This past weekend, dandies, bloggers, photographers and many other sorts of creatives gathered at the Cape Grace Library in Cape Town for the launch of a dandy fraternity called the Afrodandy Social club.
Founded by Omphile Sedumedi, Tony Maake (also known as Tony Mac), Menzi Mcunu and Zola Msizi; the sartorial society was created with the aim of creating a networking platform for fashion enthusiasts and creatives in the Western Cape.
One of the founders, Zola Msizi said that there are three reasons behind the launch of such a club, “it’s connecting, it’s inspiring and it’s motivating.”
“We found that people tend to look at us and think it is all about the photos and it is all about looking good, but being a dandy is a lifestyle. It is not a part-time thing, it’s a full-time thing,” he added.
Omphile Sedumedi emphasised that though it is a top-tier networking society, it is not exclusive in the sense that any type of creative can attend, “It’s a space where we can share information and find future collaborations,” he said.
According to Menzi Mcunu, furthering the Afrodandy movement is also an important aim of the social club.
“It is a space where us as dandies can coexist, share ideas and really just be dandies,” he added.
The meetings of the social club will be held on the first Sunday of each month at the Cape Grace Library.
With regards to the movement including women, Tony Maake admitted that there is a lot of effort that still needs to be put in from both sides. “A lot of women do not realise that they are a part of the Afrodandy movement, we have to make them realise that sometimes,” he said.
Maake, who is also a photographer said: “When I host an exhibition, I do not want it to be just men on the wall, I want women to be up there as well. Our actions need to speak [inclusivity].”
With their elegant, sartorial look and lifestyle, comes a common misunderstanding about the dandies being wealthy.
In a documentary by CGTN Africa, one of the leading figures in the Afrodandy movement, Loux the Vintage Guru (also known as Lourens Gebhardt), spoke about having a slogan that says, “dress cheap, look rich.”
Loux gets a lot of his vintage clothes from second hand street markets. His deeper purpose is to “make style and dignity accessible to the poor”.
The launch of the social club was coupled with the launch of a Wooden Bowtie range designed by Maake and Gebhardt in collaboration with BeWooden tie makers; called the LouxMac Legacy Bowtie.
The bowtie range is made from upcycled Mahogany wood from an old school roof in Tanzania and only 70 of them were made. With every piece sold, a percentage will be donated to the TH Children’s foundation to give disadvantaged children a chance to go to school.
For more information about the Bewooden LouxMac Legacy Bowties visit their social media pages, Instagram: @Bewooden or @ateliertorino. Facebook: Bewooden. Website: www.bewooden.com – Vonani Ngomana