The recent rise of streetwear brands in the Johannesburg CBD fashion and art scene presents diversity and caters to a wide scope of streetwear fashion enthusiast residing in and around the city of gold. The fashion landscape of streetwear in Joburg is taking various forms while accommodating the ideas and ambitions of each brand respectively. With the emergence of creatives expressing and presenting ideas through fashion, images of Joburg’s streetwear aesthetic is such an anomaly, taking up different silhouettes each season.
Authenticity is a trait that is synonymous with the Beautiful Boys brand, with a light-hearted and youthful spirit, the brand stays true to its signature aesthetic providing style to their consumers and complimenting swagger. Navigating the complex and constantly changing streetwear terrain is testing but lodging at the boarder of developing new silhouettes and eye-catching hues grantees continued success, and most importantly cultural impact, this is what Beautiful Boys has managed to achieved season after season.
The non-conformist attitude sights any Beautiful Boy with an idiosyncratic spirit turning heads every time an enthusiast wears one of their clothing items. The continued support from buyers is a life line for many ideas generated by such brands. In a fairly saturated clothing industry earning consumer loyalty is very much part of any brand’s business model. Few clothing brands have achieved retail success and even fewer brands have managed to stay relevant and consistent.
With a brand name that screams ‘self-affirmation’ unapologetically, beautiful is nothing short of an ideal descriptor to sum up Beautiful Boys’ recent collection. Imprinted with the iconic Beautiful Boys signage, the social brand voices a topic that’s been plaguing communities and homes across the country. The recent Beautiful Boys collection strikes a chord, graphically stringing together a national issue, that of domestic abuse and violence. Cemented in the local fashion and art sphere, the brand is very conscious of the influence it has on the image of fashion in South Africa. I have a feeling that’s amongst many of the reasons the brand chose to tackle gender based violence in their most recent ‘Pre-Game’ collection.
Incorporating some staple pieces from pervious collections, the ‘Pre-Game’ collection includes tracksuit combos in assorted colours from maroon and cream, black and cream, blue and cream, Beautiful Boys’ ‘Public Service Announcement’ black and white t-shirts and various colours assorted 5 panel caps. With the release of the ‘Public Service Announcement’ campaign t-shirt range, which is rooted in a narrative that seeks to raise awareness and most importantly action against women abuse. The black and white t-shirt range is inscribed with thought provoking questions posed to the public in desperate need of answers.
What is the ‘Public Service Announcement’ initiative about? And how did the idea come about?
The PSA was something we always wanted to do for a long time, but cause of production cues, it was gonna be expensive when outsourcing for production, so we procured our own machinery to produce in house, that way we could take the risk of testing if the product works or not. So, once we got our resources we started with the PSA. The PSA is something [that] as Beautiful Boys we stand for, without ”hijacking” the movement we just thought of doing something of an awareness about the abuse of women and contribute in [dismantling] patriarchy and [fighting for] gender equality and later contribute 10% of the sales to a cause or movement.
Why did the brand gravitate towards this concept?
Everybody is affected, and the brand being a representation of boys, we have to do something about it. And we will continue.
Has the brand always been advocating for women’s rights and if so, why has this not reflected in your work before?
I mean the phrase ‘beautiful boys’ alone is challenging the stigma maybe in a very lighter sense, but the undertone definitely reflects something that creates dialogue that can go as deep. But again we are s social brand, we are not hijacking the movement that many are directly advocating for women’s rights. But we are for it as a brand too. Not in the front line but we are in the crowd/room ‘cause we are just as concerned.
What organizations are the brand working with? Which organizations are the proceeds from the sales going towards?
At the moment, we are not aligned to any organization, but once the proceeds are gathered we will either find one that we think makes sense with what we are trying to communicate or do something to put towards the cause.
In which other ways is the brand raising awareness?
For now is through what we do, which is the t-shirts, but we are starting a podcast as Beautiful Boys to talk about these issues, hopefully on a weekly basis.
What are the brand’s future endeavours? Will the brand continue with this initiative on upcoming collections/projects?
The objective for the brand has always been about the truth of our times and it will continue pushing that kinda message and obviously most things happen organically so we are just grateful for the time and nothing else.
For more on the brand visit their Instagram page.