23 Mar STREETWEAR COMETH and so does DENIM BY DOME
It’s a material that has evolved across the eras and sparked the imagination. Starting as humble working attire, then symbols of resistance, only to become a designer fashion essential, denim transcends sex, age, and economic status. DUMAZA NDATA, better known as DOME, is taking direction from this and forging a new unique South African approach to the material with his eponymous label DENIMBYDOME – gaining celebrity followers along the way. READ OUR Q&A …
Hailing from East London, Dumaza’s DENIMBYDOME label features vibrant streetwear-inspired denim items and accessories. The brand showcases a consistent theme of custom bleached & distressed denim and the frequent use of a red hue that could be adapted into any fashionistas closet. The Cape Town-based designers’ label, especially his statement denim jacket piece, has gained a remarkable response amongst local celebrities such as Hip-Hop rapper Yanga Chief, musician and actor NaakMusiq, and soulful songstress Ami Faku, emerging as a brand to keep an eye on. The Wire went to Dome’s recent pop-up store in Loop Street, Cape Town, to sit down and chat.
The Wire: How would you describe DENIMBYDOME aesthetically and what about the label sets it apart from other denim brands?
Dome: The brand is a combination of heavy graphics and custom-like illustration prints on denim pieces. That’s the simplest way I can explain it. The use of bold and colourful hand-like illustrated prints is definitely what sets it apart from anything currently on the market. The aim is to be young, and playful yet stylish.
TW: Recent fashion trends have become more androgynous, blurring the lines in terms of fit and styling. How is your brand answering this?
Dome: When I launched in 2018. I decided to classify DENIMBYDOME as “custom denim and a unisex brand”. I believe that style and fit should be dictated by the consumer and not the other way around. As a designer, I shouldn’t want to force that onto anyone. It’s definitely a choice that the wearer should be as comfortable as possible. That is where the androgynous edge really shines through and is why I make everyday basics that are worn by men & women. I also make it a point to use women on the photoshoots, to really show the brand is inclusive of all genders.
TW: Your first collection, “Project One”, consisted of heavily-branded merchandise and accessories. Recently you dropped “Project Two”. How has the theme and concept evolved across collections?
Dome: “Project One” was promotional wear reimagined. That was the introduction of the brand to the world and I went with the heavy branding element on purpose. To make a statement that we have arrived and to grab people’s attention. On “Project Two” I introduced the theme “Africa to the world”, but in a more minimalistic way in comparison to “Project One”. The rest of the capsules in the latest projects will be a continuation and extension of that.
TW: The West is looking to Africa for inspiration in music, art, and fashion. What is your philosophy about fashion and the role streetwear has to play in globalisation?
Dome: The world has become smaller than ever before because of the internet. We end up being exposed to more influences and what others are getting up to halfway around the world. Whatever I decide to create is a result of what I’m personally consuming and inspired by at the time. Right now, the message is Africa to the world and I subscribe to that. It’s like your thoughts and dreams should be global and whatever product you’re offering should communicate that. The focus is on us and the challenge is to offer a different perspective. It’s needed!
TW: You started out working for major apparel brands such as Head Honcho, Supa Mega merchandise for AKA, the Redbat x Nasty C collaboration for Sportscene, and Cashtime Life apparel. How has your perspective of yourself and your work changed since then?
Dome: I have always viewed everything I worked on as an extension of myself at that particular moment in time. As a person I’ve evolved and constantly doing so, the product I’m offering has to reflect that. I may have been just a designer then but now I view myself as a brand.
TW: DENIMBYDOME has made major moves in the industry in 2019 and the beginning of 2020. What is the vision for DENIMBYDOME for the rest of 2020 and moving into 2021?
Dome: We were brand partners for Sportscene Capsule Festival 2019. As well as the custom denim jacket project we had with Relay Jeans/Markhams. All these things are nice. The acknowledgements from celebrities on their social media are like a badge you show off and wear on your cap but honestly, the challenge and goal is to always improve on the last product. The vision is to be a global contributor in the apparel design space. We’ve seen many do it – it’s within reach.