Mandela fashion to launch in US

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iol news pic South Africa Mandela Fashion~1

AP

Red casual shoes and hats on show at the launch of a fashion range , inspired by South African President Nelson Mandela's upcoming 94th birthday in Johannesburg Friday, June 29. 2012. The designers are aspiring to create a world-renowned label "46664" (Mandela's prisoner number) that is deeply routed in South African culture. (AP Photo/Emoke Bebiak)

Johannesburg -

A designer for the 46664 fashion label, named after Nelson Mandela's Robben Island prison number, says the brand will launch online in the U.S. and Canada on July 18.

Chris Vogelpoel, the label's menswear designer, says that the goal is to take South Africa into the global market.

The July 18 launch date will coincide with the anti-apartheid icon's 94th birthday. The clothing range will initially be available online but is expected to be in stores by February 2013.

The latest collection is inspired by Mandela's love of literature. As part of the campaign, three container libraries are to be opened in disadvantaged communities across South Africa.

The year-old brand hopes to continue to expand to other countries including Angola, Mozambique, Portugal and Brazil. - Sapa-AP


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