More than a clothes line
OVER the past few years T-shirts have been hot fashion items, thanks to creative designers producing elegant and chic designs.
One of them is Neo "Money" Mafokwane, owner of Lyrical DC, whose company designs fun and funky apparel.
From a young age Mafokwane loved printed tees - regardless of the brand.
"Whether it was a promotional tee or a well-known brand, I collected them like toys," he says.
Lyrical DC is the brand of his dreams, though he never dreamt of having a brand like Lyrical.
The former banker, who is a born-again Christian, initially wanted to have tees with gospel message.
"As I progressed with my plans to start designing and manufacturing the desired tees, the whole plan changed while I was busy identifying my target market," Mofokwane explains.
"I got a graphic designer to help me with the designs. At that time we didn't have the name Lyrical as yet. We designed a few cartoons and a few other designs for the brand."
Mafokwane says the challenge was to get a name for the cartoon.
"We wanted a catchy and fun name. We found the name Lyrical in the movie Big Mama 3."
The movie was watched by the crew just to take their minds off things, without knowing that was the day to name the brand.
This brought great excitement to the team since they really liked the ring it had to it, "Lyrical". They had to go back to the designs desk to create cartoons that were going to suit the name Lyrical. That meant that all the designs that had been designed before the name "Lyrical" had to either be deleted or edited.
"With the team's creativity inflated they created the closed eyes, tongue out and headset cartoon that really came out quite brilliant. That was the birth of Lyrical DC."
Lyrical Clothing targets customers aged between 12 and 35 but it is more focused on the teens and the rap-hip-hop and dance communities and is currently selling its apparel through orders via e-mail, Facebook, phone calls and other means of communication.
"We are at present having discussions with retailers who are interested in selling our stuff. We also operate at open markets across the cities."
Mafokwane says the main aim of his company is to "fulfil the needs of our clients and meet the wardrobe demands that arise from their lifestyles" and to "bring joy into the lives of our clients by making them look and feel wonderful".
Why the closed eyes, tongue out and headset cartoon?
Mafokwane says the tongue and closed eyes show how much the cartoon is enjoying the music.
He says their primary competitors are T-shirt favourites Amakipkip and YMCMB and the ultimate goal is to grow bigger and turn the brand into a lifestyle and future fashion.
"We are currently busy with a fresh full clothing range. We believe our brand is more than a clothes line, it's a lifestyle," he says.
"Already our customers have created a lifestyle and culture around the brand. They have created a clean, futuristic, self-motivated lifestyle that motivates the youth to strive to excel in anything they do."