Afro influence with shades of Europe

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Hugh Masekela's clothing line, Masekela Label, was unveiled this week at the Sanlam Fashion Week.

The line boasts male garments and accessories including bags, caps and belts with both Afro- and Eurocentric influences.

Luiz Delaja, the creative director who put together the garments, said Masekela's brief was to create designs that speak to Africa, with tinges of Eurocentric touches.

"The line is influenced by his own dress style. Masekela is a snappy dresser. He interpreted what he felt about fashion to me and I put it together. He wanted a line that was not too metrosexual and that spoke to African men."

Delaja said Masekela's experiences with different cultures across the world influenced his label.

"I met him in Ghana through a mutual friend. This is when I got his heartbeat. His label also tells his journey through life."

Not everyone was impressed with the Masekela Label though.

Felepe Mazibuko, a leading South African stylist, said that Masekela's line was disappointing.

"The line is not original. It is just commercial. There is no creativity whatsoever. How can you have a show on the Fashion Week with a sample range of only five items, and tell people you have a clothing line. This is embarrassing for a man of Masekela's calibre and class."

Mazibuko also lamented the fact that the musician was absent on the day of his show.

Mazibuko asked: "How can you invite people to come and view your clothing line and you are not present?"

The launch of the clothing line will take place next month.