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Nando's Clout returns to Milan Design Week with fresh talent

The Nando's Design Programme, Clout, is returning to Milan Design Week to showcase South African creativity to an international audience, after a successful debut at the event last year.

Mpho Vackier and Thabisa Mjo
Mpho Vackier and Thabisa Mjo
Nando's Clout returns to Milan Design Week with fresh talent

The 2020 venture builds on the 2019 concept, which was first conceived and curated by award-winning designer Thabisa Mjo of Mash T and brought to Milan with the support of Nando’s Clout. Mjo’s Sacrosanct (an interactive pod of spaces filled with work by various local talent) highlighted the cutting-edge aesthetic, conceptual and collaborative strengths of young local designers.

This year, Clout returns to Milan Design Week with fresh new talent. Some of the names in the 2020 Clout lineup were discovered via a call to action at 100% Design South Africa in 2019. At Clout’s inaugural Designers’ Industry Days at the show, hopefuls were invited to present their work in a bid to become part of the Nando’s design portfolio.

Laurie Wiid Van Heerden
Laurie Wiid Van Heerden

Curated display of SA design

This year, Clout returns with fresh talent. The work of these designers – both up-and-coming and established – will raise the profile of African design at Clout’s progressive Milan display in April. Visitors can expect a curated stand that incorporates pieces in styled scenes.

The foundation will be laid by larger pieces: chairs by Siyanda Mbele in association with Naturalis, a cork and glass table by Laurie Wiid Van Heerden of Wiid Design, a cork bench by Khosi Leteba in collaboration with Laurie Wiid Van Heerden of Wiid Design, a cork stool by Rene Forbay in collaboration with Laurie Wiid Van Heerden of Wiid Design, a piece by Mpho Vackier of TheUrbanative, and statement furniture featuring Glorinah Mabaso’s patterns.

Adding layers to the space will be striking accessories – such as woven pendants by the aforementioned Thabisa Mjo, a light by Rene Forbay, rugs by Siyanda Mbele, and decorative screens depicting a design by Siyanda Mbele and rendered in handmade limestone tiles custom cast by Wolkberg Casting Studio.

Siyanda Mbele
Siyanda Mbele

Another feature of the stand will be a celebration of the winning patterns produced by Nando’s Hot Young Designer 2018 top 10 finalists. These graphic designs will be beaded into display panels handmade by the artisans of the Spier Arts Trust, whose dedication to training South African crafters and artists has made them a perfect partner for the project.

The panels will comprise a beaded interpretation of the fabric designs of Primrose Chimhanda, Agrippa Mncedisi, Kamogelo Samkelo, Mixo Dawn Mackaukau, Ditiro Mashigo, Bonolo Helen Chepape, Dillon Joseph, Thandazani Nofinxana, Zinhle Sithebe and Spamandla Mdunyelwa.

Sharing positive stories

The 2020 Clout display stand seeks to celebrate African iconography, culture and creativity in the most contemporary and relevant way, making it accessible to a design-loving public. The programme is headed up by Tracy Lynch, creative director of the Nando’s Design Programme, and Michael Spinks, Nando’s property and development director for South Africa.

"We want to share our positive stories with the world. We want to share our heritage and culture. It is relevant and important to our future – it builds dignity linked to identity," says Lynch.

"The emerging aesthetic of contemporary South African design is not a conventional process of sharing a nation’s history but rather a creative opportunity for designers to delve deeper into aspects of identity, to resurrect and amplify the crafted poetry of our past. It’s an opportunity to tell the beautiful stories we need to remember now so that we can all see the future differently."

The vision extends further than just the show in Milan. To date, the Nando’s Portal to Africa – a design showcase curated for the purchase of South African design in Nando’s restaurants internationally – has facilitated more than R40m worth of sales since it launched in 2018, making it a significant exporter of South African design.

The Nando’s Clout stand will again form part of the progressive displays comprising Ventura Future BASE, which runs from 21-26 April 2020.
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