In a bid to celebrate his legacy, African fashion label Kisua together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation have launched a clothing line in his memory.
The 466/64 clothing line, which derives its name from Madiba’s prison number, is part of centenary celebrations, as Mandela would have turned 100 this year.
The proceeds from this range will also be used to support the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital
Kisua’s chief executive Samuel Mansah jr told The Saturday Star that they decided to be part of this initiative as he believed fashion was the ideal platform for the younger generation to memorialise Mandela’s story and values.
“We decided to launch the 466/64 clothing line to challenge perceptions about Madiba, especially among a generation of young people who only remember him as the sweet old grandfather who came out of jail and forgave everyone,” he said.
“He is much more complex, and the collection tries to explore his different facets, especially as a revolutionary freedom fighter.”
While the local range will be of the same quality that Kisua aspires to, Mensah said it would feature streetwear items, such as berets, caps, T-shirts and hoodies, which are in vogue with millennials.
“It will include easy casual pieces that speak to young people.”
For Kisua to put together such a collection, they had to work closely with the Mandela Foundation.
“The foundation took the Kisua team on a tour of our archive,” said its media liaison officer, Lunga Nene. It was here that they got to interact with early recorded happenings in Madiba’s life.”
“The tour influenced the designs of the range,” said Nene.
These sentiments were echoed by Mensah, who said Kisua conducted thorough research for every piece to tell a story.
“This collection has a lot of soul because of that.”
For the Mandela Foundation, it was important to involve themselves in such a project as it met their objectives for the centenary.
“Kisua’s idea to bring back 466/64 afforded the foundation an opportunity to unpack Madiba’s legacy,” said Nene.
“One of our centenary objectives is to deepen our knowledge of the life and times of Nelson Mandela and looking at the militant Madiba helps us do just that.”
While the collection is targeted at youngsters aged 18-35, it is hoped people of all ages and from all walks of life will wear them.
Kisua and the foundation agreed that Mandela was the man of the people and for this reason wanted the 466/64 range to be affordable.
Prices for the collection range from R250, and it is available at Kisua Sandton City, online at kisua.com and at Cotton On stores nationwide.