The marriage between slogans and t-shirts definitely goes down as the greatest of all time- yes, G.O.A.T. A t-shirt can be seen as assertion of self-expression (social or political), and the words depicted on them a means of getting something off your chest, on your chest.
To spoof or to riff means to imitate (something) while exaggerating its characteristic features for comic effect, and is by no means to be referred to as bootlegging – might I add. Dedicated to designing satirical t-shirts off established brands logos (‘spoofing’, if you will) – either switching them up with kasi taal (township language), iconic kwaito lyrics or social topics. Sunday’s Cool Dropouts is the Jozi based brainchild of Isaiah Lebepe, Katleho ‘Kevin’ Manare, and Mahlatse Manotwane. When asked to describe their brand aesthetic, the trio uttered that they “create stuff that’s either controversial, thought provoking or that resonates with ghetto lifestyle.”
Let’s take it back to a time of room-dividers and fruit fridge magnets. The pre-democracy “Peace in Our Land” campaign aimed at stopping political violence during an era of bloodshed and turmoil. The campaign was deemed a nostalgic “success” at the time. I remember seeing numerous variations of the two doves in the form of stickers stuck on taxi petrol-caps and the inside of my gran’s wardrobe doors, badges on caps, and our next door neighbor even went as far as having the symbol painted above their house number. ”The colours symbolise peace too apparently. That’s why you get ‘Abomama boMthandazo’ (church ladies) clothed in blue and white every Thursday when they out asking for Peace and Light.”
As contrasting utterances of the zeitgeist, the trio recently spoofed the words “Peace in our Land”, in their latest lookbook aptly named “Piece of Land” – referencing current issues on land reform and expropriation in the country.
“The minimal approach of the lookbook was created in utter simplicity, as the ‘ultimate goal’ was to get our peers thinking about matters that really affect us, through the release of this wearable canvas.” As a further ode to the blue and white doves, and in staying true to its controversially comic DNA, the “Piece of Land” lookbook flirts with portraits of models Tracy Mokgopo and Sophie Notelovitz who don the text-based tee with a pair of mom-jeans and dirty kicks, a tribute to skate and street culture respectively.
Photography – Tshepo Mogopodi
Art Direction – Isaiah Lebepe, Mahlatse Manotwane , Brian Sathekge and Katleho Manare