Scottish craftsmanship and local creativity are blended for fashion that flows.
Words: Hayden Horner | Images: Supplied
What happens when 15 years of African print and fashion know-how and Scottish whisky heritage collide? The result is a vibrant celebration of print and colour so delicious you can almost taste it. We are talking about the exciting Loin Cloth and Ashes x Scottish Leader collaboration.
To celebrate their new label design, the bold whisky brand partnered with Anissa Mpungwe, creative director and founder of Loin Cloth and Ashes, to create a range called The Umswenko Tribe Collection.
Derived from the English word ‘swank’ or ‘swanky’, umswenko is the attitude or behaviour one expresses in a bold and brave way that helps show supreme confidence in oneself. In South African pop culture, umswenko has become more than just an attitude; it's a lifestyle. Whether you’re a bhujwa, a skrr-skrr, a slay queen or king, what you wear speaks for you, too.
Scottish Leader is confident and passionate about having a different take on things, which fits in perfectly with Loin Cloth and Ashes' eclectic point of view.
Here, Anissa fills us in on what to expect from her Scottish Leader x Umswenko Tribe Collection.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Anissa Mpungwe, creative director and founder of Loin Cloth and Ashes. Throughout my career in fashion, I have had a keen interest in telling stories through our collections, exploring different social themes while having fun and engaging with our customers. I have been in the industry for 15 years, participated in fashion weeks across the globe, dressed a few well-known personalities. But my favourite people are the Loin Cloth and Ashes followers that have been with us for a long time.
How would you describe the Loin Cloth and Ashes brand?
Loin Cloth and Ashes is an Africa-based fashion and lifestyle brand that explores a modern, functional, and relevant design approach with a neo-African point of view. Looking at new classics in attractive prints on essential items, we create looks that are made to last beyond a season. We merge some traditional methods and new techniques to form exaggerated shapes while exploring eclectic fabrics. Applying a subtle architectural quality that pays tribute to our rich natural habitats and history while creating a contemporary, warm visual.
Who or what do you have in mind when you design a collection?
The balance between our customer’s needs, brand ethos and collection theme. My thought and creative process has changed through the years however I have a playfulness and witty approach in each collection.
Tell us a bit about your Scottish Leader collaboration?
Scottish Leader approached us (to develop a collection in celebration of their new label design), because of our interpretation of print and how our pieces worked together within a collection. Expect to see a lot of print, classic cuts, shirt-dresses, lounge pieces and smart two-pieces. A relatable and easy to pair wardrobe was the aim for us.
How would you describe the Scottish Leader Umswenko Tribe Collection?
The collection is a celebration of all things print and colour. After a trying year, I felt inspired to have a bit of fun with colour and print in classic shapes to look and feel great in. The silhouettes are true to the Loin Cloth and Ashes aesthetic, fun in the back and the front.
How were you inspired by the new Scottish Leader label design?
They are a brand of blended whiskey, like Loin Cloth and Ashes is a brand of blended prints and colours. I thought this was a great alignment between the two worlds.
Want to own a piece inspired by the Loin Cloth and Ashes Umswenko Tribe Collection? Here, Anissa has curated a 360-degree Edit that fits within the ethos of the clothing collection - and will make welcome additions to the pieces! Don't forget: tell us which piece you'd add to this Edit, and follow along on social media and you could win a R10 000 voucher to shop these pieces. Click here to enter.
Last word: do you have any advice for other aspiring young designers?
Start small, always charge a fee and rest as much as you can. Keep an eye on what is happening in the tech world and how it can be integrated to your new business. Once you have figured this out, get a lawyer and accountant to make sure the structure of your business is in order.
Scottish Leader x Superbalist Competition: Competition Rules
Stand a chance to win one R10 000 Superbalist gift voucher (“Voucher Prize”).