Tony Gum and Floyd Avenue Discuss Inner Confidence



Back in 1949, one of the oldest Japanese shoe companies was founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka who was passionate about improving the lives and self-esteem of a generation of post-war youths through athletics. In 2015 Onitsuka Tiger goes back to this sentiment with its new global messaging, “A Product of Inner Confidence”, promoting the idea that it’s more than enough to just be you.


To explore this positive message further, we’re publishing a 2-part editorial series where we’re pairing up South African creatives, and ‘products of confidence’ themselves, who literally put themselves into their work whether it’s through dance, performance art, taking to the ramp, or through self portrait art. We’ve invited them to ask each other questions about the confidence it takes to work creatively, overcome challenges, and be yourself – and to record their answers over webcam in one-on-one video messages to each other.


In this video we meet the effervescent Tony (Zipho) Gum who is creating some of the most exciting visual imagery of the moment, most often starring herself. Working both behind the scenes and front-and-centre, her roles for these conceptual images cover art director, model, stylist and photographer. Whether doing it herself, or working collaboratively with other creatives, Tony releases her images via her blog and over social media to much praise. She explains her work as an example of being proud of who you are and being unafraid to express that.


Here, Tony quizzes fashion designer and one of the founding members of The Smarteez Floyd Manotana, who you might know better as Floyd Avenue. Street style crews might seem a dime a dozen these days, but it all started in Soweto with the formation of The Smarteez, a collective of DIY designers making innovative clothing and accessories and co-ordinating colours and outfits in a way that hadn’t been seen before. They used their own bodies to showcase their designs, hitting the streets wearing their creations – the very definition of self-promotion. In his conversation with Tony, Floyd explains that in the beginning people didn’t understand what they were doing. But, it wasn’t long before street style photographers and local and international media caught on.


Tony and Floyd recorded themselves over webcam answering each other’s questions. We compiled these clips in the video above.


What does Inner Confidence mean to you?
Let @onitsukatigersa know #aproductofinnerconfidence


Find out more about the 2015 Onitsuka Tiger campaign.


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Tony Gum

Tony Gum


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Floyd Manotana (Floyd Avenue)



OT Solid Black


Between 10 and 5