YLA June 2024 Edition

By Ntokozo Maseko

One of my earliest contacts with the world of luxury fashion through an African lens took place in 2002. It was an incidental discovery I stumbled upon because of my love for film. To catch up on news from the 2002 Academy Awards, I had to wait a week and read about them in the weekly magazines. Naturally, the focus was on the red-carpet fashion, and that year, Will Smith (nominated for his role as Muhammad Ali) wore a British-Ghanaian designer by the name of Ozwald Boateng. I followed the name voraciously for years, and with the rise of the internet, my appetite for pop culture was more easily satisfied. An image of models in Boateng designs walking down London’s Savile Row was most transformative for me. I didn’t know anything about the famous street until I read that the image was from the shop’s opening.

Boateng closed the road to host the first-ever fashion show on the Row. “The last time the famous road was closed to traffic prior to this event was by the Beatles in the ’60s”, reads the brand’s history page on its website. He was the youngest and first Black tailor to own a store on Savile Row, and it became clear what made him Will Smith’s convention-breaking designer of choice that year – I was awestruck.

My enduring love for stories of African-born excellence occupying and leading in all spaces of culture was born in those early 2000s. I looked for connections in Hollywood, in the literary world, in music, and in fashion. Today that love continues on the pages of this magazine, and for this men’s issue themed ‘The Sartorialists’, I’m energised that the well overflows.

Where Boateng was a lone beacon, creative conceivers of a contemporary Africa like Trevor Stuurman, who graces this month’s cover, continue the legacy in bold, original, and unapologetic ways. In our wheels feature, Edward Makwana talks cars and life with two influential South African men – one of whom is the impressive Tshepo Mohlala, Founder and Creative Director of Tshepo, a fashion brand “committed to the development of denim, through the promotion of Africanism and localisation”.

Lovers of whisky will enjoy diving into the world of passionate connoisseur and collector Alex de Ujfalussy, who owns the NPF Tasting Rooms. Of course, YourLuxury Africa keeps a pulse on global events, following not one, but two of our representatives travelling to Geneva for the annual Watches and Wonders, and we are happy to share a full report back on all the watches, brands and people that wowed at this year’s edition.

Ntokozo Maseko



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