A Kasi Originator is someone who uses the Kasi values of Brotherhood, community, hard work and local pride to create something which is game changing. Kasi Originators are people who challenge the negative stereotypes associated with the hoods we grew up in and create something that expose the mass market to Kasi ideals in a creative and constructive manner. These are the values, which we adopted when 6 young men from various Kasi’s in KZN came together to create the brand that is SMB. In an attempt to break down the cultural differences that made it awkward for the Kasi child to thrive in urban secular environments we decided to shake things up. The ethos was simple, bright, loud, bold statements that would introduce upcoming youth to our brand of street culture as well as create waves within the industry which we sort to compete in.
Our first benchmark range TIA (This is Africa) showed the industry what we were all about. We infused about 20 different African tribal prints into popular street ware apparel. This completely changed the way people saw dungarees, jeans and two pieces. We marketed the range with a string of Kasi inspired events that we used to introduce the youth of Durban to our clothes and the new international of Trap music trend. The aesthetic this created was that of Durban kids dressed in Kasi inspired clothing turning up in boujee urban environments. The youth of Durban took to it seamlessly. This grew our following around the country as well as internationally through our strong Tumblr presence.
TIA lead to the creation of our iconic #BAP$ range. We wanted to add a no nonsense trademark to our new age afro street style which people would be able to relate to locally and internationally regardless of language or place of origin. With this range we decided to rekindle the long lasting love affair Mzansi has with a Kasi favorite, the Bucket Hat. We sourced a range of pop culture inspired fabrics and used them to make colorful reversible bucket hats with our #BAP$ box logo. The garment is still our highest selling piece to date. The biggest complement for our creation was how every major upcoming and established street brand jumped on to the trend and made their own variations of the colorful hat.
Fast-forward to 2017 we’ve taken the customization culture we grew up on eKasi to the next level. It’s hard for 6 creatives to settle on a single fabric for a range so we decided to use the unorthodox solution of infusing all our choices into one garment. This decision gave birth to #BAP$ patchwork range. It’s a collage of our iconic bold materials, our tribute to street fashion. Our garments always have the youth in mind as this collection gives our clients the ability enter the world of high end street fashion without paying too much.
The Kasi bois that are SMB are still at it. Having fun while inspiring, empowering and putting the city of Durban and all our hoods on the map.Written by the founders of Sophisticated Monkey Brand.