In this lookbook, Thabo Kopele collaborates with Average Wave Club’s Moeko Selebalo and Ofentse Serobatse to bring to life a fusion of two cultures, the Sotho and Asian culture. Sotho Asian is one of the projects to come out of The Calico Series – an ongoing series of projects that Thabo plans to work on with various South African creatives. These clothes are created purely for the love of art and storytelling through fabric.
Thabo discovered calico, a cotton-based fabric that has inspired this whole project, while studying at a fashion institution. He says its simplicity can inspire beautiful creations and an elevated level of creation.
“My first introduction to calico was at Lisof where we used it to make samples and mock-ups, which we were assessed upon. The colour of the fabric seemed so simple, calm, and somewhat visually pleasing. Many would definitely argue to say that calico isn’t the best fabric on the market. That may be true but I feel like there’s a certain amount of simplicity that a designer can pull off with calico and that is why I saw it fit to use this fabric for these projects,” says Thabo.
Thabo says this project is meant to showcase the incredible creative talent the country has to offer. The creative scene continues to cultivate and produce some of the best creatives, particularly in creative direction, photography and modeling.
“Another reason why this series is so important is because it’s meant to translate narratives that aren’t so stereotypical to African creatives and designers. Just because we’re African doesn’t mean we’ll be including or using tribal African printed fabrics in our work, even if or when a certain project hits close to home,” he adds.