Amongst many African brands who’ve introduced prints to street-culture, HOHA takes the trophy for its authenticity. It was founded in 2013 and has accomplished quite a lot on its first 3 years, taking many nations by storm. Clearly the future is promising for this brand.
HOHA is used as a greeting in some parts of the world. In this instance, HOHA is an acronym for Hanging Our Home Art. It is more than just clothing; it’s about history and the reflection of its pride in unrivalled African heritage. It is about changing and re-directing African mindsets to claim what is rightfully ours. ThinkSllow.com caught up with the founder of HOHA, Sechaba Masupha, to learn more about the idea behind it. He is the brainpower behind the brand and he is driven to be (and do) the best. His fashion sense is influenced by the music industry.
Q: How has HOHA grown in the past 3 years and what has been your most favourable milestone?
A: “It is growing according to plans. My favourable milestone was when I received orders from a couple of individuals outside South Africa: USA, Germany and Jamaica. It was at that time when I realized the growth of the brand. Other African countries have shown an interest, most of which fell in love with HOHA on Facebook. Sizzla Koloje, one of the most talented and much-loved Reggae artists in Jamaica told me he was paying R650 for the HOHA sweater I was wearing while touring Africa.”
Q: Tell us a little bit about your transformation from music to fashion?
A: “I believe that the most successful fashion brands started and were inspired by music in one way or the other. I am investing time into HOHA as a clothing brand. I want to create opportunities and develop my skills by taking on interesting projects as well as working with people I can really learn from. Some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry are my friends, and that’s one of the main reasons why I’ve decided to build a career here.”
Q: What influences your design style?
A: “A lot of forethought, imagination and my surrounding.”
Q: What are your design roots?
A: “Objectivity, simplified visual compositions and use of primary colours.”
Q: Who inspires you in street-wear, both locally and nationally?
A: “Ah, you know B, David Tlale obviously (locally). On an international level, it would be Bobby Hundreds (co-owner of The Hundreds), and also a guy called Scott Sasso: a designer for 10 Deep.”
Q: What is your take on the current state of street-wear in Africa and where do you see it going?
A: “What excites me most about street-wear is the fact that people from all walks of life have an opinion about street-wear. People have to put on clothing every day before they leave home, so that’s evidence that there is definitely a future. Everyone knows a thing or two about clothing especially the fact that it reflects the minds of urban youth, it’s the expression of individuality communicating a message that we’re fearless. It also reflects that we are bold and unafraid of making a statement. It’s the manifestation of currently-subversive-soon-to-be-popular culture, meaning it has the ability to influence our current culture. Street wear doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it’s a mirror of the music we listen to, the art we look at, the people we surround ourselves with; the individual creative intersection. That’s what excites me! We can use what we choose to put on our body as a challenge to the norm. Street wear is embraced by change agents and taste-makers who want to lead rather than follow. “
Q: Where and how can people access HOHA?
A: “Inbox the HOHA page (HOHA Lifestyle/Culture), or Folakha Ts’epe on facebook. Due to the demand of the apparel, I decided to withdraw from supplying a couple of shops who were selling HOHA in Cape Town. I am now working on finding investors, that way I can be able to supply good quality clothing. It’s going to take time. The plan is to personally introduce HOHA to the streets of Johannesburg, before it goes into stores. This strategy also allows me to identify reliable stores that will understand, and value the HOHA canvas.”