Different viewpoints of contemporary South Africa are explored in Edun’s SS16 photo series - a collaboration with a select group of regional artists
Edun has always been dedicated to producing luxury fashion in Africa. And with its current photographic project with some of the continent’s most exciting photographers, the New York-based brand is bringing its ethos to life. “For SS16, we were very excited to work on a special photo series all taking place in South Africa,” says Edun creative director Danielle Sherman. “The series’ showcase the people, their incredible energy, and the country’s landscapes through the eyes of a group of talented artists and young photographers who were given the freedom to reinterpret the Edun collection in their own unique way.”
Launched in 2005 by wife and husband team Ali Hewson and Bono, Edun promotes sustainable trade by producing in Africa, predominantly Kenya, Madagascar and South Africa, and supporting cotton farmers in Uganda. Nataal co-founder Sy Alassane starred in its previous Studio Africa campaign in collaboration with Diesel, which was shot in Senegal. This time both the camera and its subjects are home grown. The SS16 collection featured in the project took inspiration from the ceremonial costumes of the Kuba Kingdom for the fringed and polka dot prints on swishy dresses and used Madagascan macramé techniques to create cute suits.
The first series to be released came from Nico Krijno whose performance-based practice encompasses the body, objects, photography and film. “I worked on sculptural still lifes and tableaux around the Edun collection,” Krijno says of his images, which depict a disguised, tangled figure and were shot on the artist’s farm in the Cape Town mountains. “I explored its colour palette and materiality, creating new structures.”
The second series was lensed by Nataal contributing photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman. She cast three new faces with different looks - Hauwa, Pheto and Luisa – and roamed the streets and homes of Soweto with them. “I wanted to shift the perceptions of this beautiful suburb by exploring its architecture and interiors, which are so rich in colour and opulent in a quirky kind of way,” Moolman tells Nataal. “I’m also working with new perceptions of female beauty and the conflict between nature and the city.” We meet her muses as they recline among leather sofas and ornaments or prowl through both concrete and cactus jungles.
Further series are on their way from some of Nataal other favourites photographers. So watch out.
Words Helen Jennings