Streetwear Brand Unknown Union brought out a slew of familiar faces onto the runway at SAMenswear Week over the weekend
Luthando Shosha, acclaimed costume & make-up artist Koketso Mbuli and well-known radio personality Catherine Grenfell were among the familiar faces who walked for Cape Town streetwear brand Unknown Union’s at the Lexus SA Menswear Week show this past weekend.
The show featured clothing for both men and women, as well as a fire kick starter of a performance by spoken word artist Adrian Van Wyk
Rappers Patty Monroe and Uno July also came out from backstage to spit rhymes on the runway, making for a fashion show more akin to a Victoria’s Secret showcase than an ordinary show where designers simply bring out models to showcase their latest creations.
While this is by no means anything new – Rich Mnisi also had dancers performing during his show, and there are many examples of the practice across the world – it always brings up questions around its necessity. Does it shift the focus from the clothes, and, perhaps most importantly for the fashion industry, does it take much needed work away from the models?
A brand’s participation at fashion week is first and foremost about presenting what it has to offer consumers, so how they showcase this is completely at their discretion, and while some of us may raise an eyebrow at the theatrics of turning a fashion show into a hip-hop show, what this view probably ignores is that a brand experience is also vital to how a brand presents itself.
By bringing out a slew of creatives who are moving culture in their respective fields – artists like Buhlebezwe Siwani, hemp products entrepreneur Tony Budden, and Sanele Xaba, a pioneering model with albinism, among others – Unknown Union places itself firmly within a street and urban culture it purports to represent.
Sandiso Ngubane is a Trends Analyst and Fashion Writer who is now the official Fashion Editor for ZAlebs.
Image Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo