The first time I met Katekani Moreku was at South African Fashion Week last April, where he was among the Durban University of Technology Fashion and Design students, invited to showcase.
Made out of recycled materials, such as a maize meal sack, his collection stood out, and it was evident that he was going far with fashion.
My heart beamed with excitement when I learnt that he was selected to collaborate with Pick n Pay (PnP) Clothing. At the launch held at PNP Clothing Sandton City on October 7, we were introduced to the new PnP Clothing x Katekani collection created by Moreku. On this collection, the 29-year-old captures his perspective of a united South African heritage.
With bright colours such as mellow yellow, baby pink and blue, Moreku draws inspiration from his culture, Sepulana.
“The Sepulana culture is one of the African cultures that dabble in the use of bright and bold colours. The women also combine scraps of fabric and plastic material to create traditional attire as they can’t always afford material for new clothing. When I started studying in 2015, I couldn’t afford to buy materials for my projects, so I began collecting old, leftover or discarded scraps of fabric to create collections of colour prints and hats. I used plastic maize meal packaging for my first collection,” said Moreku.
Katekani looking sleek in his designs. Picture: Johann Botha.
On how the collaboration came about, he said: “The collaboration with PNP clothing came through Gavin Rajah, he’s the link between because he has a relationship with PNP and he is my mentor. When I was still a student, he saw me, and he started giving me tips. When PNP wanted someone to collaborate with he suggested my name and linked us up.”
Rajah formalised his mentorship programme and launched the Futurewear project, he is committed to helping emerging local creatives with the opportunity to start their business with an exclusive collection in collaboration with PnP Clothing.
Moreku was in the first cohort of designers to be part of the Futurewear initiative, explained Rajah. “It’s been interesting to assist talent to re-imagine clothing for the future. Mentorship has evolved to include looking at global trends in economics, consumer behaviour and the need to develop products that provide local businesses with economic benefit. Mentoring these designers has involved teaching designers to become digitally adept and to factor consumer behaviour and sentiment into the design — key factors for the future of design.”
Gavin Rajah, Katekani Moreku’s mentor. Picture: Johann Botha.
The Pick n Pay Clothing x Katekani range is available in 48 selected PnP Clothing stores, while stocks last. The collection will also be available online at www.picknpayclothing.co.za