The majestic brand landmark that is the World of Yamaha in Sandton was the perfect location for the launch of Apples and Oranges for Nolo Phiri on Thursday night. This venue which combines a strikingly, innovative architectural design and facilities which boast cutting edge technological amenities served as a backdrop second to none, for this epoch-making event in the fashion industry.
The event hosted by the articulate Samkelo Ndlovu, marked the start of a partnership between two brands which are owned by black women and operate in different sectors of the arts. Something we hardly ever see in the South African creative industry. Apples and Oranges for Nolo Phiri is a clothing range born out of a collaboration between Rhythm City actress Nolo Phiri and Fine Arts graduate Abongile Gwele, founder of Apples and Oranges who was named one of 40 Emerging Designers to look out for in 2016 by the Design Indaba.
The line is unmistakable in its class, sophistication and practical applicability. The garments are designed for women of all shapes and sizes while featuring a combination of dresses designed true to the mantra – “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – as quoted by Nolo Phiri herself. Using a few accessories women of all body types can dress down the same outfit they wore to a business meeting; as they rush off to an evening out with friends.
The event also had a few surprises including two music industry veterans.
The first being Aus Tebza, known for her work as a bassist on Proverb, HHP and many other projects; serenaded us with the song “Lerato” taken from her new album “Make a difference”- which is available on iTunes. Also featured was the multi-award winning KB Motsilenyane who performed “Kea amogela” and a few of her classics. To top it all off she also performed her new single “Find a way” which was recorded in Sweden during 2012 and is also available on iTunes. But as expected it was “O a lla” that simply brought the house down.
Abongile Gwele confessed her admiration for Nolo Phiri’s “ridiculously beautiful work ethic” which she experienced while working with her on this project. However it was “her creative spirit and malleable nature” which inspired the relationship, after Abongile dressed Nolo on two occasions last year.
In response to the question why collaborations of this sort hardly ever happen among women in the entertainment industry, Elle Tisane said “she (Nolo) has really started something that some of us would like to learn from, and so I am really excited about it and for her.”
Samkelo Ndlovu could not emphasize enough about the event being all about “black excellence” and the importance of emerging black designers, artists and performers to support each other – “because it is hard enough being a black woman, in any country.”
These sentiments were echoed by KB when she said “it does not help to work alone, we are not experts at everything. When we have a strong brand, it’s a good idea to collaborate with other people so that you can stretch your business.”
The range for Nolo Phiri is now available on the Apples and Oranges’ online store to buy. This will be a clothing line that will be completely showing off what Nolo Phiri deals best with, STYLE!