Throwback to the moment the South African Artist became more than a representational pawn in the Branding game. . . When it comes to artist-brand collaboration, brands have typically used artists not for their own creative input and unique insights, but for superficial gains and meaningless promotion. At last, it seems that one brand is cottoning-on to the reality that artists are so much more than their popularity, and audiences are thirsty for authentic representation and meaningful collaboration between the artists they revere and the brands they admire.
September saw the introduction of such a collaboration between Hip-Hop artist Kwesta and UrbanArt Shoes; a collaboration that gave birth to a shoe that Kwesta personally had a hand in designing and that typifies what it means to be a young, urban South African.
Reviewing what is required to remain relevant beyond the current moment, Kwesta took the opportunity to build with UrbanArt a shoe, as well as a lifestyle, specifically for the urban artist. Aiming to tap into, as well as represent, those who shape fashion, art, pop culture and what is ‘cool’, the collaboration is a powerful example of what happens when brands and artists alike strive for authenticity and prioritise sustainability in terms of what impact they will have in the years to come.
The collaboration is also a call to artists, nationwide, to look for sustainability and opportunities to build on the foundation that is their craft to ensure their relevance in the future, and to push what it is they stand for and represent.