In Conversation with Eskaylynch: Putting Beitbridge streetwear on the map with LUCIDO RAGAZZI

This collective of creatives from Beitbridge has balked that trend and decided to build their empire in their hometown. Four years in, they are slowly making their mark on Zimbabwean fashion, and changing the narrative — inspired by Beitbridge culture.

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Four decades after independence, Zimbabwe still finds itself painfully centralized. Any development that this country has seen has been mostly reserved for Harare and Bulawayo.

So much so that the country’s culture, after trickling in from the Global North, has been determined by these two cities. Creatives from small towns have to leave their beloved homes for them to enter the conversation.

But not for long.

A collective of creatives from Beitbridge has balked that trend and decided to build their empire in their hometown. Four years in, they are slowly making their mark on Zimbabwean fashion, and changing the narrative, inspired by Beitbridge culture.

We caught up with Lynch Dube, the creative director of LUCIDO RAGAZZI COLLECTIVE to pick his mind on his journey with LUCIDO RAGAZZI so far, his motivations, as well as his vision for this trailblazing Beitbridge brand. Enjoy!

Lynch “Eskaylynch” Dube

Who are you, and how did you get into fashion?

My name is Lynch T Dube, also known as Eskaylynch. I’m the creative director of Lucido Ragazzi. I co-founded the brand with Farai Kirsten, Blackchild and Dweezybouy.

I was born and raised in the township of Dulibadzimu right here in Beitbridge.

I fell in love with fashion during my high school years. What made me fall in love with fashion, I can say, were my school mates. They always cheered me up every time I turned up at school gigs.

RAGAZZI co-founder Blackchild

The way they admired my style pushed me harder. I made sure than every time I turned up at such events, I had to be slick. Me becoming a designer was just a continuation and elevation of that path I started in high school.

Tell us about LUCIDO RAGAZZI?

LUCIDO RAGAZZI COLLECTIVE is a brand of innovative creators with a focus on fashion and music. We launched in April 2020, and so far, we have released about eight pieces.

RAGAZZI co-founder Dweezybouy

We’re working on upbranding our collection and leaving behind some other designs we released then. We felt like they are not quite up to the standards that the people of Beitbridge expect from us.

What has been your favourite LUCIDO RAGAZZI piece so far?

I feel my favourite piece is yet to come, but as of now I vibe with the Surfer Shirt.

What inspires your designs? What is your creative design process like?

My designs are inspired by Beitbridge – our culture, our stories, our people. I conceptualize designs through immaculate design then take them to my tailors and print shops.

RAGAZZI Coronation tee

What do you believe sets your work apart from other Zimbabwean creatives?

What makes me different from other creatives is the way I lay my work.

I want RAGAZZI to be something that’s going motivate and inspire the upcoming generation to push towards their dreams, not just be a clothing brand.

RAGAZZI co-founder Farai Kirsten in the Surfer Shirt

I think that already reflects in the work we have released so far.

What personal challenges have you and are still facing when it comes to your craft?

I can say procrastination, it has stolen a lot of my time. I have so many incomplete designs in the vault, but this year I’m making sure every minute counts.

In the course of your journey, what is the one incident that has affected your work? How have you overcome it?

I have been depressed for the past few months and that affected me and the production a lot but I definitely pulled through and ensured nothing was halted because of it.

What got me depressed was having to choose between my career and my passion. Our society believes that the only way to success and a stable life is through education, and not this what we are trying do.

Coronation tee back

Even now, I’m still struggling to settle and balance the equation, but I can confidently say I’m gaining confidence in what I’m passionate about.

What is that career that has been battling your passion?

I’m a Class 2 mechanical engineer by profession. I work at my father’s workshop.

How has your family received the fact that you’re a creative?

I come from a supportive background, so everything one of my family does, we make sure we support each other. I don’t wanna (sic) lie, I love the spirit we own.

RAGAZZI butterfly tee (green) and Coronation tee (white)

What is your impression of the Harare fashion scene? From what you see online and what you see when you visit? What did you see that you would like to try and replicate in Beitbridge?

What I like about the Harare fashion scene is that Harare creatives have a degree of unity. They do link ups and they help each other grow, they share ideas; and they support each other through collaborations.

RAGAZZI red butterflies tee

I hope that Beitbridge creatives will emulate that approach to our work.

Would you consider there to be a “fashion scene” in Bulawayo? If so, which names and brands have stood out for you so far?

Yeah yeah, if you’ve been paying attention; Bulawayo is making waves in terms of fashion. I see brands like Richard Jeans, White Rabbit Community by Muzi and Thy Nobleman, Lawrence Fanila, just to mention a few.

Muzi of White Rabbit Community wearing the RAGAZZI oval logo beanie

I see these names and brands making it big in the coming years.

Where do you see yourself and your brand in five years?

In the next five years, I see myself collaborating with big brands and I see myself giving back to my city, where it all started, just like what Virgil Abloh did.

Surfer Shirt in three colourways

What is the kind of impact you wish to make in Zimbabwean fashion?

Ultimately, I want our youth to rock homegrown brands more than the foreign brands. Our work never goes out of style; it’s eternal.

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The LUCIDO RAGAZZI COLLECTIVE is braver than most. Starting a fashion brand almost six hundred kilometers from the capital city in a country which holds contempt for their own creatives is one of the bravest things to do.

Eskaylynch (in green) standing with Harare fashion icons Drip Psycho (far left) and Saint Danger (in oval beanie logo and black leather jacket)

That in itself is visionary. The merchandise being innovative is confirmation that they can actually do it — become the face of Beitbridge, and one of Zimbabwe’s leading streetwear brands.

You can stay up to date with everything LUCIDO RAGAZZI on their Instagram page.

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