought about the brands that they were wearing and an obvious favourite was “CLOUD NINE” – and I won’t lie even before getting to the fashion show I was impressed by this brand because while doing research their blog was on point and of useful information check out “cloudnine.blogspot.com” and judge for yourself – the models both male and female liked the jeans, cardigans, bags. The guys further went on to say that “the jeans are made for the hip hop culture”. La Prez (http://lpwear.blogspot.com) showcased some jeans and t-shirts but in my opinion it wasn’t striking, they currently based in Cape Town but are looking to break into the Joburg market. Apii was there, somewhere, i honestly didn’t see their clothes and the organisers made sure that all brands got the opportunity to be seen but i just never saw them.
All the designers clothing was seen on the MC of the evening Zuko who wore their clothing throughout the night, first came out with a pair of bright red high top sneakers, Cloud NINE jeans and t-shirt. This was the first MC event for Zuko and when i spoke to him he was calm and charismatic and he handled the crowd pretty well even though he later commented about how much of a challenge it was to get the audience to react and interact with him but that he had a good time.
Only The illest is an events/entertainment company who are still trying to establish their identity within the industry but the star power that is there is too hard to miss so much so that one of their artists are currently in talks with a big recoding company negotiating their contract and one of their founders is the true definition of a performer with production, raping skills, plays the drums, piano and a little birdy told me that he can sing, talk about a jack of all trades. He goes by the name J. Smallz, i insisted he give me his birth name but he just didn’t budge saying that he was channelling his alter ego before going on stage, had the opportunity to speak to him after his awesome performance and he is a man on a mission and soon him and his team will take South Africa by storm
I do hope that they continue to adopt Only The illest (OTI) members to join in on their vision. Stay Fabulous, Stay Glamourous, Stay YOURSELF!