THE TRUTH ABOUT DENIM | Flat base decoded
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No matter how many times they tell you they can’t, believe them and say you can. The right people will rub off against you and cause you to sparkle from within and dazzle on the outside. It’s not a trick; greatness usually has a way of showing itself where it tries to hide and leave those who don’t believe in disbelief. Learn to notice the vibrant energies that dance around you, they aren’t always visible look closely and invite those who reflect your light and give off the same liveliness. You’ll feel encouraged and almost pinch yourself when you realise that you were born superior and that you should never be in doubt.

Boitumelo and Itumeleng Nko are two different beings with similar interests; in colour, fashion and an all-round attraction to the aesthetics that helped shape and re-direct their lives and true purpose. They work tirelessly, to learn and understand each other from one another and have their mother to thank for their extraordinary talents. They were nourished and emulated the elegance and style, through her teachings and nestled warm love.

I spent P-hive Minutes with the Grunge Twins and admired their steady spirit and hustle, as they are sisters in tow, fashion enthusiasts by profession and partners in life for life.

Would you say your childhood influenced your love for fashion?

Tumi: Oh definitely yes! Our mother would dress us up in clothes that were in trend because she’s also very stylish and graceful. She basically fed and shared her fashion traits with us and we learnt. Our childhood had an immense impact on our fashion timeline as our work is more influential than it is ergonomical.

How does your working relationship, as sisters and twins compliment your style. Do you work well together?

Itumeleng (Itu): Tumi and I are very close. We've been friends since forever and we are inseparable. Even though I’m more of an extrovert and Tumi is an introvert, we compliment and work well together, even when we work on projects. I’m the girl that would go and play outside with friends and Tumi would rather choose to stay home and watch television. People who don’t know us, and that’s often very few people, get confused and can’t tell who is which. Our styles are similar, yet our personalities are different. You know, two people can never be the same.

You produced and compiled a denim series titled, “The Truth about Denim”. What was the idea behind it and did you achieve your original aim?

Tumi: Yes, that’s been our most exciting project yet! We worked on the project with friends and the denim concept is an idea that portrays modern street culture. On the contrary, it’s a movement that expresses denim wear, the urban surroundings and our modern society and how we greatly grasp the full implications of our aesthetics in denim fashion. The concept is all about the indulgency of denim and its significance according to modern and vintage styling.

Who did you receive help from on “The Truth about Denim” project? What did it take to execute it without fail?

Itu: Tumi and I planned and designed the featured designs of the project. We worked with two of our friends, Xolani Phakati and Solomzi Magengenene and they helped with the photography and the final look of the shoot and the pictures that were taken. The creation of the whole concept was created patent to avoid uncertainty and the whole inspiration of storytelling through denim wear.

What’s the inspiration behind the creation of “The Truth about Denim” project?

Tumi: We are creating a story through photography. Our story portrays how life would feel and be like if the only thing you could wear is denim – which a lot of South Africans are already doing. There’s an obsession people have with denim brands. They try and imitate that into their daily street life and we have our own take on that.

What challenges did you experience and had to overcome when you worked on your denim project?

Itu: Finding the right location for the shoot was probably the biggest challenge we faced when we were busy with the project. We searched in a lot of places until we found the perfect spots at the Rooftop in Braamfontein and Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown. There were several other challenges but everything went accordingly. We had to work hard to pull it off.

On what platforms did you launch the project and how was it received by your audience?

Tumi: We launched the project on Obakeng Molepe’s photography blog, The Power of Obakeng, and the response went viral. Thereafter, we went to being approached and featured by Levis on their website. People love the conceptualism behind it and they supported it. We’ve received a lot of approaches from bloggers for interviews and to feature our work on their platforms.

What do you do exactly; are you fashion designers/bloggers, models or fashion enthusiasts? Or, do you incorporate all of these into your brand, The Grunge Twins?

Itu: Yes, we incorporate all of these into what we do because we’ve never had to feel like we had to limit ourselves. Apart from that, we are also students.

How did your moniker, The Grunge Twins, come about? What’s the meaning behind it and when was it originally formed?

Tumi: It’s funny how we came up with the signature name and how we chose it because we love and wear grunge fashion – like a lot! Plus, we are twin sisters. We decided and combined the two names and came up with it earlier this year.

What projects are you working on currently?

Itu: We are working on a few projects at the moment but we can’t reveal much about them because things haven’t been finalised. It’s all contractual.

What’s the biggest achievement you’ve acquired through The Grunge Twins and “The Truth about Denim” project? Would you say you’ve achieved enough?

Tumi: We've always wanted to be on Elle magazine and when we were finally featured on it, we were ecstatic! We were also featured on the Street Style March issue and gained great support on our blog and followers on Instagram. We are also the faces of the modern South African established brand, Afriknaswiss. We aren’t where we want to be yet and that’s what we are working and aiming towards now.

Who is your style icon?

Itu: Our style inspirations are our two favourite fashion bloggers and twins, Nyane and Mpho Lebajoa. We also love Coco and Breezy.

As fashion enthusiasts and designers, what is art to you?

Art is the expression of human creative skills. It is a mysterious idea of beauty to the soul. It is the imitation of natural beauty, it is God’s creation. – Boitumelo Nko

Art is the application and expression of human imagination. It is the beauty that should be appreciated for its emotional power. – Itumeleng Nko

Learn to work for anything you want and refuse to live without having achieved everything. Understand the fight to stay alive and be truthful to the dream and especially yourself. The vision should be simple, and the events that occur along the way are simply guides that lead to the next adventures. Boitumelo and Itumeleng Nko are doers and have the right energy and personas that shake things up and have their dreams come alive. Don’t doubt them, they are everything superior and are gentle souls who work hardest. They keep the faith and stay closest to the art that remains most true.

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