Fashion Fail: South African Congress Jackets

In an attempt to foster party pride, the African National Congress of South Africa commissioned a line of jackets, hoping they would take off as a unifying trend. But, judging from the blinding neon offerings and negative preliminary reactions, this collection is going nowhere fast. The line of coats for men and women may have incorporated national colors and the party logo, but the designers also seem to have mixed in every fashion trend in the book, using a military style for one, and a schoolboy blazer for another. Don’t feel bad if you think you’re being culturally close-minded for disliking the designs, because the locals don’t like them either. Says one designer, Thula Sindi, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in them. It all just looks like patchwork … I don’t think anybody younger than 40 would wear that, out of fear of being ridiculed.”

What’s more is that these wares are surprisingly expensive, beginning at $217, which isn’t exactly an accessible price point. While coats might seem like a random choice (Why not a simple t-shirt or baseball cap? Coffee mug, even?), leather jackets are apparently standard style for ANC party members, almost to a point where you can point someone out for always wearing one. Following this cue, the ANC hoped that the jacket fans would latch on to something more cohesive and “create a sense of identity.” Well, one thing’s for certain—you’d definitely be able to identify someone wearing one of these. Even from miles away. [BBC]

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