17 February 2022

SA brand launches augmented reality fashion collection

Submitted by Mikateko Maswanganyi
SA brand launches augmented reality fashion collection

Leading sports fashion retailer The Cross Trainer is bringing the future of fashion into the present with the launch of an exclusive augmented reality clothing range developed in partnership with up-and-coming South African artists.

Titled The Magolide Project, this pioneering collection is the result of collaboration between The Cross Trainer’s locally produced private label, XT, and the Magolide Collective, a creative duo formed between multimedia artists and activists Mzoxolo ‘X’ Mayongo and Adilson De Oliveira.

Inspired by the complex history of Shweshwe prints, the clothing range pays homage to Africa’s rich cultural past whilst challenging western historical narratives and discourses surrounding modernism, drawing parallels between the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein and African wax prints. By pointing their cameras at the clothing while utilising the Artivive mobile application, smartphone users can reveal special 3D videos and animations for a fully immersive fashion experience – a unique feature which Mayongo describes as a tribute to Afrofuturism.

“The Magolide Project represents an accessible, wearable art collection that gave us an outlet to speak through the lens of decolonised thinking, crossing the bridge between the past and the future to reshape the narrative of the African continent,” says Mayongo.

“The digital capsules aim to merge the traditional with the modern, creating a futuristic imaginarium that place Africa at the centre of global history. By using QR codes to trigger animations, this clothing empowers the person wearing it, while the textile design and capsules pay homage to the uprising of an African renaissance.”

Influenced by XT’s athleisure and basketball roots, one graphic t-shirt from the collection depicts an illustration of basketball legend Hakeem Olajuwon that unveils a digital clip celebrating his achievements and Nigerian heritage. Another pair of shorts reveals an abstract collage of colours and movement set to the score of an uneasy, tension-filled soundscape depicting the oppressive nature of colonialism, that was recorded and produced by local musicians Ciaran Quinn and Brogan Herron.

XT Head of Design Jade Shimmin notes that the collaboration represents a strong foundation for the year ahead as the brand continues its strategy of developing exclusive limited-edition ranges in collaboration with South African artists and designers.

“Magolide have a very clear voice and unique perspective, which we were very excited to bring to our designs. The Magolide Project represents a significant step forward for our brand in terms of breaking new barriers in fashion, and we believe that consumers will also enjoy their fresh and exciting use of colour. This collaboration has certainly set a new standard for XT moving forward, and this will definitely be a space to watch,” she says.

The Cross Trainer Chief Marketing Officer Nick Rheeder adds that the XT collaboration with Magolide reflects the brand’s dedication to showcasing local talent.

“XT aims to celebrate everything African and locally-inspired, demonstrating that rather than simply following global trends, South Africans can also be trendsetters. Our collaboration with Magolide gives life to our vision of partnering with designers to push the envelope in terms of fashion, and we are very proud to have played a part in developing the country’s first augmented reality clothing range,” he says.

Notably, the collection was fully locally designed and produced, with each clothing item manufactured at the Koop Studio in Johannesburg, a female-owned level 2 BBB-EE clothing manufacturing factory.

Exclusive to The Cross Trainer, The Magolide Project collection will launch at its flagship store at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday, 19 February 2022. The first 35 in-store shoppers and first 10 online shoppers to purchase collaboration merchandise will each receive a limited edition signed art piece from the Magolide Collective worth R4,000.