Theme: South African Essence

In April last year, three ambitious creatives took to the streets, bringing with them a showcase of Johannesburg’s hottest young talent. “We saw potential in our city,” says Founder of For The Culture, Makopa Grace Letsoalo. “It’s packed with talented young creatives, and we wanted to bring their ideas to the people in exciting ways,” she says. ​ Armed with just an idea, Letsoalo called on two friends, accounting students and twins Mathapelo and Masechaba Rapulane to form For The Culture. Together, they rallied a group of photographers, designers, make-up artists, models, dancers and other creatives, with the aim of showcasing their combined talents through free fashion shows on the streets of Joburg. “At first, we were known as a movement,” says Letsoalo. “But our activations became so popular that we have become a business.” ​ Nowadays, For The Culture connects brands with their target markets, through artistic concepts that take place in public spaces. Fashion walks are their activation of choice, given their eye-catching aesthetic appeal, but the trio works with any products that allow for interesting artistic concepts. ​ They’ve held textile pop-ups in art museums, marched crowds into Converse stores, and even transformed a Braamfontein street into a home, for a collaboration with Red Bull. “We wanted to challenge how our audiences view landscapes, especially homes, and to remind them that the streets are in fact home to many people, even without the necessary resources such as beds and bathrooms.” ​ Collaboration is the essence of the company. As such, each promotion involves speaking to the featured brands, finding out what their objectives are, and reaching out to like-minded creatives, street venues, models and so on, to design an activation that best promotes everyone involved. “We love to collaborate, because that way you work together to build each other’s portfolios, and your brand gets out into the streets so much faster.” “I love it when we connect with the community and our projects come together spontaneously,” says Letsaolo. “Once I was having coffee at Starbucks in Rosebank and I decided on the spot to approach the manager and pitch a fashion show to him. He agreed right then, we didn’t even need to send a proposal.” For Letsaolo, the journey has been an incredibly rewarding one. “Creativity is everchanging and artists need to move along with it,” she says. “I have loved seeing our artists get their message out into the world, and follow their passions, in constantly evolving ways.”

100 Beautiful Things is presented by the V&A Waterfront in celebration of South Africa’s creativity, compassion, ingenuity and resilience. Every week we will be showcasing five amazingly beautiful creative things that make us proud. It is curated in partnership with Platform Creative.