[Image credit: Alba Tuxedo Pants and Blazer – NeoBantu]
Bold patterns, vibrant colours, and contemporary classic silhouettes tailored to fit each wearer are the hallmarks of NeoBantu, a Dallas-based fashion label that was co-founded by pharmacist Tendai Tawonezvi. Hailing from Zimbabwe, NeoBantu is a celebration of Tendai’s heritage; and pays homage to the wider African continent. The company name is derived from ‘Neo’ meaning new and ‘Bantu’, the peoples, culture, and languages of sub-Saharan Africa.
For Tendai, NeoBantu is a way of exploring her creative side, and a love for fashion that grew out of customizing coveted fashion finds scoured from the local markets and second-hand shops she would come across during her youth growing up in Zimbabwe. Her foray into the world of fashion design was also a way of connecting her African heritage with the present-day influences of her home in America. Made in the USA, NeoBantu’s collections are produced using vibrant colourful handmade fabrics such as capulana, which are mainly sourced from southern and southeastern Africa.
[Image credit: Details – top Dos Collection, Diane Dress; and bottom, Design details – NeoBantu]
The rich diversity of Bantu culture, said to have some 500 languages, is one that upholds the spirit of ‘encouraging community while celebrating individuality’. It is this belief that inspires the NeoBantu philosophy. Individuality is an important part of the NeoBantu aesthetic. The company offers a ready to wear line with clothes from the showroom tailored to perfectly fit and flatter each client’s body.
We are not all alike and our clothes should allow us to express our individuality. – Tendai Tawonezvi, NeoBantu
In terms of fostering a sense of community around the brand, NeoBantu was launched on the back of a successful Kickstarter campaign, initiated to raise the funds needed to launch the debut NeoBantu collection and turn Tendai’s dream into reality. Backers not only became invested in the start-up story but were also rewarded with pieces from the debut collection. The Neobantu range has since extended to small home furnishings collection.
Prices range from: USD$30-USD$300
For further information about NeoBantu and to order visit: http://neobantu.com
[Image credits: All images belong to NeoBantu. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]