In 2014, South African retailer Woolworths (affectionately known as Woolies) launched StyleBySA, a groundbreaking competition showcasing how style and fashion is represented in South Africa; ten winners were selected to showcase their own edits, through their own lens. This series, #STYLEBYSA, continues as a celebration of this legacy thereafter into 2024 (check out the Spring Summer 2017 iteration, here).
So, when we talk about a synergistic relationship between brands and the creative wayshowers of South Africa; Woolies were among the first to be fully, locally focused. In 2024, #STYLEBYSA is back, with Woolworths revisiting their focus on a new generation of creatives as embodiments of the curated essentials and sartorial elevation for which the brand is so known and loved.
Through a personal campaign featuring (and created by) 3D designer and creative director, Oliver ‘Scumboy’ Pohorille, Woolworths signal the call to step into 2024 armed in the cosy comforts & clean sophistication of their New In menswear drop. This campaign series is Woolworths’ love-letter to creatives – rooted in a commitment to showcasing their creative autonomy and ingenuity. For Oliver’s campaign, this meant free-reign to situate his New In edit in his ever-evolving, digital universe; a universe so magnanimous, Oliver was recognized in 2022 as part of Dazed Magazine’s Top 100 creatives in the world, and has worked with global brands such MTV, Nike, Puma and Paco Rabanne.
In a digital, visual artwork layout, Oliver’s edit exhibits how fashion has the potential to be integrated into the digital age, specifically through his technological medium and groundbreaking artistic skillset. Oliver describes what informed the development of the campaign, “I am able to create worlds with the software that I use – and I was specifically drawn to the idea of ‘newness’ and this being launched in the new year. Something that I really love is taking nature as a guide for my work. Nature has this beautiful way of exhibiting freshness, especially in the coming and going, and waxing and waning of life. I based this piece around natural environments that you might see on another planet. I’m always looking to juxtapose nature with urban environments; so cinder blocks and nature intertwine. Kind of like Cape Town, actually, where nature and cityscapes live so closely together.”
Oliver’s edit is the essential Back to Work, Back to Life sartorial roadmap that we need; a mix of athleisure and smarter pieces that prioritises comfort, with an edge that can mix and match; basically, the perfect uniform for creatives.
Oliver explains that he has “failed and succeeded a lot in my life – more failures than not, but those failures have taught me to be who I am and have led to where I am now.” and going into the future for 2024, Oliver shares his vision for the country, saying “my hope is for unity. We work better when we’re together, there’s no place like South Africa, we have so many creative and intuitive ideas that are unique to us – if we can sort out the widespread issue that we face, our potential is unlimited.”
With the energy of this campaign defined by ‘newness’, we see this spirit as the dynamic pursuit of experiences and ideas; let 2024 be full of newness, freshness and innovation. As Woolworth continues their path of constant reinvention and evolution, we welcome the return of #STYLEBYSA – and the creatives who are shaping the sartorial language of South Africa.
Written by: Holly Beaton