In the blazing heat of a South African summer a motley band of artists, students, and sympathisers went into the streets and alleys of cities across South Africa – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Soweto, Soshanguwe – and painted the orange, three-circled Magents logo on bridges, walls, rocks, in underpasses, in stations, in sports stadiums. And that’s where they left it. Three orange circles with no explanation generated a great deal of mystery. They went back every three months and added the other elements of the logo, the three men and the letter “G”. Then in 1999-2003 they began to place the product, a line of men and women’s apparel; in independent retailers. Launches of the brand followed in 2005 in France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Japan, Canada, Vietnam and the United States.
The core group decided to focus on the international market and ran the line out of Paris, France. This was followed by a total restructure that took them five years. They moved HQ down to Cape Town South Africa and launched their first sneaker collection in 2013, both in South Africa and parts of Europe.
The look of Magents was partly inspired by Mr Nelson Mandela’s adventurous outlook on dress code. Mr Mandela is famous for a certain style of shirt that signals his African-ness, but also points to his willingness to break with tradition, to set a trend, to move away from the past.
Magents is Afro Vintage; African in origin but inspired by the climate, the geography, the music, and the spirit of South Africa. The signature Magents t-shirt reflects the exploding talent of a new country, and the eagerness of South Africans to take risks and reinvent themselves. The brand reflects youth and sophistication. It is urban, street, edgy, but it also has the natural wildness of South Africa’s coastline and mountains in mind. It embraces the many cultures in South Africa, the country’s adventure lifestyle, its global savvy, and its spirit of independence.
The brand began with a range of T-shirt unlike anything on the market. The cotton is send through a special Afro Vintage wash that brings out the textures and colour variations of the fabric.
Magents now has a range of extremely well constructed jackets, board shorts, cargo pants, and denim jeans made from high quality fabric. Each garment is put through the special Afro Vintage formula with finishing elements that gives it weight and texture. All of these elements give each collection the distinguished afro-vintage feel that the brand is evolving.
Dept. “Afrikan Luxe” is a new addition to magents. It will be on show mid 2014.
Magents is based in Cape Town, South Africa. It has its international distribution office in Amsterdam and its signature style is attracting the attention of the free-spirited and the wild at heart.
M.L.A. is making inroads in South Korea and South America, but despite this global expansion it proudly retains its afro-vintage look.
Dept. A.F.B.S. (Afrikan Fashion Bureau of Standards) is another division within Magents that focuses on smaller Afrikan designers that do not have the necessary business savvy or resources to get their work on the international playing field. It is imperative that the standard meets the premium international markets expectations. A.F.B.S. helps smaller companies to achieve their dreams and introduce beautiful product with Afrikan elements to international consumers.
You may ask why the logo… the three orange circles in one? You will see that it is ONE logo with MANY parts – 3 circles. You will also see that there is ONE group of 3 gents – 3 silhouettes.
The numbers 3 and 1 also appears now and then on a garment… well here is the story behind it:
The logo was inspired by the phenomena in the philosophical world called the “dialectic”. The term dialectic has been used in the history of philosophy in a variety of ways. Here it is that of a totality structure (‘metaphysics’) consisting of two poles that mutually and simultaneously presuppose and exclude each other. It is commonly known as the “One and the Many” spheres or the “Universal and the Particular” that finds itself in all areas or spheres of life. The first pole, which is called the Universal, is characterised by indeterminism, contingency, discontinuity, irrationalism, randomness and uncertainty (where the “particulars” prevail). The second pole is characterised by determinism, necessity, continuity, rationalism, purpose and certainty (where the “universals” rule).
This goes as far back as recorded history. You may look at Parmenides, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Leibnitz, Kant, Hegel etc. and will find this struggle present right through the philosophical giants.
The temptation is to grasp the totality of these two opposite poles, in your mind, at the same time… this is impossible but still many attempt to do so cause it seems that some do believe that we must be living in a perfect world and make the mind the