46664 Apparel Retail launch
26 August 2011
“We ourselves were branded in prison. Who would have imagined that this once negative number [Mr Nelson Mandela’s prison number, 46664] could one day be a brand that instead celebrates beauty?”
Chairperson of the Resource Mobilisation Committee, trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale drove home the importance of 46664 Apparel at its highly anticipated launch in Sandton yesterday evening, saying it was far more than just a simple clothing range.
“46664 Apparel is not just another brand, but a way of giving back to an organisation that is intimately connected with the legacy of its greatest leader. It is a number that symbolises the victory of good over evil,” said Mr Sexwale.
The new clothing range, South Africa’s first global apparel brand, was introduced at the Sandton City Stuttafords amidst a buzz of excitement from those eager to see it hit the shelves this month. In a declining economic environment, the 46664 organisation can no longer simply rely on philanthropy to fund its broad scope of humanitarian projects, and in a move towards sustainability and self-sufficiency, has partnered with carefully selected commercial and social profit entities to help it become its own fundraising vehicle.
A percentage of funds from clothing sales will support 46664 initiatives like the Bikers for Mandela Day annual event, and other projects benefiting from sales will be published on our website.
Honoured guests at the event – which included 46664 Board Member Achmat Dangor, former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss and CEO of Brand ID Wayne Bebb – were kept entertained by the sounds of local artist Lira, as well as the acappella sensations from Soweto, The Soil, who created a special song celebrating 46664 and the legacy of Mr Mandela.
Mr Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka, was also present at the event, said she was so happy that something positive has come of his time in prison.
“This brings back lots of innocent memories, and some bittersweet ones too, because it was his [Mr Mandela’s] prison number. I was 16 when I used to visit him on Robben Island,” she recalls. “To see this larger than life person was a little scary at first, but he was very personal. He made me feel grounded, and had the ability to make anyone feel at ease.
“My grandfather has transcended the number to have a clothing line that symbolises the good, not the pain.”
The brand’s international launch is set for 2012, and will be available online locally from 16 November this year. More details to follow.