Pan African design: Back on the streets of rebellion

12 November 2015 - 02:09 By Rea Khoabane

Coréon Dú has brought the genres of punk and grunge that inspire his music to the fashion label he now designs and wears. Following the launch of an online store, his label, WeDú by Coréon Dú, is now available in South Africa.While his first collection was inspired by the culture entrenched in Kuduro music - which he describes as a new style blending modern and ancient sounds to create uptempo, energetic, and danceable beats - he says the Spring/Summer 2016 collection is a combination of elements partly inspired by the visual culture of the Cowê region (also known as Tchokwê) that spans Angola, Congo and Zambia.Coréon Dú, who's real name is José Eduardo Paulino dos Santos, was born in Luanda. The multilingual artist started taking music seriously at the age of 13 and designed his first piece of clothing at 16.He says each collection is inspired by pan-African tradition mixed with international trends."I'll blend tradition with a lot of the visual elements of the punk and grunge movements, both of which I find fascinating," he says.In 2013 WeDú by Coréon Dú was launched as a fashion line by an Angolan retailer with shops in Angola and Namibia.That merchandise was inspired by his fans' favourite Coréon Dú stage and street-style looks.The range premiered in September this year at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 at the Nylon magazine official fashion week party.Coréon Dú is looking forward to showcasing at Tokyo Fashion Week next year and says that seeing people appreciate the optimism he exudes through his designs makes him happy."I add my favourite things to the collections. For instance, I'm exploring the visual culture from the traditions of northern Angola and the Bollywood cinema pop culture influences from my childhood," he says.Coréon Dú believes WeDú is about expressing creativity while providing comfortable fashion that best fits people's personalities.He describes WeDú customers as people who want to "set their creativity free to share with the world".So does the music inspire the fashion or vice versa?"There's common inspiration between the two. The creation process for one informs the other."Fans of my music wanted to find out how they could get the look that I projected on stage, so WeDú was motivated by the potential to share my aesthetic with those who most appreciate it," he says.Coréon Dú is one of the 15 Young African Creatives Rebranding Africa in 2016 by Forbes magazine.His latest collection is on sale online at

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