Born Mamello Mosase and tenderly known by her pseudonym Melo – is a 25-year-old founder of a brand called Mobu by Melo which directly translates to “Soil by Melo”; a phrase that resonates deeply with her roots as a firm yet cheeky girl from Qwaqwa in the eastern Freestate.
“I was born into a world of art, music, hard work, community, resistance and beautiful things; these are all gifts I received from the two women who raised me, my grandmother and late mother”. After being a causality of a degree and the lack of job opportunities. Melo decided to take matters into her own hands and leave her humble beginnings in the Freestate and head out to Johannesburg to honour her and to realize her dreams.
“I spent days with my father in his garden, watching him mourn the death of the love of his life and finally having his full attention without him randomly getting distracted by mothers’ beauty and theatrics. He taught me about soil as God, I listened and Mobu, which translates to “soil”, was born to sum up all I gathered from my father: Mobu- Modimo, Badimo. God, the creator. God, the Gods.”
This shoot features the Seilatsatsi range and is shot by Kgomotso Neto in the township of Daveyton. Kaffein Magazine assisted with creative direction and the locations that boast a variety of classic 4-roomed houses which fearlessly bare different textures and colours that played as a backdrop to this vibrant, timeless and finely crafted brand. The range was recently launched through an exhibition by His and Hers Jams called Woman and Art.
Check out what this beautiful collaboration of passionate people yielded.
Follow Mobu by Melo on IG below:
Cleanse them in the sea,cleanse them in the river,cleanse them in the dam.Purify them,purify them till they glorify the woman,the name,the spirit.” -@Andymkosi : Anelisa’s spirit Clothing: mobu_by_melo Photographer: @kgomotso_neto Make up: @khanyifiona Creative direction: @kaffeinmagazine Models: @thandananimaluleke @2wi_ltb Location: Daveyton, South Africa
Words by: Lethabo Ngakane
Riky Rick’s Cotton Club Pop Up store does it for the kids
Kaffein Magazine went to check out Riky Rick’s Cotton Club Records pop up in Braamfontein, Johannesburg and cover the beauty in its apparent spontaneity, we came packed with good energy, curiosity and a whole lot of Oreos and refreshments for what looked to be an interesting afternoon.
I first came across Riky Rick’s music when he dropped his Love and marriage beat tape, (I could write a whole review on this gem but you can download it here), it was then that I opened my eyes to his worldview on music and his unique form of artistry, never would I have imagined seeing his creativity grow and overflow through our screens, radios, phones and into the hearts of so many types of people on so many levels.
Riky dropped the artwork for the event a day before – in classic pop up fashion – and the kids did what they had to do, to show love and support for their hero; and of course to get in line with the hope of getting their hands on the limited merchandise.
The streets were flooded with people watching the day’s entertainment, socializing and showing off their brown paper bags and threads. Every now and then people would come out of the store in their new hoodies and beaming smiles, while the anxious were systematically allowed to enter the store.
A hand full of die-hard supporters had already lined-up outside the shop as early as 08:00 am on a sunny winter’s morning and Boss Zonke showed his genuine appreciation and love by buying them some coffee to keep them warm and in good spirits. He was dressed in his Cotton Club Records Super Distressed hoodie which he mentioned on Instagram as his pick of the litter, blue jeans and classic gold Tims. In sharing the spirit he let his true fans tag his Tims, another solid gesture that displayed his character…to those of us who are usually a screen away from any of his representations. The producer/artist also spent quite a bit of time having fun outside with the fans, taking pictures and touching base with people he knows.
At the end of it all he let as many people as possible into the store and celebrated with them. He sold out his new merch in a few hours but left no one excluded with his presence.
- The store had fresh cropped gender neutral hoodies with bleached hues of soft blues and a pink “Cotton Club Records” logo. Bringing out a free spirited air about this piece.
- Another option was a hoodie with bleached shades of browns mainly Raw Umber and hints of Tan. This item gives off a militant feel to the range as it is reminiscent of a desert storm trooper’s uniform.
- The SUPER DISTRESSED is similar to the above and has a heavily worn out, rugged edge to it, with splashes of dark greens and browns, the logo is in black and appears to be wearing out.
The downfall of the day was the clashing music and entertainment from next door which made the experience a bit jarring for me and made such an awesome day seem like a clash of hip-hop egos, although there’s videos of the man of day hanging out next door and supporting their work too.
All in all It was a refreshing pop up store that disrupted the way day to day business gets handled in Braamfontein and gave power to the streets. A strong message of self belief and community was shared with the audience…reminding us that we can all make our dreams come true if we put our minds to it. Check out the speech below:
Check out the gallery below:
#LexusMWSA AW 17: Runway To Shelf
The first weekend of February saw the SA Menswear Week hosted by Lexus take place in Cape Town. Lexus is a brand which in itself was created from a functional vehicle (Toyota) to rival other luxury cars. In staying true to this vision, Kaffein Magazine sought to identify brands which best reflect the relationship between functionality and luxury.
What stuck out most was the “high end” street look and feel of a handful of designers, who ultimately got us excited to see what could possibly be on our shelves come Autumn/winter.
SOL SOL- “Officially” street
The brand maintains a loose fit in all their clothing which mimics the casual comfort of sweats but brings a “ready for the office” element in the fabrics. The untraditional use of denim in creating formal wear definitely gives a refreshing meaning to the term smart casual and gives street cats a new place in the office environment.
Jenevieve Lyons – Swing it that way
The trick to creating functional menswear is remembering the influence that sport has in men’s fashion. Jenevieve’s pairing of slim fitting formal pants with the sports inspired sweaters and jackets marries the two environments beautifully. The use of abstract prints on some of the sweaters adds an artistic element and brings out the androgyny in her garments.
Tsepo Knives – Loose ties
Tshepo flipped the script on his approach as he managed to take high fashion to the street. The traditionally formal menswear has been given a new fit, and it is less restricting to movement. The button up shirt has been replaced with a sporty zip up or turtle neck sweater.
Tokyo James – Brave to wear leather
Commonly associated with rebellious rock stars and bikers, leather is a bold statement for the brave. Tokyo James has certainly done justice to this timeless fabric by maintaining the hardcore element of leather that we all love while creating a functional collection of classic formal pieces. Tokyo James displays a touch of controversy by including designs that are reminiscent of the German SS WII black uniform. The iron cross detail on some garments brings out a classic militant prestige. This is definitely a collection for the brave who are intent on taking over the streets and the corporate world.
Unknown Union- The role you play inspires change
We were inspired by the idea that Unknown Union had for showcasing their clothes; They had a “role Model” theme and played it out using real life role models as their runway models. They moved away from the traditional idea of a model and put their clothes on role models who better reflect the people that are making moves in our societies. In addition, the individual items that they chose to put on the role models, further reflects what that individual is all about.
The colourful collection lends its hues from autumn leaves and enforces the idea that winter doesn’t have to be all gloom. Their style plays very much on the attention to detail on familiar pieces of clothing that are paired together stylishly.
Words: Nokwazi Phangela
Photo Cred: SDR Photography
DEAD Lives Again
DEAD lives again. The creative genius of Thabang Bangy Rabothata comes to life in soft pinks, sunny whites, refreshing blues, Maroons as well as olive greens.
Here’s what Anthony Bila had to say about what inspired the shoot/Lookbook:
Check out some images from the DEAD Athletic A/W ’16 collection.
Andile Jila styles and art directs an Asian inspired shoot
There’s a stylist who is often found selling rare vintage items at Johannesburg’s second oldest bar (Kitcheners) located in the city’s beard, braids and septum pierced capital called Braamfontein. Andile Jila is a creator who communicates his artistic self through his body as well as through styling and art direction. “I am an eddy breath of fresh air with a million colours. Addicted to nothingness and its complexities” reads one of his profiles; a whimsical description that gives way to his edgy, non-conforming and avant-garde style which often ensures that he does not fall through the cracks. There is perhaps one body of work which he styled and had photographed by Sibusiso Sibanyoni that your “trend” spotters and forecasters may have overlooked through their common gaze.
When asked what inspired this body of work, here is what Andile had to say:
“I made the hat ‘cause I woke up feeling like making a hat, which is exactly what I did. Portraiture was my drug around the time and I had these angelic Asian Dust Pink slithers of images in my head when the hat was involved and that led to the images you see. I used handmade jewellery also crafted by Nutcase Sbu.
The suggested innocence of the pinks blended with the silence of the zips, create a magnificent, almost perfect depiction of Asian Intentions.”
“Dressed in fine yellow linen, the model embraces confusion suggested by the jolted head, and the detailed pink studded zip on the ear speaks to the silence. The Asian ensemble with the silk pussy bow blouse works well to form the magnetic amnesia of the Asian Persuasion.”
Check out his brand Bad Kids Good Looks and follow him on Instagram.
Written By: Lethabo Ngakane
Get SIIC For a Cause – Belinda Phofu
There’s nothing that speaks to me more than creativity and reselience. Belinda Phofu is a perfect example of someone who decided to focus her energy at making a fortune out of her misfortune, with a grand focus on social impact.
After having to take 2 gap years because of a lack of funds for furthering her education she started creating beautiful jewellery pieces out of mainly mundane or discarded material. Today she is an entrepreneur and founder of SIIC a jewellery brand that specialises in street style accessories. SIIC is an acronym for Style Is Incalculable.
She took a bit of time between her hectic day to tell us more about herself as well as her work.
Hey thanks for your time, Let’s get into it
It’s a new year and you have obviously hit the ground running, did you rest in December?
(Laughs) No I didn’t rest. Apart from working on Art Is Currency, I also had to work on making jewellery to go with the Pilgrim Clothing winter/autumn collection. Which they’ll be showcasing at SA Menswear Week on the 3rd of February…so there’s been no time.
You turn what many may see as garbage into gold, what really inspired that?
Getting into jewellery wasn’t something that I wanted to do. After matric I wanted to go study wardrobe and costume design at AFDA. After not being able to, because of financial reasons I took a gap year,2 gap years actually. And it was during those 2 years where finding a job wasn’t so easy. And so boredom had me noticing random objects on the floor. Playing around with them…and making whatever I could. Which turned out to be jewellery. So I guess you could say, what inspired it was not struggles of not being able to go to school and unemployment
In an article a few years ago you mentioned how your mother is “still” not supportive, how is she now and do you think this is the reality for most emerging artists and creators in South Africa? The lack of support from their family unit?
Nothings changed,my family still isn’t supportive.They actually don’t even know about my exhibition or anything else I’m doing. I just don’t talk about it to them anymore. It’s better that way. I made the decision to not be so focused on that aspect of my life. Yes, I know I’m not alone I definitely think it’s a reality for many creatives out there. Our parents grew up in a different time.We need to understand that. But them not being supportive is no reason to quit.
My mom once told me that life isn’t about following your dreams, it’s about getting by. It’s very unfortunate that she has that perspective, but her perspective obviously comes from her own background. And the choices /sacrifices that she’s had to make over the years.
What do you think is the cause and how do you plan to overcome that?
As I said, they grew up in a different time.And that’s influenced their thinking in that one can’t make a success out of anything that’s under the Arts…how do I plan on overcoming this. By proving them wrong and making a success out of myself.
How do people generally react when they see your work?
They love my work. They love how different it is. They just never wanna buy(Laughs)
The new year often brings a new approach, what are you bringing to the SIIC brand this year?
I’ve been focusing a lot more on business aspect of my brand and looking at what I do as more of a business. I’ve also been working on using not only SIIC but Art Is Currency as platform to educate…hence the concept of the 2nd instalment of Art Is Currency. I believe the purpose of one’s brands isn’t to make profit. It’s to impact lives. To change lives in meaningful ways. and that’s what I want SIIC and Art Is Currency to do.
You have been very active and now you have forged a partnership with The Hive, how did that come about and how does the partnership work?
The Hive did an open call for young people with business/ideas. And I was among the 18 businesses that were funded. How it works. The Hive in partnership with J&B funds Art Is Currency and gives me mentorship with regards to learning how to manage and grow the business aspect of my brand.
Now tell us about your upcoming art is currency exhibition, how and why you have collaborated with David Tshabalala and Styla Gang?
David and StylaGang are among the people who I’ve always wanted to collaborate with. A collaboration between StylaGang and SIIC is something Mpho and I have been planning for sometime.It was just a case of timing and the right concept. As well as with David; Both StylaGang and David understand the importance of collaborations and the impact they have to our creative industry. And even though they are males. They also understand the importance of promoting breast cancer awareness amongst young people.
We really wanted to bring the education through ways that young people could relate to. Alternative jewellery, graphic design and street style fashion coming together for the first time. To promote breast cancer awareness. This is by far my favourite collaboration.
And finally what quote do you live by?
‘Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world ‘ 1 John 4:4
If you are in Johannesburg on the 6th of February, be sure to check her work out.
Because breast cancer awareness shouldn’t only be promoted in October. 06/02/2016 ArtIsCurrency in collaboration with @sgod_za and @slaying.goliath Promoting breast cancer awareness through alternative jewellery, street style fashion and graphic design. #NotToBeMissed #ArtIsCurrency #promotingbreastcancerawareness #streetstylefashion #graphicdesign #alternativejewelry #SIIC #Sgod #slayinggoliath