We have to admit Magents is a pretty cool name for a street-wear brand, and you gotta love a company that’s focused on making the world a better place to live.
Magents is a proudly South African premium lifestyle apparel brand specialising in streetwear merchandise. Founded by Didier De Villiers (known as Didi) in the mid-’90s during the country’s transition from the apartheid regime to a democratic society. The streetwear brand celebrated the dream of the rainbow nation.
Istyleblaq connected with Didi and Thei Letlabika, Creatives, and Head designers for Magents to learn more about this iconic clothing brand.
Images supplied by Magents
ORIGINS OF MAGENTS – HOW DID THE BRAND COME ABOUT?
Magents started as a concept back in the early days of our democracy. But soon the brand conceived and gave birth to its first collection in the ’90s. Our first store was based at Majita Tailors in Randburg, Johannesburg.
The excitement was all over as a result of the newly – found freedom in South Africa. The excitement spread from politics to music. ” Musicians were expressing their newly – found creative freedom through song and dance”. The only way we could express this freedom was through our craft.
WHAT DOES THE BRAND STAND FOR?
We are not a political platform. We’re conscious and aware of our surroundings. The brand ‘Magents’ attributes simplicity, philosophy, and social consciousness through clothing.
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
Inspiration comes from a lot of things. We identify with language, art, music, and fashion. It is this diverse unity that gave birth to Magents.
What is the brand’s standpoint in terms of sustainable fashion?
Sustainability has a positive impact on the economy. It fosters job creation in underserved communities, empowers people and it’s cost-effective. Sustainable fashion, therefore, belongs to and is the responsibility of, citizens, the public sector, and the private sector.
We took our brand overseas, and we were positively received. Furthermore, we occupied space in high-end boutique stores in Europe, USA, and Japan, and had production houses in Vietnam. However, in 2008 we decided to retract from the international market to refocus our vision and mission to rebuild our brand in South Africa. Our production is now manufactured locally making us Proudly South African.
Magents is affiliated with Wear South African, an organization that is a part of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union and puts money back into the hands of the community.
How do you stay relevant and constantly reinvent yourselves?
We make quality products. Each item is made with care and creativity to ensure that people walk away with more than just an item of clothing. And attention to detail is important in our organisation.
Where to from here?
We’re branching out into new avenues and busy with exciting projects. Details Coming Soon.