CREATIVE DIRECTOR : Justin blacc
PHOTOGRAPHER : mpumelelo macu
MODELS : tlotlang pako | paballo thobakgale | ofentse molefe
Back in 2014 through to 2015, I used to do DIY designs with the little money that I made from selling sweets and stuff at school.
I styled more and more in my DIY’s. People started wanting what I did for myself so I sold ‘em.
As months went by, myself and my fashion friends were seperating in a way, we were not as close as we used to be. In the very same year (2014) I failed grade 10, which led me to new beginnings in 2015. So with the bad experiences I had, I needed something that would make me feel better and happy, you know? The only thing I found peace and happiness in was fabric.
I didn’t really have finances to start the brand but with the money that I made from selling sweets, I made it work. I also sold the clothes that I owned just so I can start the brand.
I was once told that “do what you can with what you have”, which helped me think of something to actually grow the brand with from the little money that I made and that’s how the idea of designing caps came to mind. From then on, it just grew really quickly without having to sweat too much to get my stuff sold. I made close to 1G a week, but still I went bankrupt countless times due to lust. I mean, I was a 15 year old who all of a sudden made a 1000 a week with no responsibilities and I was new to that kind of money.
I started the brand so I can bring all creatives whom have been “locked” out the industry by most platforms so that we can all work together to make it easy to get to the top. I believe in teamwork a lot – JUSTIN BLACC. FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF LOCK.ed
Khanya: … I don’t know man. We’ll see if it picks up at all [Recorder]. It’s so loud here.
Tlotlang: Yeah it’s picking up. Hiii!
Khanya: Step back. What’s wrong with you?
Tlotlang: No, I mean…
Khanya: This is a conversation between Justin and me. I don’t know why you’re even here –
laughs. I’m playing. Jokes.
Justin: At least this is not my first time, yho.
Khanya: First time what?
Tlotlang: Don’t you want to switch seats? The sun is hitting my
Khanya: But you said you wanted the sun. Justin, how far are you with the capsule? How many pieces have you made so far?
Justin: Nah, we just made a few samples for the shoot.
Khanya: So when’s the drop? Is it even supposed to drop, or was it just for the mag?
Justin: Next month. It drops next month in June. We’ve released some merch like caps etc. just for relevance while we hold out until the mag drops. But now we’re working on the winter collection. That’s our main thing for this year. We want it to be the best collection yet. Do or Die.
Khanya: Got you. So, why ‘Love Hurts’ as the title for this capsule?
Justin: Why ‘Love Hurts?’ Bro, I’ve been hurt so many times.
Khanya: Really? In your long nineteen years of life, you’ve been hurt so many times? – laughs
Justin: laughs – You know, the thing is, I wear my heart on my sleeve. When I get into a relationship, I tend to fall in love with the person, hard. So, this collection was inspired by this one special girl that I gave everything to. She made stop all my… silly… side things; to just focus on her and stay loyal. But, from that, you know… Bro, it’s so hard for me to open right now – laughs
Khanya: That’s cool. I mean, I’m still trying to get into nineteen year olds falling in love – laughs
Justin: Bro, she forced me be a certain somebody, but then…
Tlotlang: She messed up. She went for your friend?
Tlotlang: It was the friend wasn’t it?
Justin: No. Not even.
Khanya: Why would you even think that?
Tlotlang: That happens in movies all the time.
Justin: She actually fucked the whole thing over. She wasn’t loyal.
Khanya: So you wanted monogamy? One girlfriend, that’s love for you?
Justin: You could say that.
Khanya: Do you think that’s what love is, or an idea of love that society taught you?
Justin: Well I could say that it’s an idea I was taught. I mean, I’ve learnt from people as to how these things go. If one person cheats then…
Khanya: So what’s the idea of cheating?
Tlotlang: Cheating is doing whatever you do with me, with other people.
Khanya: And the general consensus is that it’s wrong, right?
Tlotlang: Yeah! You’re supposed to be committed to me. Why should I share your attention? Why should I share your love?
Khanya: Is that commitment or is that being selfish?
Tlotlang: …it’s commitment. You made a commitment to me.
Justin: Yeah, as soon as we started dating.
Khanya: That’s cool. So, a stupid example that I’ve heard negus use plenty is that we have a relationship with food; so we should stick to one kind of food?
Justin: That’s totally different. Nah bro – laughs
Tlotlang: People have feelings. Food doesn’t.
Khanya: That’s unfair. Broccoli screams when you pull it out the ground. What you mean? – laughs. But ok. We’re human. We have feelings. So you expect this person to ignore any genuine feelings they might have for other people so you can feel secure? Not selfish…
Tlotlang: No. Not ignore, but let me know so I don’t waste my time. You can’t feel for two people. That’s impossible.
Ofentse: Of course you can feel for two people. Bruh, you can feel for four people. But like Justin said, you have to be committed to one person.
Ofentse: Why not dawg? – laughs. When you started the relationship we had an agreement.
Khanya: Yeah I get that. But tell me how this agreement came about outside of assumption. The agreement made was by virtue of feelings. Actually, you guys acknowledged feelings for each other. That was the only agreement. Everything after that was you being human, wanting control.
Ofentse: Yeah, but at the end of the day you wanted something out that relationship.
Khanya: …and you got it. You wanted something out of this relationship, and that one, and that one. I’m not saying it’s right, I just want to understand what we’ve widely accepted.
Justin: Starting a relationship with anyone comes with a few terms and conditions.
Ofentse: Terms and conditions? – laughs
Khanya: …because you’re a control freak. I don’t mean you, I mean people. Our perception of love is a tool for control. Like any religion, for example, you don’t know when you started doing it, or who told you to do it, but you do it. You clap your hands and leave money in a collection basket. It’s a practice; a religious practice. I honestly have no clue why I do half the things I do. I do them because I’m ‘supposed to’. Why?
Justin: I mean… – laughs
Khanya: It just feels right. It nurtures our morals. Like obeying the law. Like the Eskimos in the undiscovered regions of Antarctica, worshipping a rock. It feels right because that’s all they were ever taught. Bro, love has become a practice. It’s not even a feeling anymore. The feelings come after. Today, we find girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, and husbands, get married and fall pregnant out of a sum of certain fears. A fear of being alone, being judged, I don’t know.
Ofentse: I just go around looking for that one person to love.
Khanya: Nah, you go around looking for some poor soul to control, or a soul that will control you – laughs. The reason people break up is because your partners don’t eventually turn into who you want them to be, or they do things that you don’t want them to do. You get out of control, so now it’s over.
Tlotlang: Yeah. Straight.
Justin: And how about you Butcher [Tlotlang], who broke your heart?
Khanya: Are you even allowed to date in church? I mean school, sorry – laughs (She goes to a Catholic school).
Waiter arrives, finally. “Sorry sir, can I please get some ice for my ginger ale? Thank you.”