Former South African President Nelson Mandela started a new clothing line last month to supplement the funding for his charity foundation and to give a boost to South Africa’s ailing clothing industry. The title of the clothing line will be 46664 Apparel, a nod to Mandela’s prisoner number from when he spent 27 years in jail from 1964 until 1990. He then became the country’s first black president four years later.
Although Mr. Mandela fully supports the clothing line, he is not actually involved in its day to day operations. The clothing is being designed by South Africa’s largest textile company, Seardel which manufactures all of its clothing in South Africa. The hope is that if the apparel line becomes popular enough, it will provide much needed jobs, money, and publicity for the country.
In an interview with The Atlanta Post, The 46664 design team talked about how the new clothing line came about and their future plans for it. According to the designers, the Nelson Mandela Foundation – a Global HIV/AIDS prevention campaign – needed to secure extra funding during a time when their conventional public and private sources of money are uncertain. This clothing line seemed to be the perfect way to solve this problem and to directly help South Africa.
The 46664 clothing line will be launched this August in a store in Johannesburg and online for domestic and international customers. The Foundation plans to open a few more stores in South Africa later this year along with two international locations in 2012. The line features brightly colored men’s shirts and traditional African-influenced women’s clothing. As of now, a 46664 t-shirt will cost $28 and a collared men’s shirt will cost $86. 7-9% of the revenue will go towards the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s initiatives.
by Logan Ruppel