On Friday, 14 August we caught up with The Sartists – Kabelo Kungwane, Wanda Lephoto and Xzavier Zulu – for a glimpse of their new collaborative project with adidas Originals at the Supershell launch. After the ground breaking Supercolor release in April, Pharrell Williams is back for FW15 with Supershell. This project involves artists around the world reinventing the shoe’s Shelltoe, evolving the Superstar into a canvas for creation. The Sartists supported the South African leg of the project and their #OriginalSuperstars were unveiled in a window installation at AREA3 in Braamfontein.
Since 2012 The Sartists have been creating their own editorial and lookbooks featuring adidas items – not with the intention of being noticed by the brand, but purely because of their passion for the design. Evidently, this paid off when adidas identified them to work on the Superstar collab based around the globally led key message of “creating for an audience of one” as their output in the fields of fashion and photography supports this.
The custom vintage pieces The Sartists were wearing at the launch event are showcased in a lookbook photographed by their go-to photographer, Andile Buka. The pieces are inspired by 90s Kwaito artists like Trompies and Alaska, who were known for wearing overalls and dungarees. They also referenced the aesthetic of barbershop paintings on the backs of their outfits.
The underlying concept for this collaboration falls in line with the work adidas has done with popular figures like Pharrell, Kanye West and Nigo – unique individuals who stand out from the crowd and go against the norm. According to The Sartists, being an #OriginalSuperstar is all about authenticity and following your gut. “Live your purpose no matter how hard your journey might be,” they say.
In the lookbook The Sartists pay homage to the things they were influenced by when they were young, including the music they listened to and the local artists they admired. Through this, they are emphasising how much South Africans have to draw on from their own environment and culture, as opposed to looking to outside sources for inspiration.
The endless pursuit of always striving to be a better version of yourself is what drives The Sartists to continuously push the limits. What they’ve enjoyed most about their adidas collaboration has been the process of creating the work and the fantastic results certainly bear testament to this.
Look out for an interview with Kabelo, Wanda and Xzavier on 10and5 soon, followed by a short film about The Sartists and their collaboration with adidas Originals.
Photographs of The Sartists by Andile Buka.