UK based designer brings creative awareness global with KUTULA
In a time where peace is considered to be a luxury, KUTULA challenges reality not only through its clothing, but its web platform. KUTULA, which means “peace” in Zulu dialect, is a brand created by Jimi Herrtage. Unlike many designers, his clothing line is only a small portion of his brand. Herrtage has created a platform for creatives from all fields to share their creations with the world. Although this brand is based in the United Kingdom, its roots are clearlySouth African.
After studying illustration at the Arts University College of Bournemouth, Herrtage would go on to run multiple streetwear brands. Even though design is a large part of his creative process, he did not limit himself to just that. He has not only deejayed and promoted but also curated art. Through these different media, Herrtage has taken inspiration from both his art and his ever-changing surroundings. He has an understanding of the impact that art has on culture, and so he has manipulated the world’s need for art into what could be one of the most notable creative platforms in South Africa.
KUTULA is a streetwear junkie’s dream. KUTULA’s objective is to challenge the Western idea of modern fashion while providing creative the platform to share their art in a 36-piece collection. Herrtage ability to bring British simplicity to modern-day streetwear allows KUTULA to stand apart. Herratage has created a line that serves as a contemporary uniform for the rebellious.
The line includes a series of sports bras that read “KUTULA” and monochromatic T-shirts that combine camouflage print with solid colors. Thus, KUTULA uses the minimalist trend to its full advantage. Pieces like the “Don’t Shoot” baseball cap provide a look into the clever and real social landscape existing within the world. It is a play on words in the sense that it is another way of saying do not judge.
“KUTULA’s ideology is to be positive, showcasing people and art that is positive … when there is so much negativity in the world think of ‘don’t shoot’ like a peaceful protest against that negativity,” said Herrtage.
Streetwear is coming into the spotlight, with designers like Alexander Wang and Karl Lagerfeld. KUTULA thus serves as a refreshing touch to the industry. Its ability to compete with streetwear brands like HBA and Supreme is clear, though competitive brands are popping up on a daily basis. In KUTULA, customers are sure to enjoy the high quality often only associated with high-end brands.
Herrtage’s choice to release this line as a unisex brand also reflects the current trends in fashion. Female customers tend to buy things out of the men’s section, and modern men like to challenge the traditional masculine identity. Thus, KUTULA serves as a brand built for all.
However, do not confuse its simplicity for commonality. Unlike many clothing lines, the word printed across the shirts holds a meaning that cannot be duplicated. The creative minds behind the brand are not necessarily thriving. They lack the outlet to share their passion. This is where the KUTULA website comes in.
Every aspect of KUTULA is represented on the website. CORE represents the blog that is written and created by Herrtage. On this blog, he explores everything from museum exhibitions to South African streetstyle. However, the most interesting aspect of the website is the digital magazine. Created and written by Herrtage himself, it combines editorial design and creative writing to provide content that reflects freedom, design and experience.
His team is comprised of people like singer Nicci St. Bruce and artist Chris Auret, among others, KUTULA has the power to change the way creators influence the world.
Through www.kutula-army.com, creative minds from all over the world are able to share their craft unapologetically through the use of video, social media and editorial content. Much like Herrtage himself, these people have something special to share. Their craft is unique to their set of skills and background.
As we move into an age where creating content can gross millions for people who film videos from their bedrooms, KUTULA comes at a time where word of mouth can truly travel. KUTULA is tapping into the same ideas that allow bloggers to build a following with just an Instagram post. This same attention to detail allows users to utilize a specially designed website to their advantage.
Herrtage finds these creators on his own in exploring Cape Town. Through events and exhibitions as well as word of mouth, he has been able to build a community of artists. Its process is truly organic. As his awareness of the underground movement grows, so does his need to bring its minimal representation to the international forefront.
Western culture has dominated the art scene, leaving cultures like South Africa in its wake.
KUTULA, however, is bridging the gap.