News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday December 15th 2017

Top designers unsure about ANC’s leather jackets

Yugendree Naidoo

While it may not be the last word in haute couture, some leading designers have given the ANC’s sortie into the world of fashion the thumbs up.
The brightly coloured designer leather jackets for men and women – incorporating the ANC’s colours – give ordinary members of the party a chance to show their support, and help swell the party’s coffers.

“I would say that they are indeed high fashion because they’re colourful and appear to be fun to wear,” said Ian Renner, a New York-based designer of unisex and men’s clothing, who is in South Africa at the moment.

The range comprises nineteen different styles of leather jackets for men and women, all incorporating the organisation’s official colours of black, green and yellow.
The jackets, available via the party’s official website, all have an ANC logo stuck on the left breast. Their cost ranges from R1620 to R1944.

And anyone wearing one of the jackets will be in good company: the ‘President No 1′, a black leather jacket with yellow patches on the shoulders and a green stripe around the waist, first made it’s debut last year when (then) ANC leader Jacob Zuma wore one during the party’s post-election victory celebrations.

“My congratulations to the designers of these jackets,” said Renner.
“These jackets reflect men’s liberation,” he said. “They’re colourful, so hooray for the departure from the bland looking clothing that most politicians wear,” he said.

Joburg-based award wining fashion designer, David Tlale, said the range was good from a branding perspective and was something that, so far as he knew, had not been tried before by a political organisation.
Tlale gave the range the thumbs for not being too expensive, particularly if the quality of the leather and workmanship was good.
He said that one of the jackets, a black garment with a tight bodice and green long sleeves, and a green design across the chest, was the most fashionable.
“Although the colours are great, I would have gone beyond by being more bold and creative if I had designed it. They also could have done better practical lines and embroidered the logo, rather than be vulgar with the colour.”

But Gauteng based designer Marianne Fassler was not impressed with the jackets, saying she associated black leather with “thugs and euro trash”, adding that the designer had been “good at cut-and-paste.”
“All they now need is an equally bling sunglasses and cap range to start looking like Gadaffi and his minders, or Mobutu Sekoseko………,” said Fassler. “The styles are too fussy for my taste and some are downright ugly, but then again I am not the ultimate arbiter of taste.”

Daryl Swanepoel, the co-convenor of the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum (PBF), said the jackets were part of a range of merchandising aimed at promoting the party identity.
The jackets are manufactured in Durban by a PBF member, as “we believe in buying South African”, he said.
Although he did not have details of sales, there had been daily enquires since the jackets were recently offered for sale on the ANC’s website.
Admitting the jackets might be a bit expensive for many ANC members, but said cheaper branded items would soon also be offered on the website.

Tags: ANC, David Tlale, fashion, Ian Renner, Marianne Fassler

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2 Responses to “Top designers unsure about ANC’s leather jackets”

  1. OLIVER GASOL says:

    I have to admit you hit the nail on the head with that one. Good Point! If You Want to Watch The Africa World Cup 2010 Online Visit -> http://www.africaworldcup.tv

  2. the thing i like about leather jacket is that they give you the impression that you are a bad ass guy *

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