It begins the same way each time.
Something with a hint of a particular clothing line deciding to dress a certain musician for a music video shoot or a celebrity for a red-carpet event like an award ceremony. Or it could be the later approaching the fashion corporate for a brand boost in his or her projects, just to look good on the ‘gram. It’s long been believed that there’s a correlation between looking good and feeling good.
If the synergy is good or if both brands could see an opportunity of benefiting strategically from the association, next comes a conversation about the two getting into bed together casually or formally. The musician thus quickly assumes the role of the face of the clothing line while the vogue line provides them with fresh apparel whenever a need arose.
We all know that in the culture of music, getting fresh is all but a prerequisite to attaining popularity and admiration among your peers and the opposite sex. Staying “fresh” is key in any celebrity situation and if your threads aren’t up to par, it diminishes your star status, hence from scouring clothing stores looking for that right piece to complete an outfit to laying it out on your bed to make sure the colour coordination is a match, putting a great fit together is an achievement in its own right and it separates the stylish and dapper from the shabby and tacky.
Where I’m going with this, I will tell you.
While there has been a slew of dope clothing lines that have captivated Zimbabwean celebrity and music scene, there are a few that have truly define pop culture aesthetic the way JanJam has done. Arguably one of the biggest names in fashion in the country, the Cynthia Bizure-Sithole-founded line has over the years converted ordinary men and women into style icons, having dressed, among others, Stunner, Souljah Luv, Ammara Brown, Candice Mwakalyelye, Tafadzwa Zimoyo, Freeman, Trevor Dongo and Sebastian Magacha.
Anyway, I won’t delve much into who the fashion brand has dressed. Other people have already done that and thanks to them for saving me the long talk. What I am going to talk about is how the largely menswear boutique has found itself in a brand intercourse with one of the successful pop stars of our time, Jah Prayzah.
To those who have the time and energy to recall, JP’s last video, Sadza NeMuriwo starring Bulawayo outfit IYASA, palpably looked quite idiosyncratic. Yes, I’m talking about the clothes he and his team are wearing. JanJam worked out that magic and the big announcement that they made this week was that they have been enticed to JP and his Military Touch Movement (MTM) family, and they would want to go beyond that single project, hence, they are making him the brand’s chief ambassador.
Jan Jam director, Bizure-Sithole told the press at the official signing ceremony on Monday that they felt that it was only fitting that a brand as contemporary as theirs “which has changed the culture of dressing from a chore to art” should partner with a brand as epic as Jah Prayzah.
“There is indeed no doubt that JP is a trendsetter both in music and fashion. We all know Jah Prayzah is a multi-award-winning artist, blossoming in his career but despite that success, he remains humble, loyal and God-fearing. These are qualities we hold in high regard here at JanJam,” she said.
The motivation for choosing Jah Prazyah as their brand ambassador for the year of 2019-2020, she said, includes his passion and work that carry a unique spark of brilliance that they believe is contagious to the JanJam brand, his professionalism and “intelligentsia” effect.
“He is highly professional, intelligent individual that remains humble and shows immense integrity. I can safely say everyone wants to be associated with JP because his brand has become a watermark is truly an irresistible one… he is undoubtedly one of the best Zimbabwean artists to have ever emerged in our lifetime.”
A man of few words, Jah Prayzah said he was really excited to be in a “solid partnership” with the clothing line and that he hopes that the partnership will yield long-lasting fruits. He added that the desire to “look cool” and relate to his fans who now spans over Zimbabwe made him fall in bed with JanJam.
As smutty as I termed it brand intercourse, JanJam Creative Brand Consultant Haleema Mekani was privy on how many figures were put up to have the musical juggernaut as the face of their high-end fashion boutique, only disclosing that the nature of the deal was a ‘non-financial’ one in which both brands will benefit prudently. The entertainer, it was said, will work towards participation of the Jan Jam brands increasing its visibility in the course promoting ideas behind his music and MTM outfit.
And whether or not it’s a good thing, JanJam also said they would — for the time that their deal is in effect — focus on Jah Prayzah as their brand activator and not so much on other personalities such as celebrities and politicians.