Designers play ball with soccer fans

2014-04-13 15:00

Fashion met football at Joburg’s Oriental Plaza this week as three of South Africa’s most obsessive soccer fans hooked up with top designers to create game-ready garb.

As part of the Nedbank Cup, designers David Tlale, Craig Jacobs and Anisa Mpungwe have each teamed up with a Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns fan, respectively, to create unique outfits for them.

On Wednesday, Jacobs and Pirates fan Eugene Khoza (not to be confused with the comedian who appears in the Nedbank ads), and Mpungwe and Sundowns supporter Lizzy Matseke hit the Oriental Plaza for a spot of fabric shopping.

Tlale was not available, so he and Chiefs fanatic Alfred Baloyi were due to shop at a later stage.

The Football Fan Couture concept was launched last week to coincide with Joburg Fashion Week. It’s a new idea that will teach designers a bit more about the beautiful game?–?and the fans a lot more about looking good when they hit the stadiums.

Loin Cloth & Ashes, Mpungwe’s range, focuses on making ­dresses and skirts that emphasise the female form, so she and Matseke have been “getting to know each other’s fashion tastes” for the past few weeks.

Mpungwe said: “I am in love with this concept and I hope this one-time project will engineer and spark a long-lasting project for both of us and the rest of the Sundowns fans.”

Matseke is excited about being chosen and expects this venture to open doors for her.

The Mamelodi-born mother of two has been a Sundowns fan ever since she can remember. She even travelled with her team to Egypt in 2007.

“I love my team with all my heart and have been through a lot with them. While I was sick at home in 2008, the [club] ­president [Patrice Motsepe] called to wish me well. I was so moved by the gesture that I felt better immediately after the call.”

Matseke, who works at Pikitup in Hillbrow, said she was lucky to have understanding bosses who allow her to take time off to attend matches.

As chairperson of the team’s Alexandra branch, she spends most of her time attending matches, educating fans and, most importantly, recruiting new fans for Sundowns.

Khoza, who is originally from Bakenberg in Limpopo, is a ­self-employed sports paraphernalia designer who has been ­making a living designing sports garb since 2008.

“I spend over R3?000 a month travelling around with my team and I’m happy that I make a living doing something I love.”

As a self-taught fashion designer, Jacobs said he was happy to impart his skills while also making sure that he made Khoza and Pirates fans happy once this “exciting but daunting project” was done and dusted.

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