46664, the South Africa-based clothing line inspired by Nelson Mandela, will soon hit U.S. runways at New York Fashion Week.
The line, which has already launched in South Africa, features men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel and will be distributed to select U.S. department stores and boutiques beginning in the spring of 2013. But the price tags will run the gamut, featuring everything from T-shirts priced at about $31 to “one-off gowns for the red carpet” for about $1,500, the company’s U.S. licenser says.
But the line—which is pronounced “four, double six, six four” and embraces a “bold and quirky” style—has to tread carefully to avoid commercializing Mandela’s name. Although it has been essential to the brand’s marketing efforts so far, its North American licenser says the activist is only its “iconic inspiration” and doesn’t have a direct role in the company. “We have a guarded approach so that we are not overly commercializing his image,” explains Erin Patton, the chief executive of Company b, which owns the exclusive licensing rights for the brand in North America.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Although, according to the website, 46664 aims to help fund humanitarian efforts throughout the world.
Still, given the high incarceration rates of black men in the U.S., one must wonder about the ramifications of wearing a prison number for fashion.
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