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An Honours student at Vega- School of Brand Leadership focusssed on brand building and strategy.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Feud Continues: Johannesburg vs. Cape Town Fashion

Joburgers and Capetonians have this simmering feud that imitates the hip-hop world’s East coast vs. West coast feud. However this feud is all about the creative expression of the inhabitants of these two cities: art, music, fashion are the subjects. There seems to be a battle as to who has the greatest way in which to express themselves in these realms of creativity.  So I figured that I would do an analysis on both cities and their expression in terms of fashion, music and art, and then come to a conclusion: Who is the ultimate creative city: Cape Town or Johannesburg?

Let’s start with my hometown: Johannesburg. The high –rise buildings, fast paced lifestyle and glittering city lights all inspire the way in which people in Johannesburg dress themselves. The culture in which people are engulfed in influences the way in which they style themselves. In other words people dress in a way that they consider appropriate. In Johannesburg, there is no doubt that this city is dripping with people who know how to dress, who look gorgeous wherever they go. “Hair done, nails done, everything did”. In Johannesburg, people’s swag is never turned off, which is a trait that should be commended. 

 However, a down side to all of this is that what I’ve noticed (and was determined to investigate) is that Johannesburg is full of trend followers rather than trend setters. Which is slightly unfortunate, because Johannesburg’s fast pace and air of danger should dare people to do something different with their style.  
And, trust, I am not the only one who thinks the above. Jo’burgers agree that as soon as something comes out in Johannesburg everyone has it. For example Head Honcho gear is becoming the new Ama Kip Kip in Johannesburg. Not to take anything away from Nick and the Head Honcho guys, I absolutely love their brand. What I am merely suggesting is that Jo’burg fashionistas don’t have this innate glitter in their eye that dares them to push the envelope and be different.

Cape Town, however, is the Promised Land for creative expression. The “chilled vibe”, the mountain and the sea seem to ignite something inside of creative minds. Wherever you are from, people’s style changes when they move to Cape Town, mostly, for the better (let us not deny that some people just keep riding the wave of unwashed hair, bare feet and tie die pants). In Cape Town, people are not afraid of getting the side-eye on campus because they are trying something new and different. And that trait, in terms of styling, is to be heralded as well.  I think this is why, student based fashion outlets do well in Cape Town, things like Jammietart.blogspot.com, Simon Deporres, Rhubarb and even LBD are successful student run mediums of expressing a fashion outlook. And most of the above labels or blogs were fueld by the Cape Town city lights.

So I believe that Capetonians are trend setters in their own right, because they are seemingly unaware of trends. It is also easy to do this in Cape Town because we have easy access to a variety of shops and places that allow us to express ourselves in a way in which we see fit. It is the freedom that the city gives us.

So in terms of embracing the danger of style and fashion I would say that Cape Town wins this round. But I highly doubt (especially after this article) that is feud is over. But for now….VIVA CAPE TOWN!

Much Love and even more Dopeness:
Koosh: The Little Black J
For more info on the labels mentioned. Like the page for Rhubarb on Facebook, go to simondeporres.co.za and check out jammietart.blogspot.com

Cape Town

 Cape Town

 Cape Town

 Cape Town

 Thula Sindi: Jo'burg


Simon Deporres: Cape Town

Rhubarb: Cape Town

Rhubarb: Cape Town

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