“I see my brand as a storytelling tool,” designer Mzukisi Mbane told Africa Is Now magazine last year. “Celebrating the stories and glamour of our African ancestors with a very modern and futuristic feel. So for me, inspiration comes from understanding who I am, where I am and where I want to be.” With his South African luxury brand Imprint ZA, Mbane is fulfilling his personal mission “to celebrate the glamour as well as to tell the stories of our African ancestors using iconic print, fabrics and specific points in time in order to create unique fashion forward and wearable clothing and accessories.” Put more succinctly, the brand has a simple and often-stated ethos: “Leave a mark.” We couldn’t possibly do a better job than he does describing his own eye-popping, colorful, tradition-based futurism aesthetic:”It’s an African luxury brand with an Afro-futuristic aesthetic. When I started, it already had its distinct look and feel, but over the years it has grown to be more about a shared African identity rather than just mine as a Xhosa South African man. Today, the brand reveals my understanding of what it means to be African.”
[Photo Credit: Elena Iv-skaya via Imprint ZA/Instagram, Michael Oliver Love via Imprint ZA/Instagram, Courtesy of AFI]
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