Lately I was musing about the question if there might be a common fashion style in the Tropical Bass scene, a question that brought me to no end. But if there is a common taste, Gold Coast Trading Company is definitely one of the suppliers you should have on your map.
Brainchild of designer Emeka Alams, GCTC not only features witty designs with a message, awesome prints alluding to “traditional” African patterns like Kente, and organic fabrics, it also heavily draws on musical inspiration. Collaborations with Dutty Artz (called “Tropical Systems”) and recently The Very Best can be found in it’s beautiful look-book, and there is more to come for sure. As Emeka told the Italian Vogue: “Music really drives me and helps all my designs come together. When I listen to artists from back home artist like Spoek Mathambo, BLK JKS or Salif Keita their music draws out these different feelings build up and it’s through the design process that I open up and release them”.
To complete this vision for every collection an accompanying mini mixtape will be put together by a like minded musician, each 14:44 minutes long. 1444 is the reference point the whole philosophy of Gold Coast Trading is centered around, it’s the year European colonists started to deport the first Africans. This strong political stance can be felt in every collection, for example the “Soweto Youth 1976” designs, dedicated to the 25th centenary of the student-led Soweto Uprising where almost 200 kids lost their lives.
For the recent collection, named the “The Very Best/Julia”, collaboration partner Johan Hugo (of The Very Best / Secousse / Radioclit) combined 14:44 minutes of finest South African House productions to a driving “Ode to South Africa”.
Vol.2 | JOHAN HUGO of The Very Best – ‘An Ode To South Africa’ by POPULAR BASS
Totally worth checking out as well: The first installment of the series, “Vintage African” by New York-based Sweater Beats. It’s tagged as “hip-hop funk inspired vintage African folk”, and, uhm, that’s what it is.
Vol.1 | SWEATER BEATS – ‘Vintage African’ by POPULAR BASS