The latest Superbalist.com campaign highlights the fact that all eyes are on Africa as a global trendsetter and creative hub. Whilst showcasing key winter must-haves, Show Them has a narrative that challenges some long-held beliefs by showing the world who Africa really is.
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The ad spot was created by celebrated South African creatives Lebogang Rasethaba and Zandi Tisani – a dynamic directing duo – who used the opportunity to showcase fashion in SA in a way no-one else has been able to. Various authentically South African scenarios take the viewer on a journey that attests to Africa’s position in the global cultural atmosphere. This is perhaps best encapsulated by the scene in a hair salon: women watch on TV as a famed American actress is shown with a distinctly African ‘do’. The accompanying dialogue? “They’re watching us.”
Klyne Maharaj, Head of Brand at Superbalist.com – a leading online fashion e-tailer in Africa - says the brand has always championed African artists and entrepreneurs through its content, “Our blog, The Way of Us, is especially well known for showcasing South African movers and shakers. The purest expression of this is the Superbalist 100, which is our annual, crowd-voted list of SAs biggest up and coming game-changers from tech to film.
In practice almost all our content creators are young South Africans - take Lebo and Zandi for instance, the creators of our latest commercial. They're a great example of how we maintain our 'for us, by us' philosophy.”
Maharaj says that the whole world is talking about Africa right now, with Black Panther, Trevor Noah and Gqom (Durban house music) fuelling the dialogue. But he says the conversation goes beyond this, “We know that an African conversation is far more than a trend – it’s our identity – and as a brand that has always celebrated identity, this campaign is our nod to that.”
Jason Basson, Fashion Editor at Superbalist.com, says that now is the time for young Africans to take ownership of their identities, celebrate their creative endeavours and take pride in themselves by showing the world how it’s done. He says that Africa is one of the last vestiges of untapped inspiration, “Historically, Africa has informed artists, performers and designers with the likes of Picasso, Matisse, Vivienne Westwood and John Galiano, but today the content is more visible thanks to social media. I think the world is coming to grips that Africa is indeed a huge, incredibly complex, multifaceted place with a wealth of culture and style that, up until now, has been largely inaccessible.”
From futurism, minimalism, dandyism and the celebration of African hair to emerging designers Rich Mnisi and Celeste Arendse, Basson says Africa hasn’t even skimmed the surface of its potential. For Superbalist, it’s about giving a voice to this. The brand contextualises cutting-edge, off-the-catwalk global styles in an authentically South African way. What makes it unique is that unlike any other retailer on this continent, it has been built on a close relationship with the movement of youth culture and the creative ambassadors championing those movements.
Show Them is a continuation of this, which airs from 23 April to 3 June and showcases some of the best winter fashion must-haves currently available on the site for those wishing to celebrate Africa and ‘Wakanda’ their wardrobe.