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46664 Apparel

Talk about going from prison block to colour block. Nelson Mandela has inspired many a South African to strive for greatness, but this is perhaps the first time he has inspired a fashion label. 46664 Apparel, launched a few weeks ago at the Stuttafords flagship store in Sandton City, is a vibrant, stylish and contemporary clothing range for men and women that takes its name from Madiba's own prison ID when he was incarcerated at Robben Island. It is more than just a number, of course; it has come to represent his triumph over adversity and his unwavering faith in democracy. Positioned as "clothing with a conscience", 46664 Apparel was conceived as a way of taking forward the humanitarian legacy of Nelson Mandela. As Tokyo Sexwale said at the launch, "46664 Apparel is not just another brand, but a way of giving back to an organisation that is intimately connected with the legacy of this country's greatest leader."  It also aims to become South Africa's first global clothing brand. What's in store now are shweshwe-print men's shirts, using fabric manufactured in South Africa; men's jeans and chinos with quirky details to be discovered; ladies asymmetrical sheath dresses, and ruffle collar blouses in white, stone and magenta. What shoppers can expect are superb fit, quality styling and manufacturing, plus a combination of updated classic wardrobe-building items along with fashion-forward garments built around intrinsically African colour and detail. All in all, a collection that is on-target with the current season's trends. Prices range from R299 for a Madiba archive-inspired T-shirt, going up to R599 for ladies' wrap dresses and R1 799 for men's blazers. A kids' collection will follow soon. The collection is available at Stuttafords department stores throughout South Africa, and various independent retailers. 46664 Apparel is manufactured mainly in South Africa under license to Seardel/Brand ID. For more information, visit 46664fashion.com.   All photos courtesy of 46664 Apparel. Text by Bambina Olivares Wise.