Meet Zaid Osman, The leader behind Chivas Venture x A Grade

ICYMI, The Chivas Venture is back with a bang. With a refreshed format that aims to make a big difference in local communities, the Chivas Venture is no longer a competition. Instead, cultural leaders will work with upcoming young talent to both nurture their skills and provide unique opportunities.

Grassroots community initiatives run by the go-getters of the world will be at the forefront of the new Chivas Venture, with success and generosity blending together as one. Unapologetic go-getters who hustle hard for their success will thrive under the close watch of relevant and local mentors – a process that will kickstart their careers and cultivate a strong sense of social responsibility.

Now we’re turning our attention to some of the designers to talk streetwear, participating in The Chivas Venture x A grade, and to get their advice for up-and-coming designers. Check out our conversation with Zaid Osman below. And be sure to keep it locked here because we’ll be talking to Sabelo Shabalala .

What do you enjoy most about creating?

I love the fact that the thoughts in my head can be articluated into an actual item – an idea can become a reality and can be used / worn.

What was the inspiration behind ‘Grade Africa’?

I saw the lack of streetwear brands from South Africa and even Africa playing in the international field – I see that will Grade, but also for our continent to be represented amongst the best in the rest of the world.

The Chivas campaign is about uplifting and assisting young designers. How would you uplift young designers and what advice would you give them?

Exactly, and its through education – I want to uplift young designers by showing them that it is possible to create and show them the ropes in how to create – whether it be going to various factories where they can see first hand how to create a garment, or letting them know how to present themselves / their brand to open them up to partnerships or getting their brand into other stores or even building their own stores.

What was the inspiration behind the ‘NOT JUST ANOTHER CAPSULE COLLECTION’?

The inspiration was the experiences we all had as a collective – myself and the apperientices all come from different upbringings and we came together and united on a collection that was inspired by our trip to Cape Town earlier this year, but also by our daily lives.

How do you ensure sustainability in your collections?

We are working with factories that offer sustainable materials – we are building a collection that is meant to last and stay out of landfills for many generations thus making a quality product. We are also making sure to empower and pay the factories their rates, so they can ensure fair payment to their workers.

What are your thoughts on South African streetwear currently?

I think there are some amazing brands – guys are really pushing the boundries and creating cool product. Really looking forward to working with some of the local streetwear brands soon.

We love that the venture spotlights the streetwear industry. Why was that important to you?

I grew up rocking streetwear to eventually owning my own streetwear brand – for me, it just feels natural. Also, with streetwear its often young kids / designers that are geniunely hustling (like myself) to make their ideas come to life.. so how can one not want to see the youth grow?

What’s some of the best career advice you’ve been given about making it?

I’ve constantly been told that ‘your time will come’ and have patience, etc. I strongly believe that firstly you need to have faith that will take you to everywhere and everything you need to see in life.. its bigger than us.. but the advice I will pass on is to DO YOU. People will constantly doubt you and your ideas, but you need to be stronger than that and not allow it to get to you.. You need to push through.

What was the best part of being part of the venture?

Mhmmm, I really love meeting all the people – from factory workers, to the drivers, to getting to know the apprentices and the team working on the project.. The best part though.. is definately the fact the product sales will be going to the apprenticnes for them to build up their fashion brands and to the Grade Africa foundation to continue empowering future generations.

What’s your advice on how to make a good first impression?

Just be yourself – don’t be to extra.. Know your worth, but don’t shy away from asking questions.

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