Donna Karan you’re so two and a half years ago
Actually, yes. Johannesburg-based (yes, that’s in South Africa) design team Jacques van der Watt and Dannica Lepen, otherwise known as Black Coffee, launched their superb concept dress known as “everyonecanbeadesigner” to market in 2007. Not that it’s needed, but we can testify to this date as it was the year I got married and Jacques’ partner had proposed I wear one for my wedding dress… I wish I had now, as I’d have had a photo of me looking oh-so-2007 to tie down the facts (actually, when I look at the photos now, my hair was clearly plucked out of a childhood dream hairstyle ergo ‘89). Anyway, the point is, Black Coffee’s byline was ‘a new way of looking at clothing’ and the campaign around the dress was a gorgeous 360 concept that included a video showing you all the ways you could wear the dress. Just go see the site. Come 2010 and suddenly we see a very similar looking dress rehashed as a ‘Donna Karan’s Infinity dress’. Pfft. Something seriously fishy going on people, what you reckon? Coincidink?
I don’t know how you feel, but in general, I’m getting a little bit tired of the ‘big overseas chiefs” helping themselves to African goodness, minerals, inspiration…and scuttling off. For how many centuries will we be their buffet table? We sit perched on the end of our struggling continent just minding our business and producing high quality, exceptional work and then get stomped over by a big western made-in-china foot. Genoeg is genoeg. Africans, it’s really enough now, time to STAND UP and of course I’m talking about everything here… I’m so chuffed the World Cup Soccer is taking place in South Africa so we don’t have to make movies to prove what a sublime place we live in… and so that the 1 million visitors who would never have stepped foot in Africa before, can get a hands-on real time lesson and go back and re-educate their brethren about Africa, and in particular Southern Africa and just how much we rock.
But of course, just the thought of going up against a US mega-icon like DKNY to say ‘i had that idea first!’ must be freaking daunting… this tiny little speck of dust from Africa daring to lay claim to genius that was born outside of the U S of A. We say STUFF THAT - go for it…! We support you and of course ♥ you long time Black Coffee. If you are tired of bullshit too - let your voice be heard, pass it on, leave a comment, tell the interwebs! And most importantly, keep on doing your thing and doing it well, we don’t need overseas affirmation to know that we rock. You know what we always say, Africa’s time is NOW.