Tuesday, 11 March 2014

GA Creative Brands Collaborates With Sheldon Kopman of NAKED APE x JD by Shaldon Kopman

GA Creative Brands, menswear fashion powerhouse, has collaborated with award-winning fashion designer and stylist to the stars, Shaldon Kopman, to create a proudly South African and wholly unique, limited edition menswear collection.
SA Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014 will see the launch of JD by Shaldon Kopman, an exclusive menswear range designed with a distinct purpose – to bridge the gap between high fashion tailoring and the African man. GA Creative Brands’ Gavin Abro says, “Every man should be able to obtain fine apparel from local designers and collaboration like this makes that possible.”
I had a few questions regarding this and took a minute for a Q&A session with the man behind it all...
I am correct in assuming that JD is for Jonathan D one of 'GA Creative Brands' brand? 
Yes indeed it is.

What will be the retail price points for JD by Shaldon Kopman collection (shirts, Tshirt, Pants e.t.c)? 
Shirts - R699 /Mercerised Golfer - R699 / Pants - R749 / Jkts- R999

I stand to be corrected on my perception. When I think  of Jonathan D the brand, the following comes to mind:  very mature, not-so-urban, not-so-cosmopolitan, dandy-daddy, a kind of man who wears BALLY leather slip, leather lace up brogues or Brentwood Pants and double mercerized golfers. Everything the 'Sheldon Kopman man' and brand is not.
- Take me through this partnership; how it came about? 
Your perception is correct. Jonathan D is a very successful commercial menswear brand targeted at the other 99,05% of the market that Naked Ape does not target. This relationship has been established quite a few years ago. I was commissioned to co creative direct, style and produce stills campaigns for all brands GA. This has been ongoing since 2009. So this collab is a natural progression of this established relationship. 

What is the main objective? (is it Shaldon Kopman igniting some spark in to Jonathan D that will hopefully attract a different market and demographic and translate in to sales or an opportunity for Shaldon K to go more commercial e.t.c).  
The objective is to make the circle bigger, more affordable, more accessible local designer menswear. Shaldon Kopman (Naked Ape) and Jonathan D have walked different paths in the menswear world. We are bringing these paths together by creating a line of fashionable menswear, not high fashion, focusing on shape, style, functionality, trim and overall identity. Having the opportunity to design/collaborate on the production of this collection and the opportunity to embrace identity and make fashion more affordable is most appreciated and most needed in our market. 

What do we call the crossroad where Jonathan D meets Shaldon Kopman? 

What is the inspiration for this collection? 
Joburg City! The style, creativity, eccentricity, and the distinctiveness of our people. 

In detail: What fabrics, textures, colours have been used on this collection? 
Fabrics are mainly pure cottons, a bit of hemp, a bit of linen and a bit of wool suiting. The fabric selection is welcomed by our warm African sunshine. Textures are enhanced by use of geometric print and shades of like colours bringing a whole new life to cotton. Being a summer collection colours are vibrant, palettes of aquamarine and sunset combined with shades of grey. The look is tailored with an active sporty accent. 

How long will this partnership last?
Every warp needs a weft and vice versa. The simplicity or the complexity of this cloth is what our relationship is made of. This is the beauty of collaboration. We have not set any time limit to this partnership. We are taking it one day at a time and enjoying the moment for what it is.

Will you be willing to share with us some sketches of the upcoming collection? 
Let’s allow the collection the respect it so deserves, lets keep it as a surprise, it debuts on the 04th April 2014

Are the clothes (textile, raw materials and manufacture) locally produced, sourced and garments manufactured. Which country?
Locally - Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and internationally Mauritius, Tunisia, and China to name a few. Most of our garment textiles in SA are not locally weaved, even if we produce locally often the fabrics and trims are imported.

This has to be taken into consideration when designing a commercially appealing collection. The volumes are massive and often cannot be facilitated by local textile companies as well as garment manufacturers.

The turnaround time is also an issue. South Africa has one of the highest import (from Asia) tariffs in the world and yet we still produce such large volumes offshore. Of course this is a general topic of discussion in our industry and how can we make it better, how can we make a difference. This collaboration is an ignition of sorts. We want to produce as much as possible in our local market.

END NOTE: There you have, I guess we will have to wait for the 4th of April to see this collection. I TRIED IT asking for sketches but alas that didn’t materialize.  JD by Shaldon Kopman collection will be making its debut on Friday, 4th of April 2014 at SA Fashion Week SS 2014 at 21:00


  1. Would love to see this particular show/debut when I'm in SA in April, and I'm eager to see how it possibly translates in the market.