Nelson Mandela Inspires Clothing Line?

September 26, 2011 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News of a Third Kind

This is not a trick. This is not a rumor. This is fact and has actually happened.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is set to become a fashion icon. The new 46664 Apparel brand of men’s and women’s wear was unveiled recently at a the Johannesburg flagship of Stuttafords department store in Sandton City mall. 46664 Apparel was conceived both to pay homage to the great democracy leader, and to provide a sustainable platform that would benefit the struggling clothing and textile manufacturing industries of South Africa. For many South Africans, 46664 represents a deeply significant number: It was Mandela’s prison ID while he was incarcerated for treason and sentenced to hard labor at the infamous Robben Island prison off the coast of Cape Town.

Positioned as “clothing with a conscience,” the range caters to both men and women, but the men’s wear offer is particularly strong, with jeans, golf shirts, belts, jerseys and sneakers. With Stuttafords as the key retail partner for 46664, the brand is stocked in 15 stores nationwide, as well as in its stores in Namibia and Botswana. In addition, 70 other independent retail partners will be carrying the brand. By mid-November, the online boutique will be operational, and a stand-alone concept store is planned for early 2012 in Johannesburg. An international rollout will follow next year.

Rumors are already rampant, even going as far as their first such guest designer would be Stella McCartney. Wayne Bebb, managing director of Brand ID, declined to confirm whether this was true, but said: “We would of course be honored to have someone of Ms. McCartney’s standing aligned to this incredible brand.”

“46664 Apparel is not just another brand, but a way of giving back to an organization that is intimately connected with the legacy of this country’s greatest leader,” said Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale.

– Taneisha Jordan

Source & Photos: WWD

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