The Sartists’ Wanda Lephoto gives new meaning to Sunday Best with his AW17 collection


Wanda Lephoto gives new meaning to Sunday Best with his AW17 collection. The sartorial storyteller has found inspiration from the Zion Christian Church - the largest African-initiated church in Southern Africa - to create a fresh uniform from the feet up. It starts with the Nyanyatha shoe, his take on the hunter boot, and travels up to include simple trousers, jackets, blazers and shirts in shades of bottle green, sand, sky and white and enlivened with wide stripes and checks or delicate flower applique.

Lephoto is one quarter of Johannesburg-bred creative collective The Sartists alongside Andile Buka, Kabelo Kungwane and Xzavier Zulu, whose visual output and collaborations aim to “challenge parochial ideas about blackness in modern society”. Lephoto launched his menswear line in 2016 as a means to “educate through style” by drawing on contemporary subcultures and traditional symbolism as well as heritage sportswear and workwear staples. As such, each collection is bigger than the sum of its parts.

“In a time where the world looks at Africa for inspiration, it is interesting to observe what and where we as Africans do and go. Often having to re-appropriate our own culture against the commercial viability the West has over us, we seldom look past aestheticism to unwrap the true nature of who we are,” Lephoto says. “The collection is informed by an ever-present conversation on African identity and colonialism, looking to merge global nuances with distinctively African culture.”

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Photography Andile Buka
Models: Gondo, Siyabonga Myaka and Raymond Sibeko

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Published on 13/07/2017