Thursday, May 17, 2018

#MAGAZINE: RENASCENCE - Issue 06 - Part 2 - Fashion and Music

Issue No.06.2
Fashion & Music

Editor’s Letter
Words by Monde Mtsi. Image by Neo Baepi.

Stumbling into 2018 has been a rather turbulent experience. Between finding my feet (again!) and deciding to switch things up with the blog and magazine, it has been educational in more ways than one. With the first quarter of the year behind us, it was a tough decision to change the format of the production of RENASCENCE Magazine; what still remains, though, is the passion that goes into producing it.

With that side, for the interim, RENASCENCE will be produced as a long-read post on the blog, Renaissance Men. This helps us keep you informed, makes the read a bit more byte size and allows us to track your favourite sections better. During this time, we are working on rehashing things to provide you with a much more fulfilling digital experience of one of your favourite men’s content portals.

In issue number six we focus on the illustrious relationship between fashion and music. To keep it clean and easy to digest, we’ve dissected the issue into three parts; each offering content to give you different perspectives on these multi-billion, if not, multi-trillion dollar industries.

In Part Two we look at getting layered for winter the street style way; Wearing local as a vibe and how musicians do it in their music videos; In our feature for this episode, we look at fashion’s most iconic fabric, style, trend – Denim – its history, its features in music and its modern day presence in popular culture. Our cover star for Part Two is none other than Jaden Smith – who also happens to make it into our main story for this issue.

So get your coffee fix, sit back and indulge in some original local content. Don’t forget to share, comment and like when you’re done. Feel free to read it all over again, as well, if it’s too damn good to let go of.

Lots of African luxury love,
Monde Mtsi

Editor’s Choice

In this nippy somewhat wet weather, reasons to either stay dry or stay at home are always welcomed with open arms. Of course sometimes we can’t escape the inevitable, however, there’s nothing more enticing than indulging on heatwaves in the midst of the cold.

With the Apple iPad PRO one can be forgiven for simply switching off their phone and plugging into the matrix in the comfort of your own home. Weekends spent indoors on the couch under a blanket are now even more invaluable due to the power of work and play in your hands. With the PRO you can work like a boss and meet all deliverables and every coffee break, switch back to catching up on your favourite sports online or streaming your latest Netflix addiction.

Sometimes being at home alone can be a bore and bring about bouts of cabin fever. In the bid to keep your itchy feet at bay, settling in with a bottle of 20 year old KWV brandy and your closets mates, is just the medicine you need. Refined, acquired and sublime, this beverage experience ensures prolonged conversations, hearty memories and a day or evening well-spent. Pair the experience with your favourite cheese board, cold meats and spreads; add some biltong and a soundtrack of classic tracks and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

Should your feet and body give in to the temptation to step outside the boundaries of your walls, this gorgeous and warm 100% Wool trench coat from Trenery, availbale at Woolworths, will be the perfect bodyguard. Literally. Tailored for a comfortable fit around the shoulders and waist, this trench is the perfect length for day and evening. Its neutral colourways, which include oatmeal, tan and navy, ensure you can office it for the day or sport it for those evenings out with the boys. It also happens to make an ideal outerwear item for date night, especially should the need arise where your partner feels the nip and requires additional warmth without the awkward backlash of rejection.


Our bodies go through a lot as time passes, as seasons go by and as we age. Yes, we do age. Our skin, above all, takes the hardest knock because of its predisposition to battle external elements at all times. It is our duty to ensure we give our skin a fighting chance, allowing it to maintain its natural strength, elasticity and ph levels for as long as naturally possible. There are many ways to assist in this endeavor, and these three products are fighting tools that’ll take you the distance.

With up 500 individual sprays per aerosol, the latest innovation from Nivea MEN, their body deodorizer gives your skin’s sensitive area – its armpits – a fighting chance. With up to 24 hours protection, a fresh scent for all day coolness, the Nivea MEN Body Deodorizer is an ideal antiperspirant for the modern man with needs that require a tools to keep him hydrated and dry without the worry of body odours as the day progresses.

Sanex has always been one of those go-to products for cleansing do to the brand’s core focus on body hygiene and fighting germs to the best of their ability. With a product track record of removing up to 99% of germs, Sanex’s dermoPROTECTOR Shower Gel is a product that deals with your body’s rejuvenation requirements without the wear and tear of some products. Balancing your ph levels while cleaning your skin of odour and dead skin cells, this Sanex shower gel also moisturises, ensuring skin not left dry when stepping out of the shower.

Clere is not just a product for women. Yes, we’re constantly bombarded with that cocoa butter body cream that mother and daughter use, however, Clere has not forgotten about the guys. Clere’s Active For HIM is an ideal body lotion for the active guy; whether you’re active due to gym or just have a really high-pace career and lifestyle. Expect 24 hour protection, UV defence and all day hydration. The body lotion’s formula is non-greasy, meaning it’s an easy on and quick dry solution.


Local has always been lekker, even if it has been in the shadow of US mass media. In recent years though, South African fashion has again taken the fore with local artists and the flavour on our screen is hotter than the best Indian curry.

In the flux of mass media’s fashion regurgitation of fashion in music videos, South African musicians have been quietly putting together a selection of great concepts to execute with talented local designers. It’s only recently that peeps such as front row Gucci-lover, Riky Rick have embraced local design such as designer Chulaap, however, others have been doing it before him.

Apart from the more old school artists and their styling in their videos, more millennial talents that have graced our screens with local produce include the hit collaborative effort of AKA and ANATII, low-key kool-kid DJ SPEEDSTA and trap sensations WTF. Of course, they are not the only ones, however, they have been more prominent; either due to the music video’s success or the popularity of the brand they wore in the video.

The local trap outfit, WTF_DBN, wore almost exclusively, Durban-based street brand REFUSEclothing in their hit track, VOLOVOLO’s music video. Sporting a range of striped ensembles against monotone numbers with solid block strips down the sleeves and seams of trousers, the group pulled out great from the brand’s past seasons to combine into one video blockbuster effort.

In his video for ‘I Don’t Know’ Ft J. Molley, Frank Casino and Zoocci Coke Dope, DJ SPEEDSTA can be sporting Joburg street brand – DEAD._93. The local brand is a fresh underdog take on an androgynous streetwear label, something not particularly pimping with local street brands, as they tend to design female specific items in their collections – which DEAD._93 is of the ethos that ‘it doesn’t really matter’. In the video DJ SPEEDSTA sports a signature jumper and sweats in monotone white with a black strip down the side with the label’s branding embossed.

‘Don’t Forget To Pray’ by AKA and ANATII happens to be one of my fav tracks and video on circuit at moment, regardless of my lack of interest in either artist in particular. I’m super stoked that in this video, they worked with two local stylists to incorporate three South African fashion brands: La Familia + DEAD._93 + Billionaire. Their ensembles range from street style smart casual to skater downtown edge and even a little bit of glammed up sophistication. The styling is aesthetically international with a highly local flavour.


It might seem rather nonsensical to make a big deal about this, however, consider how much international media and fashion is consumed by the local market, how much of everyday life, style and habit is influenced by sources outside our very borders; you begin to see the relevance of having the conversation about how much local produce are we exposed to through the channels incorporating the local opinion leaders, influencers and even entertainment specialists we consume through local engagement.

So yeah, I’m excited that local musicians are taking the channel on to engage local design talent and to showcase them through their music videos, which in their own right, are developing into solid international standards.


Winter is coming. Okay, perhaps not the most original opening line, however, it remains a fact. Winter is upon us and fashion need not take a backseat in your quest to stay warm. There are always was of keeping up with the Kardashians – to sort of say – without going stone cold dead in the freezing temperatures and wet weather.

This season’s best trick so far has been the layered coat look. In a series of different, and entirely up to you combinations, you can now double up your outerwear layers with pride and take to the fashion streets knowing this is an officially approved trend. Just keep in mind not to look like a hobo relocating from one corner to another.

Case in point: Fashion week season, during the AW18 shows, the people on the streets were rocking this look – effortlessly I might add. From the avid fashion lover to the veteran style vixen, the layered coat was the thing of the moment in all forms, shapes and styles. Even the colour and texture combinations were inspiring for the streets.

How To Wear It: Simple. Apply two layers of coats or jackets on to your outfit and you’re good to go. For instance, wearing two denim jackets in alternate shades of blue and volumes. If you’re going corporate, wear your suit, add your coat and later a trench coat over that for effect. The idea is to keep light and warm or dry and warm – pending on the weather you’ll be fending off.


From humble beginnings as a utilitarian product to a now multi-billion dollar industry, Denim has paved its way into everyday life as the must-have item for all. From huge corporations producing a variety of styles, to private luxury labels creating once-off pieces for collectors, fashion’s go-to product has its place in the world – even in music videos.

For almost a hundred and fifty years a simple cotton-twill fabric has been the ultimate go-to wardrobe item for every teen, adolescent, young adult and man and woman on this planet. Born from a desire for manufacturers to create a more practical than comfortable form of protective uniform for factory workers, a one hundred percentage cotton twill fabric was created: it was called Denim. Literally created to resolve a work-related challenge, the fabric soon found its way through the system, with workers starting to wear their workforce uniform publically on their off-days due to the discovery of how comfortable and practical the fabric was – one of the key factors included durability.

Through fashion, brands such as Levi Strauss, Diesel    and G-Star have taken the fabric and turned into a huge mass money-making industry delivering hundreds of styles to billions of people worldwide. Once the denim jeans bug bit, it was easy to then create and market new product pieces, from dungarees, shirts and jackets, to now tees, cardigans and even sneakers – the snowball effect has been catapulted and it has no sign of slowing down in momentum. If fashion alone wasn’t enough to encourage this worldwide dominance of a singular fashion icon, music jumped in on the bandwagon and took it to another level. From the 80's and 90's through artists such as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wearing matching denim outfits, Madonna in ‘Ray Of Light’, and pop bands TLC, N’Sync and Destiny’s Child going denim is more, to name a few, the fashion craze grew more fame and truly become an international fashion icon.

You’d be forgiven for thinking in the 00's denim would have taken a back seat, however, we’d be sure you were living in the stone ages if you missed some of the most prolific contemporary representations of denim in modern music and fashion. One such moment was BeyoncĂ©, with her music video styling for the track ‘Formation’ off her visual album experience – “Lemonade”. In one scene, Beyonce and her dancers are seen through what appears to be security cameras at a parking lot dancing through a segment of the track in full head-to-toe denim ensembles. The moment is as enunciated as that of a marching military brigade. The styles vary from vintage inspired to classic 80's to modern day ‘IT’ looks. It’s packaged in such a manner that you’re drawn in to the wardrobe which appears to be the same yet each look has definitive differences from another.

In another presidential move: Jaden Smith, son of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, brother to Willow Smith, dropped an epic track accompanied by a moderately hyper-real minimalist video titled, ‘ICON’. In the video, Jaden is seen stepping out of a parked luxury sports vehicle wearing a sports-luxe inspired denim outfit with a pair of sneakers. We pretty much see him in the same scene in the same outfit throughout the song – another factor for us, that points out how relevant denim is in modern times – you need not wear anything else. The added level of contemporary matter for this denim feature in music is its relativity to sports luxury and how denim can be adapted into any trend and level of class without discrimination. In Icon, through Jaden Smith, denim cycles through age, evidently reiterating its power: that it can afford buy-in from anyone of any age and any background.

A true fashion icon, denim has transcended boundaries and allowed people’s imaginations to run wild: with designers on how to adapt the fabric and trend into fashion on a regular and relevant basis and with consumers on how to wear denim products in ways that continue to identify them as individuals in a sea of conformists. If only one thing can be of any certainty, it’s that denim is likely to stay prevailing, to stay on trend every season and to continue being the wardrobe staple for any and all persons.

#RENASCENCEmagazine #Editorial #Magazines #AfricanLiterature #AfricanLuxury

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