Design Indaba favourites

Well, Design Indaba kicks off tomorrow for the general public and let me tell you, the atmosphere already feels like a tornado of fire. For designers from all sectors this is the best insightful look into what is rocking the South African design industry at the moment. Many of the trends you will find at this top notch expo will even make an impact on the international world….now that is some serious influence!

While there are honestly too many amazing stores to mention, I felt that I should at least give you my Design Indaba favourites list.

Ok ok, so if you go to Design Indaba 2010 and you don’t get a chance to see anything else but one stand, make your way to the Springleap stand to meet the gang. Almost everyone from the HQ will be at the stand at some point or another, including our fearless leaders Eric and Eran.

They are all a great bunch so do come across and show your support, we can’t wait to meet you all.

Plus there will be loads of awesome specials on that you can take advantage of….just rush before we sell out .

Other than Springleap itself there are a few stalls that I really want to check out, here is my Design Indaba favourites list:

One Small Seed is always on the top of my list. This South African design magazine has been around for many moons and without fail delivers the very best in local and international design. The magazine has become a great hit in the store and customers that are unfamiliar with their mission always gets a full run down from their very own in-store chatter box….yeah thats me of course lol.

Their latest issue should already be ready to go out, so I have no doubt that you will be able to grab an issue at the Design Indaba.

Another stall that I’m interested in checking out is WithTank.which is basically a super easy to use site where you can create your own domain for your website and then easily customize the content. This functional new idea has really taken my interest so I will most certainly stop past and say hi. I’m still trying to figure out just exactly what can and what can’t be done on this website creator…but from what I have seen on their main site, anything is possible. Everybody is using WithTank, micro publishers, photographers, animators….heck, you can set up just about anything here…even if it’s a simple blog.

Interesting indeed and definitely on my Design Indaba favourites list!

My last choice is also my strangest choice! Undacova underwear grabbed my attention with its peculiar style almost immediately. I suppose I automatically went “errrr dodgy underwear”. But after I looked at their website and found out about their supposed attention to detail and strict abiding in regards to “fit, form and function”, I decided to give them a chance.

Not only will they have a stand at Design Indaba, but they will also be holding their very own fashion show at the event. The Undacova underwear design team are appealing to the more funky, vibrant youth with “out there” graphic prints that take on a uniquely African vibe.

Could be well worth the visit…surprise you girlfriend with a styling leopard print banana hammock ROFL.

Well there is a small tester of what I think will be worth checking out. Honestly there is so much on offer that I am barely scratching the surface, but hey you will have to attend the show to get a proper glimpse of what SA design is all about.

Billabong Board Shorts

OK so for the past few days we have been complaining about the evil cold weather and the fact that summer seems to be hiding from the whole of South Africa.

The wind may be blowing at half the speed of a hurricane (literally) and the rain may be causing the odd deluge here and there…but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about the summer like it’s already here.

Today I’d like to take the chance to mention 2 of the coolest new summer board shorts from surf wear mega giants Billabong.

As far as board shorts go, Billabong is always the first brand I look to for something different and of course sturdy…because let’s face it who wants a pair of board shorts that look cool when you are sitting on the beach, but the moment you take them into the surf they self destruct.

One fine summer day a friend of mine decide to come down to shore break in his new pair of board shorts, which were made by Hilfiger ROFL.

Those poor little yuppy baggies lasted a good half an hour before they were shredded.

Billabong has a whole host of awesome board shorts for summer.

It seems that Billabong have played it “safe” for the most part this season, but there are one or two pairs of boardies that step outside most dudes comfort zones, especially their Neck Up style that is plastered with really bright parrots….shooo it takes a certain type of guy to get away with something like these.

Of course there is nothing wrong with bright board shorts, especially as we hit the summer season, in fact I suggest you get out there and wear loads of big/bright clothing…well as much as u or the general public can handle that is.

My two choices of cool board shorts from Billabong are the Delinquent and the OCC Lives board short styles.

OCC Lives looks freaking awesome in yellow, which is a perfect colour for summer, I’m also a huge fan of the overall flow of the board shorts which for whatever reason remind me of the Coca Cola logo…just a tad more sharp.

The fact that the OCC Lives text is really sharp and mean looking kinda bridges the gap between being too loud and being too hardcore….it seems to strike a middle ground between the two.

Delinquent on the other hand, is a style that has what Billabong calls a “post modern print”.

Basically, Delinquent looks like a muddled paint swatch from your local hardware store LOL.

I have to say though that the print really looks awesome, the colours all work wonderfully together and really create a unique pair of board shorts that is also a sure fire summer hit.

Another pretty cool point about the Delinquent style is that there are 3 separate colour variations, which will hopefully cater for every kind of person out there.

So those are my two top board short picks for the summer.

Billabong also has loads of styles that may appeal to those of you who prefer something a bit darker, such as the Rayzor Baggy, Shogun and Metallica styles.

If you would like to have a look at the complete Billabong Board Shorts range that will be in South Africa, click HERE.

Local is lekker

ocal is lekker designs are always a sure fire way to appeal to a large amount of the Springleap voting base…because hey, most of us are South Africans LOL.

However with that said, it’s still quite peculiar that so few local is lekker designs have made it as winners.

Is there some kind of stigma attached to South African designs, is there a larger international voting group than I realise, or is it simply that the designs just aren’t good enough?

Hmmm this is a tough question to answer, but I am really happy that some of these designs make it all the way to print.

The most popular local is lekker design we have ever had in the Sea Point store is undoubtedly eSempowenis.

It has received so much praise and has left tons of people gagging for more of WolFox’s awesome designs, it sold out so quickly it was as if they were never here J.

As luck would have it, there has been word that more of eSempowenis would be printed….perhaps this time on a white t-shirt.

It’s amazing how many guys (in particular) were turned off from the design purely because it was on a pink t-shirt, that is because guys in general associate pink with little girls and candy floss…so running around in a pink eSempowenis was totally out of the question.

Quacks Bunny Chow design may not be your typical local is lekker design at first glance, however when you read the name of the t-shirt it suddenly becomes a South African MONSTER design.

We are all familiar with the iconic Indian foods from Durban, the king of which is undoubtedly the bunny chow, which is a food group by its own right.

Quack’s execution of his “blobbie” style monsters on a clean black background works brilliantly and just goes to show how local design can be given a fun twist.

Emigrasie is one for the Afrikaans fans out there.

The Voortrekker (front puller) style old school feel of Kiekiepickies ultra South African design is up there with the absolute best local is lekker designs Springleap has to offer, this is apparent when you consider it beat off dozens of other, perhaps more detailed designs, to end up in one of the top spots.
Very Impressive.

Lastly I had to include this space age/old school/local is lekker fusion design that has the ability to break South Africans down into uncontrollable fits of laughter….this is Kingslip’s Star Wors design.

Star Wars with a local is lekker twist…yep that pretty much sums up this killer cool design…when I first saw it I wanted to pee I was laughing so hard.

Being a Star Wars fan helps of course, but this original play on such an iconic figure like Darth Vader is just classic.

Star Wors breaks down the walls between local design and internationally recognised characters…without of course going into the realm of plagiarism.

So whats going on out there, why are there so few local is lekker designs on Springleap?

I think it’s high time we organised a local style competition where everything has to be of South African roots…this may not be too easy for our designers from overseas….but hey its nothing you can’t Google right?

latest fashion trends

Yesterday I touched on the fashion trends for spring 2009, however the latest fashion trends are numerous and jamming them all into one posting is frankly, impossible.

As was mentioned, yellow is the colour to watch out for this spring season, as are the geometric prints that seem to be coming hot and heavy.

So what else should we be watching out for this spring/summer??

Tribal prints have recently been on a bit of a back burner it seems. However as the sweaty season approaches the colours and prints have become bolder and more colourful, meaning that it’s time for the outrageous tribal prints to hit the sales floor….or of course get pulled out the closet and given a dusting.
Tribal prints, in my opinion, are extremely difficult to pull off with confidence. Ladies usually end up looking like a future glimpse of “Year 3000 Safari Chic”, more than sophisticated well balanced urban Jane’s. As far as the latest fashion trends go, this one is only meant for a select few, who are gorgeous enough to distract you from what they are wearing altogether.

Guys…stay the hell away from any form of tribal print please…seriously, not even on your underwear. Ouch.
Sticking with the tribal theme, the order of the day as far as accessories go, are chunky earthy necklaces and bangles, which suit the whole jungle chic thing really well….dainty just won’t do it.

While I feel floral prints are super wearable throughout the hot season, nothing embodies the spirit of spring quite like floral designs. If you are a girly girl who wants to do the flower power thing I suggest taking a look at water colour florals, which are really beautiful and gentle. This is interesting because it’s a stark contrast to the heavy tribal prints. Water colour floral is floaty light and makes a soft yet eye catching alternative to hardcore geometric and tribal prints. This is bohemian boho at its best and compliments a wide range of figures. So even if you are a larger girl you will be able to make this style your own.

Another one of the latest fashion trends has swung back around to hit us upside the head once again. Hold tight for more androgynous fashion madness. This spring/summer season hails what is called the “boyfriend look”. Basically its female fashion implementing typically men’s fashion into their own, whilst adding a softer aspect by introducing lighter textures and bolder colour. Last year you will remember the androgynous male fashion that was softened by more traditionally female fabrics. I guess it’s the girls turn to get influenced by the boys. Will this be a yearly “he-she pendulum”?

I don’t know many guys who would ever be able to pull of the softer touch…however I think the ladies have a much better chance of getting away with some tweaked cardigans and blazers.

Well there you have it boys and girls, more of the latest fashion trends that will grace our respective daily runways. I’m interested to see how wide spread these trends will go. No doubt living in Cape Town we will be seeing quite a bit of the international influence, but will it make it down to places like Durbs and Poffadderfontein? Ok ok, probably not that latter destination LOL.

Quiksilver board shorts

Just a few days ago I was busy singing the praises of the new range of Billabong board shorts, which are simply awesome. I then mentioned that I would go across to their man competitor Quiksilver and see what is happening with their range.

Well I have to say I have mixed results on the findings. Quiksilver failed to impress me with their array of different board shorts, however they did impress me with their new “technology”.

Now when I say technology I’m talking about the leaps and bounds that Quiksilver has used in upgrading the fabrics they use and the additions they use to make their board shorts more comfortable.

Unlike Billabong, it seems that Quiksilver has focussed primarily on making baggies for the future, while Billabong tasked themselves with the objective of making stunning looking board shorts.

When I took a look at the men’s range of Quiksilver board sh
orts available, I actually cringed a little.

Why so serious Duncman?? Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of the more “institutionalized” board shorts, that I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the super short legs of the new Quiksilver range.

When I say short….I frigging mean it, we are talking dodgy European Dolce and Gabbana advert style.

Basically Quiksilver has opted for the retro board short style that your daddy was wearing back in the day.
Dude, baggies went long for a reason…they don’t make you look like a metro.

Anyway, here is the link to the site, you tell me if you like what they have done this season.

Besides the short legs I actually can’t find any that I really like, they are very bright and have cruddy designs.

Well here is the flip side of my disappointment, the Quiksilver technology, it’s called Diamond Dobby Technology LOL.
First off let me just tell you that the name has nothing to do with a certain house elf from Harry Potter…”no master no hit Dobby”….you remember that swill right? Anyways let’s be moving on shall we.

Diamond Dobby Technology encompasses four essential qualities.

1. The inside of the baggies are covered with small cushioning diamond shapes that help prevent chafing and rashes.
ANALYSIS: This is a great feature. Anybody who spends a lot of time out in the water, especially when they are boarding, knows how bad chafing can get. This is a real life saver.

2. The material has a Quikdry feature, which means your board shorts will dry twice as quick.
ANALYSIS: Dude my boardies already dry super quick, with these you will be dry by the time you get back to your towel. It won’t even feel like you stepped foot in the ocean LOL.

3. The fabric is Ultra Light Weight.
ANALYSIS: Will you even notice? I mean how emaciated must you be to feel the difference between the baggies you have now and these new ones?

4. Perfect Stretch. “The pinnacle of comfort & performance”, so the Quiksilver website says.
ANALYSIS: Well as you can guess the new fabric has a much more durable stretching quality, which retains its elasticity, while combing overall strength.

This is an interesting dilemma we have here boys and girls. We have a board short that is so fantastically high-tech that astronauts could surf in outer space, but they look like something the 80’s chewed up and spat out.

I don’t know quite what to say here, however I think I will be sticking with Billabong for a second season in a row. Maybe next year the usually kickass Quiksilver board short design team will get over their bizarre acid flashback and bring back the coolness.

BeeryMethods nature designs


There is one specific genre of t-shirt design that I find has been selling more and more prolifically over the past year, that being nature designs.

While there are many artists submitting various nature inspired designs, there are few that actually pull it off well. Perhaps my favourite designer of this genre at the moment is BeeryMethod.

BeeryMethods nature designs are in a league of their own.

BeeryMethod hails all the way from the US of A and seems to have a remarkable natural affinity for nature inspired designs. The first time we were exposed to his brilliance in this sector was when he won a competition with his simply stunning design Sacred Wild.

I’m sure that some of you will remember it, or even have it in your closet. The design of the stag, with its antlers reaching upward to form the branches of a tree has been one of the most iconic designs of the recent past. I can’t even begin to fathom the amount of times somebody has stood gaping and this design. It is beautiful, unique and really inspires you with eco friendly vibes…which in our day and ages is needed badly indeed.

For our most recent Battle of the Best theme competition BeeryMethod bombarded us with 4 new submissions…2 of which are his famous natural style.

BeeryMethods nature designs all seem to have a similar flowing of peaceful energy. Tree Love, which he says is his official follow up to the Sacred Wild design, just makes you sit back and stare in wonder. Everything about the colour, composition and shape of design makes you think of nature and its grand splendour. This is perhaps BeeryMethods best shot at winning this theme competition. While he has stiff competition from the other designers I truly feel that this design has great potential to battle for a top spot.

Theblueman also commented on this design saying it uses, “Escher’s use of space and time warping”.

So yeah, not entirely sure about that…but you have Google, check it out if you must. Although without even knowing quite what the term means I can see for myself that the way it is drawn has a unique warping quality.

The second of BeeryMethods nature designs is entitled Enchanted Blue, which is basically a design of a blue whale riding on a stylized wave. This 2 colour job is simply amazing. While it may only be 2 colours, it makes up for the lack of bling with epic intricate illustration and a natural feeling of harmony that I have rarely felt in other nature inspired submissions.

This design has thus far received only a few comments, which is never a good sign for a design in our compo, but still it is simply beautiful and I wouldn’t be surprised to one day see it on a t-shirt somewhere, that is if it doesn’t win with us of course.

So yeah I take my hat off to BerryMethod and his amazing natural designs. I wish you the best of luck for the competition sir.

Greetings everybody!Yesterday I was at home rummaging through my collection of t-shirts wondering which were the best.
That is when I asked myself, “What exactly makes a t-shirt the best?”


While obviously in my case most of my best t-shirts are the cartoon style from the Springleap.con competitions, such as What? By Snargo or the insanely brilliant designs by TokyoGoGo.

Otherwise my best t-shirts that I just can’t get rid of, because of sentimental reasons, are my band t-shirts.

My poor Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins t-shirts are on their last legs and in dire peril of shredding apart…LOL, which is why these days I just use them to sleep in.

But how about the general public, what do you think makes the best t-shirt?

Is it the quality of the material? Like Springleaps export quality combed cotton? Or perhaps for you the design is all that matters and don’t mind buying t-shirts that you know will self destruct after 2 washes.

I myself can’t bring myself to buy low quality t-shirts, my best t-shirts are all made to last the test of time.
Especially with my designs because I know that they are quality and the print won’t die on me, there’s nothing worse than buying a seriously t-shirt that doesn’t have the same work ethic in manufacturing, that it does in the actual design.