What a perfect day to drop our impromptu photo shoot we did in South Africa a few months ago. After all, today is about equality and overcoming skin color. A problem that has cast a dark shadow over our home country of South Africa for the last 60+ years. Like MLK, Nelson Mandela had a dream. A dream he got to see through and the effects of his compassion keep South Africa from a race war. South Africa, like America has become the land of opportunity for it’s neighboring countries. With all this change going on we sometimes forget to just slow it down and look around at what we’ve achieved. But, the time is now, it’s moving fast and if you don’t jump on the train you’ll be left behind. We still wrong people we care about and so often long for others possessions. We seldom slow it down, stop for a second and appreciate all that we have. After all, we live in Southern California, one of the most desirable places to live in the world. This means we’re already winning, even if we’re just getting by. I’d rather die broke with a lifetime of memories than rich with nothing. Life’s about personal interactions and leaving a mark on the people you surround yourself by, even if it’s changing someones life for just a day. A perfect reminder of this are our goodwill ambassadors in South Africa. Five incredible African men from Zimbabwe. A place with no opportunity, zero civil rights and a government that suppresses it’s own people, their government hates ‘the white man’ but these gents, they don’t see color. Fed up with their homeland they fled to South Africa where they all met, formed a bond and are now known for their skills to create objects out of beads. They make a good living for South African standards and are content and appreciative of the life they live. They work closely with our partner Ralph Ziman and on his last trip home he grabbed some pieces of our first collection for the team. He said they were keen to snap a few pics in and after getting caught up in the rat race of life we never really got a chance to shoot our product on anyone and create a ‘look book’. Who better to wear our product and what better day to show it than today, a day that represents equality, a word that South Africa has a sad history with. These gents are a tribute to the new South Africa and what MLK strived to achieve. For the shoot Ralph and South African photographer Nic Hofmeyr took the fellas down to a place in Johannesburg called Maboneng. Maboneng means ‘Place Of Light’ and is probably most comparable to Venice Beach in the USA. It’s a tribute to all walks of life and was perfect setting for the shoot below.
“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind” ― Maria Cristina Mena,
All photos by Nic Hofmeyr.
Art direction by Ralph Ziman.
Meet Boas Mauzvenga Known as the machine gun preacher by the gang. When he’s not preaching at church he’s working on beaded machine guns. He takes bit of heat from the gents because he’s living clean. He’s an elder in his church and proud of member of the community he resides in.
member of the community he resides in.
Telmore Masangudza Loves the beers and is always hungover. The Xhosa word for drinker is ‘Puza’ so naturally this has become his nickname. Telmore used to be a taxi driver on the streets of Harare which means he’s seen some wild things. Looks scary, but has a heart of gold.