In the blazing heat of a South African summer a motley band of artists, students, and sympathizers 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 twill jackets, lightweight jackets, chinos, denim chinos, denim jeans and hoodies 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 2015.
Magents is based in Cape Town, South Africa. It has ventured back into Europe with Distributors in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria 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.
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 characterized by indeterminism, contingency, discontinuity, irrationalism, randomness and uncertainty (where the “particulars” prevail). The second pole is characterized 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, Thales, 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 ultimate. Now the obvious thing is to say “yeah right”… but once you get deeper into this you will find that you too are busy trying to apply this thought pattern in areas in your own life.
The truth is that you will always find yourself swinging like a pendulum from the one to the other and around again… GREAT thinkers have been doing this for years. A wise man once said, “It doesn’t fit in the head but fits perfectly in the heart”.
You find these spheres in ALL things. It is the imprint of the Maker on the universe.
Out of this quest to seek perfection and trying to FORCE these two poles in ones mind, comes the common attitude in our hearts that we do expect perfection in some way or another even though we KNOW that it doesn’t exist… that means that there must have BEEN perfection once and we are striving to get back to that state.
It is impossible to argue the one without excluding the other. You would land at a place where you say that the other MUST be wrong – but it isn’t! Sadly this doesn’t only create small disagreements but causes wars too. The ability to accept this phenomenon, and live with it, creates a peace that goes beyond reason.
Being conscious of this phenomenon affects everything they do from the Dept. of Design, production, marketing, sales and all interaction. The saying “aim for perfection, never demand it” is often repeated within discussions but that is nevertheless a passionate aiming expressed through the attention to detail.
“Expressing Afrika through threads of Cotton”. This is most obvious through the collection of tee shirts & hats. The aim is to manufacture most of the collection in Afrika by 2018.
The immediate goal is to extend international distribution with the first exhibition show since 2008, in Germany mid 2015.
Establishing a strong footprint in Southern Africa.
2017 – 2019
Roll out of Stand-alone Magents stores in South Africa, which includes the re-launch of the Magents Ladies collection.