Friday, December 2, 2011

Renaissance Q&A: A Vandal With A Cause - Trevor Madondo

He is possibly one of South Africa's most current and relevant young minds. Black and business savvy, this Renaissance Man is considered smart, stylish and influential by his peers. He's an MC, he manages artists, produces and owns a company rightfully dubbed to be the future of social- and multi-media in South Africa. This young and innovative entrepreneur also happens to be good friends and business partner with DJ Sbu. The Renaissance Men would like to introduce you to the very well known, Trevor Madondo, probably better famous for his role as Co-Founder of Vandal Authentic Wear (VAW). We posed a few questions and this is what the gentleman had to say.

ABOVE: Trevor Madondo at the GQ Best Dressed Awards

Who/What influenced your move into fashion?
A lot of guys were influential, the likes of DJ Sbu, Fashion Designers Ephymol, Ole and the likes of Brad Pitt and George Clooney. I moved into fashion after seeing that when you dress nice, you get taken seriously in the boardroom. I used to like my caps (Had about 450 caps - lol) and one day I woke up and decided to change my look just to see how I'd feel and I felt comfortable in my own skin. After tons and tons of compliments, I decided to keep the look. And it was a very costly exercise.

Why the name, Vandal, for your brand?
Sbu and myself were coming back from a business trip in Washington and we decided to use the word Vandal because it was a common word we used on his Radio Show and we called everyone a "Vandal". It was about taking a word with a negative connotation and making it positive. In other words if you're a Vandal you're seen as a hustler. Someone who will stop at nothing to achieve success.

What is your view on the state of menswear in South Africa?
We are slowly getting there. I go to Fashion Shows in Europe and the US and when I watch the ones here at home, its very easy to see that we are aligned to most of the overseas trends although our seasons are not the same. I am very proud that we have moved so far with regards to Fashion trends in our beautiful land.

In your opinion, what is or are the key issue(s) facing menswear in South Africa?
I think color blocking is the issue. Most guys are very shy to explore color cause they feel like they'll be labeled a certain way. I'm a fashion risk taker. If I'm comfortable with it, I will rock it.

What role has Vandal Authentic Wear played in the South African menswear market?
We've taken those shy guys out of their comfort zones so as to rock "Pink" or "Purple" Tees without the fear of what people will say about them.

How do you see Vandal Authentic Wear influencing the menswear market in the country over the next 5 years?
With our new designs we plan to open revenue streams and allow international designers to see what a great potential South African T-Shirts can do to change the Face of Sports wear in the world.

Do you think men in South Africa are ready for more variety, designer wear catered to them specifically and better brands?

We don't need to wear international brands anymore cause we design better quality clothes than the acclaimed labels of this world. Plus it will also encourage our fellow South Africans not to cop out on our own clothes.

In the business of menswear, who are the key role players, and why?
C Squared, Vandal, Amakipkip, Kwaal, Head Honcho and Butan - For me these are brands which speak to the different South African cultures and they are proudly local.

What do you think it means to be a Renaissance Man in South Africa, today?
A man of Opulence, Decadence and Excellence.

Name the three wardrobe staples no man should be without?
Jacket, Shoes and Pocket Square.

Who are your top three local brands in men’s fashion?
Vandal, Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten

What’s next for Trevor Madondo?
Definitely taking over the Multimedia Industry by storm through my other company Flowa Media. The biggest B2B portal to hit Africa, a new Campus Magazine and growing the Vandal Brand internationally.

Lastly, who do you consider to be a Renaissance Man, and why?
Mr Nelson Mandela - He is the epitome of how a world leader should set an example, especially when they are serving a country.

ABOVE: Trevor Madondo at the Metro FM Awards

And with that, we keep a keen eye on Trevor. We follow him on twitter, as @TrevorMadondo and we 'Like' his Vandal & Vandy Facebook page. We're sure there is plenty in store for South Africa and its fashion scene from this young man, and while we wait, we enjoy the latest tees available for Summer, nationwide.

All images courtesy of Trevor Madondo.

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