Gents in Couture take a stand against social ills

Seventeen young “fashion-forward” East London men used their trendy styles for a worthy cause when they united for a photo shoot to raise awareness over social ills.

MEN OF GOOD STANDING: A Methodist Church Women’s Manyano member walks pass the Oxford Trinity Church as a group of young men took to the streets showing off their clothes during a photo shoot, while displaying placards with messages against the abuse of women and children, among others Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

They particularly raised awareness over gender abuse, drugs and human trafficking in East London.

The guys gathered in Oxford Street for the photo sessions , using site-specific locations to communicate different messages in protest against social ills plaguing East London.

Calling themselves Gents in Couture, they brought their different style tastes together, holding placards against problems in their immediate communities.

Their placards read: “ Human trafficking must fall”; “Women abuse is wrong, period”; “Men are men because women gave birth to them”.

The guys wore suits, three-piece outfits, ties with funky lapel pins and shining loafers, brogues, and pointy shoes.

The group comprised businessmen, students, entrepreneurs and professionals.

They said they were using fashion to tell their stories and bring a different perspective to what it means to be a man in East London.

Using street culture as the basis of their existence, their main message was: “Being a man of good standing goes beyond just good looks”.

One of the minds behind the movement, Jones Mortey, said: “The intention of the shoot was to use street culture to make an impact on our surroundings.

“The recent events that have been happening in our own town showed us that it’s no use turning a blind eye.

“Youngsters want to be cool, and being cool is associated with dressing a certain way.

“Through our movement, we want to tell them not to only want to dress like gentlemen but also act the part. A man is not defined by the suit he wears but by the way he acts,” Mortey said.

Mbulelo Makeleni said their movement was bigger than just their fashion sense.

“We are young men from different backgrounds united through social media by our love for fashion. We’re using it as our tool to draw attention to the message we’re passing on.”

“We share a love for smart dressing, so we are trying to use that in a good way to make the world we live in better and guide those coming behind us to do better in life,” Sipho Maki said.

Mortey said the movement was targeting social media because “that’s where the most appeal takes place. We’ve put ourselves out there. Going forward, we want to raise interest and turn heads, and get the conversation going”. —


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