When a seed of friendship is planted, a bond is created among those within the circle.
This bond leads the circle to share their dreams and when a friendship circle shares dreams, it ignites and solidifies the already established connection.
This is the story of how two childhood friends grew up to fulfill their dream of owning a clothing brand.
INTRFUNCTION is a clothing brand founded in 2020 by Ethan Tadiwanashe Tembo and Daliso Tristan Mwanza, who have been friends since childhood.
Growing up, they shared a passion for being artists, and it is this artistic passion that grew and made them realise that they could use it to design and create a full-fledged clothing brand, given their longstanding interest in fashion.
“Dali and I have always been interested in fashion, and we wanted to put our own spin on it. When we had the idea of starting a clothing brand, we got right onto it so we could express our artistic vision,” explained Tembo.
Mwanza added that their friendship and shared passion motivated them to venture into establishing their own brand.
“We’ve known each other since we were really young and have been best friends ever since. When we both discovered we had the artistic passion, we wanted to find a way to showcase it and decided on starting a clothing brand.
“As Ethan mentioned before, we’ve always been interested in fashion, so we felt this would be the best way to go about it,” said Mwanza.
INTRFUNCTION’s vision is to become a revered clothing brand in Zimbabwean streetwear.
It is this vision that led them to choose a unique name for their brand, dropping the ‘e’ from interfunction.
“In the creation stage of the brand, we didn’t have much other than a dream and a need to be unique on the streetwear scene. When we were coming up with the name, we wanted something different and something that reflected where we wanted to take the vision.
“We stumbled across the name interfunction, which means beyond functionality, and we picked it because it resonated so much with our vision,” narrated Tembo.
After establishing the brand in 2020, the two childhood friends went two years without releasing any collections as they gathered resources and found the perfect way to launch.
They were able to drop their first-ever collection in 2022 called the Butterfly Effect, featuring tees, crewnecks, and caps. Subsequent collections included Expectations in AW22, Lightning in SS22, and EE hoodies for AW23.
So far, they’ve completed four official drops, ranging from hoodies and crewnecks to t-shirts and pants. They have also ventured into headwear such as beanies and caps.
INTRFUNCTION’s designs are mostly inspired by self-expression from the two owners.
Tembo explained that conceptualising ideas through graphic design and seeing people relate to them is where he draws inspiration.
“Speaking on a personal level, the idea of being able to express myself through the graphic design concept inspires me. Knowing that I can design something that other people find creative and interesting brings me real joy,” explained Tembo.
Describing their creative process Tembo mentioned; “I start off first with a thought of what I want to get done, then I draw it, and finally, I get onto the computer to make it happen. I find this helps in defining what I want to achieve.”
While many brands start off with unrealistic expectations only to run out of steam in a challenging economy, INTRFUNCTION is content with what they have achieved so far.
The growth of a brand takes time, effort, and patience to gain recognition, and this is precisely what this clothing brand is focused on.
With almost two years in the industry, INTRFUNCTION is slowly building its name the way they want, and they are satisfied with each recognition they receive, whether through sales or positive comments.
“We’ve received a lot of support and recognition from many fans. They love the brand and our image. Reception is always good when we drop something new,” revealed Mwanza.
Tembo agreed, and added; “In the time that we’ve been in commission, we’ve done multiple photo shoots, a pop shop, and received lots of recognition for our products. I’m very happy with what we’ve done so far and I’m eagerly waiting to see what we can do next in the next year.”
Mwanza envisions big dreams for INTRFUNCTION in the next five years, hoping the brand becomes a fully pledged international brand with their clothing worn worldwide.
“In the next five years, I’d hope we’re fully international, supplying all different countries with our clothing,’ he shared.
Tembo, on the other hand, wants to create a legacy and inspire the next generation to express their creativity through fashion, without fear.
“I also want to build a steady reputation and legacy. I mainly want to inspire a lot more people to do the same. As Africans, we’re very creative people.
“If more people join fashion, we’ll be able to improve and work together to attain the same goal,” he declared.
In an exclusive revelation to Mcheno And More, INTRFUNCTION disclosed that a new collection called “Eye/Distorted View” will be on the shelves very soon.
“For the ‘Distorted View’ drop, my partner and I have been sampling new shirts and printing methods.
“As a brand, we want to keep getter better and one way we can do that is by making the quality of our clothing even better.
“So yeah, we’ve had some delays on releasing because of that. But we know that it’s worth it because when we finally come back, the merch will be worth the wait,” revealed Mwanza.
To close off, the two friends expressed their gratitude for the reception they receive with each release.
“It really does touch our hearts knowing our clothing is widely appreciated by our loyal fans. It helps with our motivation to keep going and see where we can take this,” concluded Tembo.
The INTRFUNCTION story is truly inspiring—two kids who have spent most of their life together, out to show the world that dreams do come true. We’ll surely be on the lookout for how this story ends. One thing is for sure, Mwanza and Tembo have already set the foundation for the reverence they shall receive when it all ends.
You can follow INTRFUNCTION on Instagram and check out their earlier collections.
Stay tuned to Mcheno and More for INTRFUNCTION’s latest release; ‘Eye/Distorted View’.