Africa’s Top Designers Redefine the African Aesthetic for the Vodacom Durban July
Some of Africa’s most creative minds have been assembled to bring to life the Afrofuturistic theme for this year’s Vodacom Durban July, the continent’s most illustrious horse-race.
As part of the “Stars of Africa” fashion theme, three top designers – Laduma of MaXhosa, Ri.Ch Factory and Sindiso Khumalo – have been challenged to create Afrofuturism-inspired collections which will interpret their “story of an African future”.
Together these three designers weave powerful symbols of cultural transference within their aesthetic, with some of the garments recently having been shot on location at Johannesburg’s Inanda Club by Kenyan-born, Cannes Lion award-winning photographer and visual storyteller, Osborne Macharia.
Through Osborne’s distinctive Afrofuturistic lens – “where reality mixes with the surreal” – “Stars of Africa” will feature in extraordinary Vodacom Durban July materials over coming months.
“This year we’ve gathered the most relevant and imaginative minds from across the continent – from fashion to photography – to tell our story inspired by “Once Upon An African Future”. We want race-goers to celebrate our culture and take a journey with us into an imagined fashion future,” says Michelle van Eyden, head of Vodacom sponsorships.
Considered the founder of the contemporary Afrofuturism movement, Osborne Macharia blends folklore, urban legend and fantasy into vibrant, visual stories that inspire viewers to challenge their own notions of Africa and the African cultural narrative.
“It’s exciting to collaborate with Vodacom Red ahead of the Vodacom Durban July. We have had the creative freedom to create something spectacular and amazing. I think Afrofuturism featuring in this year’s Vodacom Durban July is a bold step for Vodacom. Not many brands are taking that leap of faith and it’s something that will be culturally defining,” says Osborne.
Described as “creating a future based on a reimagined past”, Afrofuturism explores the idea of liberation through the exploration and celebration of African culture & heritage in a future-modern setting – and sets the tone for the Durban July, like none other.
The “Once Upon An African Future” collection will also be presented to Vodacom guests at their VIP hospitality, the Vodacom Paddock at Greyville Racecourse, on July 6.