The visual collaboration titled NO BAD HAIR is a testimony to the generating power that can come from acting on spontaneity and creative impulses. Founder of street style brand Born Out Of Boredom Shakes Mbolekwana shared with me how the concept for the project evolved from a simple desire to receive a free hairstyle from hairstylist Tatenda Wekwatenzi that complements a particular outfit. Seeing the potential of a visually stimulating project, Shakes teamed up with Tatenda for hairstyling, and Sarah Hugo Hamman for photography and co-art direction.
While this collaboration may have been born out of a sudden creative itch, and the desire to work with particular people, it foundation connects to its deeper relevance. Referring to the work as a stylish and good looking visual rant, the work is based on Shakes’ personal experience on set as a model and actor. He expressed that hairstylists on set are not sure what to do with his hair. He attributes this to the fact that there have been few times when Black hairstylists have been hired to style Black people’s hair. “They [the hairstylists on set] just go with whatever hairstyle I already have on or do some basic styling. I simply got bored of that experience because there is a gap that I think needs filling and nobody around me seemed to speak about it enough or do something about it,” Shakes explains.
Working with Sarah on this project allowed for the Shakes’ casual approach to styling and creative direction seen in previous shoots for Born Out Of Boredom, to be combined with more dramatic elements. “I wanted that sense of drama to complement my laidback cool sensibilities whilst rocking an extravagant hairstyle. Basically, a whole lot of juxtapositions.”
Photography – Sarah Hugo Hamman
Styling and art direction – Shakes Mbolekwana and Sarah Hugo Hamman
Hairstyling – Tatenda Wekwatenzi