Scotsman Ronnie McDonald is the menswear designer for Tiger of Sweden, the fashion brand started in 1903 by two Swedish tailors, Markus Schwarmann and Hjalmar Nordström, with a focus on suits. (In South Africa, they are represented by Brandgroup International.) In more recent years, they have pushed the idea of the 24/7 suit, something that works for the office and socially at night. They have now partnered with the London Cloth Co, founded by Daniel Harris, to create an exclusive tartan fabric drawing from what is often associated with Scotland. Kilts tend to be made with tartan patterns. The collaboration goes as deep as the actual fabrication, beyond patterning.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/OkhePNHajbE[/youtube]

If there is one thing Africa has is creative patterns and unique design but, for too long, the fabrics have often been manufactured elsewhere. This collaboration is interesting in that it provides a possible model for the development of fabric on the continent to be incorporated into fashion. This is both in terms of actual textile manufacturing as well as the interpretation and incorporation of uniquely Africa patterns and prints into contemporary fashion driven by Africans. I do know designers like Shaldon Kopman of Naked Ape in South Africa have been experimenting with this, looking at mohair, bamboo, etc, all locally made.

There is opportunity everywhere.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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