Updated: Oct 6, 2021
“When I moved to Cape Town, I needed somewhere to live so my buddy Emma Braham put me in touch with a friend of hers that was looking for a flat mate. That's when I moved in with Gabriela. We got on super well and I started coming to her studio to work on my drawings and that's when we started collaborating”, Sage Goodwin, Illustrator.
GLOW was crafted of the need for comfortable, durable and versatile athleisure that was effortlessly stylish and could be worn with confidence - from the street to the studio.
We wanted to make a product that would last and transcend seasons and situations.
Yet, we took our intention for the concept still deeper: what if we could offer a modern solution to the typical African curio, something that spoke to the contemporary on-the-go lifestyle of the Western World, but with South African heritage woven into its fabric?
Art that you could wear, a feeling you could take with you, and clothing that felt like home while travelling. We wanted to always be reminded of the colourful, bold beauty of our rainbow nation & the spirit of a country, so divided yet intrinsically linked, without the feeling of becoming a parody of our own culture.
For our first range - AfreeClipse - three creative friends looked to their own heritage and took inspiration in what made each of these key regions in South Africa unique: the veld, the sea and the city. What unites these three vibrant designs is the shared African energy of Ubuntu - "I am because we are" - and the belief that if we work together, we grow together, we GLOW together. Collaboration is key and this has been a key value since the brands inception. Each of these prints represents something truly special, personal and unique from different parts of South Africa, and from our own stories. Together Sage, Emma and Gabriela created AfreeClipse as a collaborative artistry, set beneath the same sky.
All of the prints were inspired by the healing and spiritual properties of the indigenous Aloe plant, featuring a hand illustrated and sketched Western Cape variety, merged with the iconic geometric shapes of the traditional Xhosa tribes, to offer a mixed media design significant of modern contemporary Africa. The black and white symmetry is an exclusively designed print, uniquely inspired by the Ndebele prints on the huts synonymous with the landscapes of the Southern Tip of Africa.
“Gabriela had a strong vision for a brand that had a natural African feel so the drawings for AfreeClipse were inspired by Cape Town's flora. Her and I also both loved being in nature and we used to go on hikes together so it all sort of fell into place. We had a shared love of Proteas but doing something like that or a Strelitzia seemed a little too obvious. The aloes struck the right kind of note and lent themselves to detailed illustrations”, says Sage.
Our prints tell a detailed & in depth story, here's what they mean to us..
Geo Gold | Gauteng
Gauteng, "the place of Gold" (Sotho-Tswana), and its capital Johannesburg is what Graphic Designer Emma Braham calls home. This print embodies the bold geometric structures of SA's most populated urban & financial hub. Emma placed minimalistic graphics instinctively to provide a raw & almost ancient feel, hinting at Gauteng's UNESCO fossil hominid site - the "Cradle of Human Kind".
Mandisa Nduli (Mehoja) captured by Aidan Tobias in our Geo Gold.
Inspired by the shared African energy of Ubuntu -I am because we are - Johannesburg born Emma
Braham mixes her bold graphic design style with the iconic, geometric Xhosa shapes, creating a contemporary twist to the City of Gold.
Coco Zulu | Kwa-Zulu Natal
The colourful "garden province" is best known as home of the bold Zulu tribes & has brought up some of the most iconic South Africans: Albert Luthuli, the first non-white person outside of the US and Europe to win a Nobel Prize, King Shaka Zulu, as well as some of the most influential members of the African National Congress. Inspired by her home, Illustrator Sage Goodwin started drawing at a young age & designed Coco Zulu to embody the fierceness of KZN's people, through bold colour contrast & prominent floral adaptations of the indigenous Aloe.
Inspired by the healing & spiritual properties of the indigenous Aloe plant, Kwa-Zulu Natal girl Sage Goodwin hand-illustrated & sketched these electric aloes, seen whilst hiking around the Western Cape during her summer break.
As fierce as it gets: Romy Phillips kicking it in Sea Point in Coco Zulu, captured by Kersti Lee.
TranSky | Eastern Cape
The Eastern Cape is best known for its lush rolling green grassy hills, brimming with Hemp, Aloe and Pineapple plants and a soaring breeze, with the most spectacular sunsets over the Wild Coast ocean. Inspired by her childhood in the Transkei, fashion designer Gabriela Charlotte celebrates the artistic process and adds her signature fit, quality detail & conscious comfort to all things GLOW.
TranSky impressions by Brittany Raine.
AfreeClipse is true collaborative South African artistry, inspired by historical and modern influences of our culturally enchanting country rich in both biodiversity and indigenous knowledge. We celebrate our heritage daily by wearing our designs, proudly contributing to that effervescent Mzansi energy and would be honoured to share this same privilege with you!
What does your heritage look like and which items represents this for you?
If you're feeling the vibes and want to get in the groove, pump up the tunes this Heritage Day and move to some of SA's OG's and best musical artists with our Mzansi Spotify Playlist at your braai :)