Dressing by numbers

Published: 4 years ago

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Words Mary Oluwawo                             

Nelson Mandela’s new fashion line, 46664 Apparel, made its debut appearance at South African Fashion Week (SAFW) in Johannesburg on 25 September.

The new range, whose name pays homage to Mandela’s prison number, was created to raise awareness and funds for the former South African president's AIDS charity.

Pitched as "South Africa’s only clothing with a conscience", 46664 Apparel was created as a way for Mandela to reach out to young people. Three South Africans designers were brought together to form the brand's design team: Chris Vogelpoel, Barbara Tosalli and Craig Native.

The Winter 2012 collection at SAFW consisted of a mix of vivid colours, paired with neutral shades.  Salmon-coloured suits and mint-green maxi dresses were on display, while many of the pieces used prints inspired by the loose shirts Mandela wore after taking office in 1994.

The 46664 Apparel retail launch took place on August 20 and the brand is now available in 15 Stuttafords stores across southern Africa. Between seven and nine percent of the revenue generated will go to the 46664 charity. Brand board member Achmat Dagor said: "Anyone in the world can use 46664 as a framework for doing good within their community".

For more on the 46664 range visit

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