Daniel Sher and Paige Smith from me.plus.one originally approached conceptual design duo Jana + Koos to design a single interchangeable badge, alongside a variety of other designers and creatives, for one of their existing ranges. “We did some of the imagery that is on the other stuff, and I guess they liked it enough that they decided to turn it into a full blown collaborative range,” Jana tells us.
Enter me.plus.one x Jana + Koos and their brand new range, Drol – a name which started as a joke and ended as a concept for a fully-fledged high end collection. “Dis jou vuilbek dronk oom wat op die stoep sit en poep en ouma grotjie wat slaapsokkies hikkel terwyl sy kou aan haar vals tande.” For those who didn’t get that – it’s your foul-mouthed, drunk and flatulent uncle who sits on the front porch, and your great grandmother who knits sleeping socks while chewing on her false teeth. We promise – that’s a lot more awesome than it sounds. Born and bred in your mothers’ “agterplase”, the range was designed in Johannesburg and produced in Cape Town.
“It’s actually been in the making for ages,” Jana says, “I think the process started at the beginning of the year.” As for the materials used, it all started with a salt and pepper light track fabric (100% unbrushed cotton fleece) that they each loved the look and feel of. Various graphics have been applied to the garments by means of stitching, transfers and flocking which means the end products have some texture. “It makes it more interesting, as well as more premium. A lot of the attention lies in the detail of this range. We joke about it being the pajama mafia, although it’s definitely not meant to be pajamas as much as comfortable streetstyle (there was way too much time and effort put into the manufacturing process for it to be worn solely to bed). We wanted to inject some humour into it, which is the case with all the personal projects we do.”
With an open forum approach, everyone had equal share in coming up with ideas, manufacturing, pricing and marketing. “We are very grateful to Daniel and Paige, because it was very hard work – a lot harder and more time consuming than anyone had imagined, with many hiccups along the way. And they were great to work with. It was a big investment from both parties, but everyone was on the same page from the start about expectations for the final product,” says Jana of their experience.
Wondering whether there’s more to come from me.plus.one x Jana + Koos? “Definitely. Fashion is an area that’s always interested us,” Jana says, “and this project just made us a little hungrier for more and bigger things. Both our businesses also thrive on collaboration, and both companies are equally passionate about creating and supporting locally, but feel strongly that that shouldn’t equal a substandard product or service.”
Shop the range on AKEDO Online.
Photographs by Zander Opperman.