Stop and think! Streetwear brand The Library unveils its defiant ‘Rebel The System’ lookbook

An overhaul, rebrand and huge dose of social awareness are the main elements behind Cape Town streetwear brand The Library. Formerly known as Music Lost Generation, this brand is an in-your-face take on race and gender disparities, and serves as a reminder to South Africans of our rich but painful history.

“I want this brand to grow into something bigger than just streetwear and design,” the brand’s creator, who chooses to remain anonymous, proclaims. “I see The Library as a vessel to preserve South African history, culture and social struggles.”

The #RebelTheSystem SS18 collection is an assortment of to-the-point text and graphics referencing Cape Town slang and culture, apartheid emblems, Black Consciousness slogans, social and economic inequalities and more. The SS18 collection is a simple, no fuss no frill line-up of t-shirts, five-panel caps and tote bags.

Head turning and thought-provoking quotes are collaged onto T-shirts, with the minimalistic colour palette of white, orange and blue against neutrals.

The mighty brush of C’Nomso Nwachukwu — known for his abstract illustrations — provided the collection with understated imagery in line with the old South African flag.

The collection features four different phrases: “Hosh my brue”; “When we were black”; “Black is beautiful but disenfranchised” and; “Love, protect and respect our women” t-shirts. Which can be seen in the brand’s minimalist but weighty lookbook, art directed by Thato Lengosane and photographed by Nicole Jacobs. Variations of these slogans are also available on the tote bags.

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