As Zimbabwe’s creative boom continues on its trailblazing trajectory, it’s important for those who are coming up to remember those who came before us, and honour those who are breaking new frontiers.
This is exactly what Visionry Clothing Company has achieved, with just a two-piece collection dubbed ‘The Culture.’ The Culture Legacy t-shirt features a collage of late artists that they felt deserved to be immortalized, while the Culture Universal t-shirt features the current generation of artists who are making an everlasting impact on Zimbabwean art and culture.
Visionry’s founder Munashe Keith Musingarabwi says the brand simply represents ‘vision in action.’ The inspiration for the Culture collection came when he noticed his agemates proudly wearing t-shirts with images of foreign artists. He then decided to create a collection that emulates that concept, but with a localised context.
Musingarabwi says “I created this design as an appreciation of local acts because in Zimbabwe people wear clothes with Tupac, Nipsey Hussle, Lil Wayne, and so forth. So, Culture (collection) seeks to address that, sort of giving our artists their flowers.”
Musingarabwi’s interest in fashion arose from his early exposure to hip hop culture. He is inspired by Julian Kubel, a South African designer, and the founder of streetwear brand Butan Wear. “After being exposed to hip hop at an early age, I was then inspired by Julian Kubel. Ever since then, I wanted to start my own brand,” he says.
A pristine combination of Musingarabwi’s love for streetwear culture, his ability to draw inspiration from unpopular topics, and the music he enjoys listening to is what made The Culture collection possible. He explains “I’m inspired by streetwear culture. I draw my inspiration from the unpopular topics hence why I came up with Culture. I saw the need to honour artists of select music genres that I listened to.”
Musingarabwi asserts they used their own unique criteria to select artists for the Culture Universal tees. They picked artists who have consistently worked hard, pioneered new sounds, created unique styles that have influenced others, and demonstrated their talent regardless of their commercial success.
“On Culture Universal, we picked artists according to talent (not based on hits they have). We picked them according to consistency and hard work,” says the young designer. Some prominent faces that feature on the t-shirt are Asaph, Takura, Holy Ten and Tamy Moyo, as well as rising names like Bagga and Kayflow. As for the Culture Legacy t-shirt, Visionry did not limit themselves to Zimbabwean artists only.
They selected visionaries and pioneers of the culture, who have made an impact on Zimbabwean and African creative history. “On Culture Legacy, I selected the artists that pioneered a new and unique sound, for example Souljah Love and his obvious impact on popular culture and even linguistics.
Bob Marley (even though he is not Zimbabwean) had a song about Zimbabwe. DJ Dimplez made multiple hits, he was like the DJ Khaled of South Africa. Costa Titch had his unique style. Ricky Rick had his own sound and his music was relatable, I could go on and on,” explains Musingarabwi.
Other artists featured on the Culture Legacy include South African superstar AKA, rap legend Cal Vin, mbira songstress Chiwoniso Maraire and the inimitable Dr Oliver Mtukudzi.
As for any legal action that might arise, he says “All I can say is that we will deal with it when we get there.” His mission has been achieved; to immortalize our creatives. Musingarambwi is grateful with the reception from the fans “Well I can say the response has been positive.”
However, he considered that the brand was still growing, so there was a need for mass advertising to increase its exposure. “I feel that Visionry does not have enough exposure since we are a growing brand.”
Visionry Clothing says the Culture collection is just the first collection of many to come. Musingarabwi won’t comment on whether they will develop the concept further, or release new concepts in their design.
As for now though, you can appreciate the creatives appreciating their fellow creatives by ordering the Culture collection via Visionry’s official social media pages: @VisionryOfficial. You can also contact Musingarabwi directly on +263 78 280 8912.