Continuing as a trailblazer for taking bold beginnings, BULLDOG Gin partnered with local fashion designer, Wanda Lephoto as he showcased his latest collection at Milan Fashion Week.
On Monday 28 February, Lephoto debuted his Fall/Winter ’22 collection (titled GAZE) in the picturesque halls of Salone degli Affreschi of the Società Umanitaria. The show was followed by a cocktail party for guests and press in attendance, courtesy of BULLDOG Gin.
BULLDOG provided support to Lephoto in every facet of the endeavour, from execution of the runway show to the production of the collection and sponsorship of the trip to Milan.
Wanda Lephoto and BULLDOG Gin’s partnership began with BULLDOG Gin’s Begin Bold digital storytelling series, which launched in 2021. The campaign includes compelling short films that follow the impactful bold beginnings of different protagonists, including Wanda Lephoto, as they embrace the chance to express themselves in a way that stays true to their authentic self. Each protagonist shares their experiences of following their inner drive to break away from the routines they were in and begin a new and passionate venture that would go on to define them.
In Lephoto’s film, he describes how he began thrifting and selling second-hand suits to people starting their first jobs. This is where he found his affinity for fashion design. Wanda comments on his beginnings, explaining; “You just have to start, regardless of where it takes you. Not everything happened as I had dreamed, but it started to shape itself and I started to create my visual identity.” Now, Wanda Lephoto’s distinct aesthetic is well established within the fashion industry and has even led him to a global stage.
In talking about his involvement in Milan Fashion Week, Wanda Lephoto says, “Now that I’ve done it, I know that I can do more.”
“This means the world to me. I think it’s amazing that I was able to do my first international fashion week at the height of world fashion, in Italy, where craftsmanship and quality is appreciated. So, to be able to come here and do a runway show that was received in the way it was received shows that in my steps of beginning bold I made the right choice; I made the right call; I did the right thing by following my dreams, following my passion, following my gut and following my truth and purpose into achieving what I think I just achieved.”
Khanya Mashalaba, Marketing Manager at Campari Group South Africa says about the partnership, “We are so proud to have supported Wanda on this journey and we commend him for the astounding achievement. He truly embodies all that it means to begin bold, and we believe he is an inspiring role model for local creators and those who are pushing the boundaries with their craft. We’re excited for what’s to come for him and look forward to working with him on more collaborative projects in the near future.”
In the upcoming weeks, Wanda will be releasing a Milan tour t-shirt in collaboration with BULLDOG Gin. “Just to put that out into the world that Wanda Lephoto as a brand is stepping into an international space, pursuing this as best as we can – pursuing it with love, pursuing it with purpose, pursuing it with truth, and also pursuing it in a way that provides people with some sort of healing for their dreams,” says Lephoto. Wanda Lephoto and BULLDOG Gin also plan to host an exhibition and fashion installation to celebrate the new collection, present Lephoto’s Milan Fashion Week experience and showcase his journey as a designer.
When asked about what’s next for Wanda Lephoto, he says, “I’m excited to give back, to teach in my own way. I’ve learned so much on this trip and I continue to learn. I continue to have fashion designers that inspire me, that also teach me. So, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for that.”