Pick n Pay Clothing has launched its second collaboration with young local designers after successfully launching the project in August with the PnP Clothing x JULIA range, designed by Julia Buchanan, which sold out in a month.
The next collab to showcase in stores is the PnP Clothing x Katekani range. Created by slow fashion designer, Katekani Moreku (29), this collection captures his perspective of a united South African heritage.
Moreku is no stranger to the spotlight and has shown his unique upcycled designs that push boundaries at various fashion shows. He has now taken his conceptual vision to a broader audience by launching his first commercial range in collaboration with PnP Clothing and Gavin Rajah as part of their new project to support and grow local designers.
All the unique colourful prints in the PnP Clothing x Katekani collection were drawn by Moreku and inspired by the many local cultures he’s encountered growing up. “My childhood involved a lot of moving around with my mother as she was trying to make ends meet and that created opportunities to meet people from different walks of life and the privilege to learn about different cultures within Mzansi,” says Moreku.
48 PnP Clothing stores and its online shop (www.pnpclothing.co.za) will stock his limited edition range of seven items, which includes printed t-shirts, a printed shirt, printed swim shorts and denim shorts.
Having completed his diploma in fashion design at the Durban University of Technology last year, Moreku is excited for his biggest launch into the industry.
A creative at heart, Moreku wanted to study something in art or design but settled on fashion after someone suggested it given his dress style, described by Moreku as “bold and experimental”.
He says that his creativity is inspired by the beautiful culture of SePulana in the region of Manyeleti where he was largely brought up, and its take on sustainable living.
“The Sepulana culture is one of the African cultures that dabbles in the use of bright and bold colours. The women also combine scraps of fabric and plastic material to create traditional attire as they can’t always afford material for new clothing. When I started studying in 2015, I couldn’t afford to buy materials for my projects so I began collecting old, leftover or discarded scraps of fabric to create collections of colour prints and hats. I used plastic maize meal packaging for my first collection.”
This bore his desire to practice sustainable fashion by upcycling different types of waste material, and during his studies, he racked up accolades showcasing his ‘out of the box thinking’. He showcased a collection at the 2017 Vodacom Durban July alongside nine established designers after winning their student competition. In the same year he was placed in the top 10 finalists at SA Fashion Week, and last year he was awarded the student award at the inaugural 2019 Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards.
Moreku explains that he hadn’t ventured into business before this collaboration with PnP Clothing and Rajah. “I only designed garments on request. This project has been about contemplation, collaboration and how I can take my brand forward commercially. I’m used to doing everything on my own, but with this project I got to learn how a team of people get to work together to bring a collection to life. And being around Gavin is always a new learning experience on how to be a creative entrepreneur.”
Cultivating the new guard of South African creatives though collaboration
The process of preparing for this collab – which has been a year in the making – helps young upcoming designers understand the business intricacies of bridging the gap between being a talented creative and building commercial fashion brand, says Rajah, who scouted and then mentored Moreku.
In an effort to open more opportunities for young creatives, Pick n Pay Clothing – in association with Atelier Gavin Rajah – has formalised this mentorship programme and launched the Futurewear project. This is a dedicated platform which seeks to provide emerging local creatives with the opportunity to launch their business with an exclusive collection in collaboration with PnP Clothing. 20/21 submissions recently closed and the next designer will be announced in December.
Moreku was in the first cohort of designers to be part of the Futurewear initiative, explains Rajah. “It’s been interesting to assist talent to re-imagine clothing for the future. Mentorship has evolved to include looking at global trends in economics, consumer behaviour and the need to develop products that provide local businesses with economic benefit. Mentoring these designers has involved teaching designers to become digitally adept and to factor consumer behaviour and sentiment into design – key factors for the future of design,” says Rajah.
“The collaboration concept has been very popular overseas and we are thrilled that local customers are as excited about it. Through this project we can play a role in launching very talented designers to a much broader commercial audience, and give our customers access to local aspirational yet accessible and affordable clothing,” says Hazel Pillay, General Manager for Pick n Pay Clothing.
The Pick n Pay Clothing x Katekani range is available in 48 selected PnP Clothing stores while stocks last. The range will also be available online at www.picknpayclothing.co.za.