Focus on Stageworks: The Relatable, Homegrown Streetwear Brand Eying Global Resonance

“Music and culture inspire my designs, and at the same time, I choose to make the reality that I see in my head.”

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After two years of its establishment, Stageworks has steadily risen to spread its wings across the border, becoming one of the most hardworking clothing brands in Zimbabwe.

Stageworks is a collective fashion and entertainment startup company influenced by street culture. Founded in 2021 by its Creative Director, Wilfred Mhanda (Makaveli), Stageworks is mainly inspired by street culture, while its designs draw influence from various elements, including music and fashion spaces.

“We draw inspiration from street culture and lifestyles. Our designs are influenced by elements such as street art, hip-hop, stage performance, and underground fashion movements. We aim to capture the energy and authenticity of the streets, infusing it into every garment we create,” Mhanda stated.

The brand has grown so rapidly that it has collaborated with serial hitmakers such as Enzo Ishall and hip-hop elites Holy Ten, Saintflow, Kayflow, Bagga, and the comedian Chief Ben.

Mhanda, who enjoys working with influencers, emphasized that the experience is immaculately precious that its value cannot be determined saying, “The experience is always priceless working with my brothers.”

One of the secret formulas for Stageworks involves the incorporation of street language into their collections, making it easy for local people to relate.

“I’m just fascinated by our street lingo,” Mhanda expressed. So far, Stageworks boasts four collections namely Freedom and Lincoln, Euphoria, Stage Gear, and the recent No Pressure Zvese Bho.

The latter features a minimalistic design with an almost plain front bearing the inscription ‘No Pressure Zvese Bho’ on the left breast. The back design includes a captivating graffiti cross surrounded by flowers, with the brand name Stageworks on top bundled above with word culture and below it, also written Harare.

Mhanda confirmed that they are currently working on their next collection, scheduled for release in 2024, saying “Currently, I’m working on the 5th edition which will be dropping next year, 2024.”

Choosing to collaborate with musicians underscores Mhanda’s passion for music, as it significantly influences his designs.

“Music and culture inspire my designs, and at the same time, I choose to make the reality that I see in my head.”

The global icon on the Stageworks logo reflects that the brand is not limited to Zimbabwe but is a global entity. Mhanda proudly mentioned that the brand has gained international engagement from as far as Nigeria and the UK.

He stressed the global outlook of the brand, stating, “Already the brand has international engagement from as far as Nigeria and the UK.”

The name Stageworks is self-explanatory, inspired by how artists perform during live shows and it’s all about stage performance, according to the creative mind behind it. What Stageworks brings to the Zimbabwean fashion industry that differentiates it from other brands is the international feel and the fusion of fashion with music.

Stageworks has successfully hosted music events, dressing artists on prominent occasions, such as the 2023 Winky D’s album launch where they dressed Enzo. Beyond T-shirts, Stageworks also specialises in denim, upcycling vintage, distressing jeans, and corduroy.

The ambitious brand is in the process of creating a creative hub for fashion and entertainment, coupled with setting up a music distribution platform focusing on Zimbabwean artists in the first phase.

As of the Spring/Summer23 collection, the clothing brand has successfully launched the “No Pressure Zvese Bho” collection and the Laminate sweatpants collection, receiving positive support from its audience.

Stageworks continues to make waves, combining style, music, and a global perspective, carving its unique niche in the dynamic world of fashion and entertainment.

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