south african athleisure brand nao serati creates fashion for a new age fearless army

August 15, 2017
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By Crista Dee / Bubblegum Club*, AFROPUNK Contributor

Neo Serati Mofammere, the founder of athleisure brand Nao Serati, found his interest in fashion while studying at the National School of the Arts. “In our studies we started learning about a few designers and discussing if fashion is art (inconclusive answer – babes I still don’t know if fashion is really art). That coupled with the fashion shows that some of the students would host really gave me the spirit to continue with fashion.”

Having met FAKA during high school, Neo explains that they have remained a strong influence on how he envisions the exponential growth of his brand. Confessing that he is a shy person, his brand is the complete opposite of this. Through creating unisex garments and making visual references to the outspoken nature of young people, Neo uses his manipulation of fabrics as a statement connected to his views on gender and sexuality. This approach came quite naturally for Neo, but he recalls how he decided to push this further through his collections.

Creative direction by Rich Mnisi. Photography by Aart Verrips. Make up by Orli Oh Meiri

“With my first collection I dressed and made up men in quite feminine poses which I loved, and thought nothing of. But people would inbox and comment quite aggressively telling me that my position was dangerous for the models and that the images where African and basically a man should stay a man. This fired me up helping me decide that this is something that needs to be seen more so that it’s not so unseen. We need to start to see every gender as African.”

Neo also tries to capture the fearless nature of young people in South Africa; the fearlessness in how they dress and as well as their willingness to speak out. “As a designer knowing that people are fearless makes me want to dress them and create that suit of armor for this new age fearless army”

Embracing the idea that living is more than breathing, Neo imagines the wearers of his garments as people who take on a similar attitude towards life.

“With lots of global attention right now our industry should start taking over the world and I’d like to be part of global growth.”

Creative direction by Rich Mnisi. Photography by Aart Verrips. Make up by Orli Oh Meiri

Photography by SDR Photography

Photography by SDR Photography

Photography by Aart Verrips. Creative direction by Rich Mnisi. Make up by Orli Oh Meiri

*This post is in partnership with The Bubblegum Club