The design project was launched in August with the PnP Clothing x JULIA range, designed by Julia Buchanan, which sold out in a month.
The next young designer to take centre stage in the collab is sustainable fashion designer, Katekani Moreku, whose collection of unique colourful prints and designs captures his perspective of a united South African heritage.
Design inspired by South Africa’s many colourful cultures
Moreku explained that he drew inspiration for his x Katekani collection from the mosaic of local cultures he encountered when he was growing up.
“My childhood involved a lot of moving around with my mother as she was trying to make ends meet and that created opportunities to meet people from different walks of life and the privilege to learn about different cultures within Mzansi,” says Moreku.
His limited-edition collection of clothing will feature a range of seven items that includes printed swim shorts, printed t-shirts, denim shorts, and a printed shirt.
A Rising Star in Sustainable Fashion
Bold and unconventional, Katekani Moreku has garnered the attention of the local fashion community with his vibrant, culturally inspired, and sustainable design.
He completed his diploma in fashion design at the Durban University of Technology in 2019. His passion for all things made him want to study something in art or design, but after being complimented on his “bold and experimental” dress style and told he should go into fashion instead, he did just this.
His unique upcycled designs are rooted in SePulana culture and inspired by the beautiful culture of SePulana in the region of Manyeleti where he was largely brought up. He also drew on the community’s take on sustainable living to create a comfortable, easy-to-wear, and sustainable collection.
“The Sepulana culture is one of the African cultures that dabble in the use of bright and bold colours. The women also combine scraps of fabric and plastic material to create traditional attire as they can’t always afford material for new clothing.”
Moreku says that when he began studying in 2015, he couldn’t afford to buy materials for his projects, so he began collecting old, leftover, or discarded scraps of fabric to create collections of colour prints and hats.
“I used plastic maize meal packaging for my first collection.”
Racking Up Awards for ‘Out of the Box Thinking’
During his studies, Moreku racked up accolades for his “out of the box thinking” and unique use of recycled and waste materials.
After winning a student competition for the 2017 Vodacom Durban July, he showcased a striking collection alongside nine established designers. He was also placed in the top 10 finalists at SA Fashion Week 2017 and was awarded the student award at the inaugural 2019 Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards last year.
Moreku hasn’t yet ventured into business and this collaboration with PnP Clothing and Gavin Rajah will be his biggest platform for his launch into the industry. He is very excited about having the opportunity to take his brand forward commercially.
“I only designed garments on request. I’m used to doing everything on my own, but with this project, I got to learn how a team of people get to work together to bring a collection to life. And being around Gavin is always a new learning experience on how to be a creative entrepreneur.”
This collaboration with PnP Clothing and Gavin Rajah will be Moreku’s biggest platform for his launch into the industry.
Providing Emerging Local Creatives with a Dedicated Platform for Launching Businesses
Pick n Pay Clothing, in association with Atelier Gavin Rajah’s Futurewear project aims to cultivate the up-and-coming school of South African creatives through collaboration.
The project was established to help young designers bridge the gap between being a talented creative and building a commercial fashion brand and understand the intricacies of the business.
Award-winning fashion designer, Gavin Rajah mentors the young designers in the Futurewear initiative and helps them create exclusive collections and gain a better understanding of the business side of the fashion industry.
Rajah believes mentorship has evolved to include looking at global trends in economics, consumer behaviour and the need to develop products that provide local businesses with economic benefit. He says it has been interesting to assist talent to re-imagine clothing for the future, which has involved teaching designers to become digitally adept and to factor consumer behaviour and sentiment into design — key factors for the future of design.
General Manager for Pick n Pay Clothing, Hazel Pillay, says that the collaboration concept has been very popular overseas, and she is thrilled that local customers are as excited about it.
“Through this project, we can play a role in launching very talented designers to a much broader commercial audience and give our customers access to local aspirational yet accessible and affordable clothing,” says Pillay.
Moreku’s x Katekani collection will be available in 48 PnP Clothing stores and its online shop — www.pnpclothing.co.za.
Read the original article on The South African