TWOBOP returns with a kettang for its community
Born in Woodstock, inspired by the world.
Pioneering streetwear brand TWOBOP is reintroducing itself with a fresh identity and product offering for a new era. Marking this significant moment in its maturity and growth, the brand is venturing into a territory never explored before – jewellery. Designed in the style of heirlooms, it’s a fitting tribute to founder Anthony Smith passing the baton to the custodians he’s selected to lead its next era, Mario Ogle and Eden Toohey-Ogle.
Mario and Eden aim to stay true to the brand’s innovative, community-driven approach – founded in 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa – and build on Anthony’s foundations, while taking TWOBOP in new directions too.
“Anthony is still an integral part of the company and helps glue the past to the present with his wealth of knowledge and established relationships”, Creative Director Mario says, noting that Eden will head the Brand Strategy.
The release of the TWOBOP unisex kettang (chain) – a cuban miami chain in a choice of high-quality 9-carat gold or 925 sterling silver and featuring the lookalike 1989-issued South African 20c coin still in circulation today – nods to the brand’s arcade game origins, with a timeless design that honours the coming-of-age traditions of its loyal community.
“The kettang represents how it all started for TWOBOP. It symbolises “access” into a new reality. This is a full circle moment (pun intended)”, Mario says. “For the relaunch I thought to go back to the beginning where it all started, the 20c coin, and what better way than to materialise it into jewellery. Jewellery is such a weighty part of our culture. Jewellery for us speaks into a coming of age; a rite of passage; adulthood. Beyond being a status or fashion statement, we wear our jewellery to show who we represent and what we represent – against narrow stereotypes and outside opinions, and centring our own voices and traditions. The kettang represents an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the world about making it, no matter the insurmountable odds. From shackles to chains”, Mario adds.
As a brand born in Woodstock, and inspired by the world, TWOBOP has always aimed to tell stories that look inward for inspiration, while resonating beyond spaces, locations and borders. Their influential designs have become staples for a committed community, as well as a way to speak to the culture of the times.
“TWOBOP has already shifted culture and created inroads for so many others for almost two decades now, so when I was given the opportunity to take the reins from Anthony, I couldn’t bear to think of the brand dwindling away to nothingness. It has to live for my generation and beyond — forging the way forward and leading the pack into unchartered territories. With TWOBOP we are focused on changing one-sided narratives, while creating economic opportunities where they are desperately needed through everything we create”.
Drawing on the brand’s two-decades strong tradition, the new custodians are focused on creating elevated, aspirational streetwear that is community-first and Africa-first. And at the core, they aim to do this through centring and speaking to and of South Africa’s unique stories and histories in an authentic way. “When the stories are real, they reach the right people”, Mario says.
For TWOBOP, apparel and accessories are the vehicle to tell their own stories, and represent their aesthetics and cultures. The kettang drives home this spirit. Released with a beautiful lookbook set in black-and-white, it features a friend of the brand, trumpetist Keegan Steenkamp, as an indicator of its spirit: championing heritage, community and creativity from Africa, and by it too.
Words — Danielle Bowler (@dannibowler)
Photographer and Videographer — Mario Ogle (@marioogle)
Talent — Keegan Steenkamp (@keegansteenkamp)