Sho Us Nao

#BTS at Nao Serati's SAMW show courtesy NTWRKAREA3's Hana Sho


NTWRKAREA3 is a youth-powered network for creatives creating culture through originality.

From two residencies in Johannesburg, to a pop up space in Cape Town and most recently a collaborative online network – the journey of AREA3 is one that has re-ignited the adidas Originals brand in local streetwear culture and the creative community.

South African youth are seeking a sense of ownership and innovative ways to share their creativity, and so when we were introduced to Hana Sho via the brand with the three stripes, we put together a plan to publish her collaboration. Scroll down for Hana's behind-the-scenes look at Nao Serati’s SAMW show and a Q&A with the exciting young creative.


Who are you, what do you do and why do you do it?

My name is Hana. I’m 20, and I was born in Cape Town. My mum is South African and my dad is Japanese. For a long time that left me in a grey area of who I am, should be or where and who I identify with. Still figuring that out. I’m a Motion Design student at CTCA, I work part-time as a model and actress, I freelance in photography and run social media for a clothing brand. I’m in a cycle of trying to support myself and make art that is meaningful. I think to reach a point where I’m able to support myself while making something that impacts others is definitely a goal.

Give us the highlight reel of your career so far.

There’s a few! The privilege to fund my college through the work that I do. And of course being able to study. As well as assisting Motion Designer / artist Inka Kendzia over the past few months.


You’ve worked with adidas for a while now. Comment on their commitment to creating culture and why your relationship with the brand has lasted as long as it has?

Andpeople hit me up in June last year asking to get involved on a new project with them called NTWRKAREA3. They sent me a pair of adi’s and let me interpret them in my own style, in whatever way I wanted. To have a platform that exists and supports the creative youth in South Africa as much as adi and NTWRKAREA3 is so important for the future of SA. The opportunity to work with such a reputable brand that believes in you is already a huge step up! I don’t quite know why it’s lasted this long, but from my side I feel excited to be working on projects with them and to be excited and driven and passionate hopefully shines through…


What was your brief for this project?

My job was to takeover NTWRKAREA3’s instagram documenting candid behind the scenes of Nao Serati’s fitting, process and what it takes to pull off a show like this at SA Menswear Week, whilst of course capturing Adidas’ new P.O.D System shoes and shooting on film for TWoU.


Describe the Nao Serati show from the preparation to backstage to the moments after he took his bow?

After spending some time at the fittings, his was certainly the most easy-flowing. Nao in the most chill manner was floating about fitting everybody with the biggest smile. I was expecting chaos, as most fashion shows go, but nevertheless I was mistaken. However, backstage was another story. Thankfully, this backstage was moderately spacious with incredible lighting against the crushed velvet draping which made up for the fact that it was mildly chaotic – but in an exciting way. Again, Nao and his team fitted his models in a second without showing a hint of stress. The show itself was mind-blowing. Screamed a little when I heard the soundtrack 'Faceshopping' by Sophie accompanying his show. 11/10. Everybody loved it for sure.


What were the major trends you saw this year?

A lot of neon, animal print, transparent glasses, prints on prints and chunky sneakers.


Describe your aesthetic and why you choose to identify this way?

I do stray toward a D.I.Y 80s/90s aesthetic mixed with some sort of futuristic twist. I love thrift shopping, making my own clothes, sets, props etc. I love film, especially. I feel it has more depth and texture than anything digital – and all round way more fun. The process of something really gets me excited. Seeing the rawness and bits and pieces give whatever it is I’m doing a lot more dimension. Plus, I love to share what I do with other people and hope they want to join in too.


Would you say that your photography is somewhat similar to the rest of your style?

As mentioned above, 80s/90s future aesthetic is where I find myself at the moment. Not specifically, as I wouldn’t say I identify as that particular aesthetic, instead a combination of many aesthetics moulded into my own. But, if I had to label it, then something along those lines.


You typically do editorial work and portraiture. Was it exciting to shoot documentary?

Totally. Still a bit scary, but I think I needed that push and practice.


As a creator who finds yourself on both sides of the camera, how does this give you an edge when it comes to photographing and being photographed by others?

Having an understanding of what a person on either side of the camera feels helps when it comes to delivering what is expected of you. For example, I’d like to think I know how to make a model feel comfortable because I understand what it’s like to be badly directed. As well as when I’m being photographed, I can already guess what the photographer wants of me because I would already have an understanding of what it is their doing. If that makes any sense.


Fashion week isn’t just about what we see on the runway anymore. Which attendees brought the biggest looks?

I wish I knew the names of the people who rocked fire looks, other than Martin Magner™ wearing black Buffalo’s and a fishnet bodysuit by Nao Serati.

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