46664 clothing line

Models wearing creations from the 46664 clothing line, a brand created to raise money for Nelson Mandela’s AIDS charity (AFP, Alexander Joe)

South African designers have created a sportswear line inspired by former South African president and civil rights activist, Nelson Mandela. Aptly called 46664, the name reflects the number assignment that Mandela was given while imprisoned for 27 years.

The label may have some additional staying power, as Stella McCartney is rumored to be a guest designer for the brand that aims to be South Africa’s first “global apparel brand.”

The line, which focuses on men but includes some women pieces, was showcased at South Africa’s Fashion Week in Johannesburg. The collection featured colorful schemes and traditional African prints inspired by the loose-fitting shirts Mandela wore during his presidency.  There also were bright shoes that carried the “46664” logo on the soles.

The woman’s wear featured colorful gowns and dresses with bold prints and stripes that were belted at the waist, and accessorized by traditional styled bead necklaces in sundry colors.

The line, design-wise, seems to be doing well on it’s own, but a collaboration with McCartney will give the line the exposure it deserves.

Up to nine percent of the revenues from the collection will go to Mandela’s foundation that is committed to fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS.

And fashion for a cause is a notion we can all support.