‘Nelson Mandela’ Fashion Line Has Nothing To Do With Nelson Mandela
We reported two weeks ago that Nelson Mandela‘s fashion line, 466/64, had debuted at the South African Consulate in New York. Now James Cecil, president of Cadence Communications, the firm that represents the Nelson Mandela Foundation in North America, has emailed WWD saying that the people behind 466/64 have purposely lead everyone to believe that the project is affiliated with Mandela when in fact it is not.
Cecil said in the email:
“466/64 Fashion is making false claims that it is tied to Nelson Mandela — it is not, nor does it benefit him or his foundations. They are deliberately misleading people in the fashion industry — the name ‘Nelson Mandela’ is not to be used in conjunction with any commercial products. They cleverly use his quotes in their advertising, but this is not his line of clothing; he did not launch it, nor is he associated with it.”
Wow. The 46664 Foundation then put out a statement, saying:
“46664 South Africa has its own board of directors and is a separate entity to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 46664 South Africa has officially licensed 466/64 Fashion. 466/64 Fashion’s mandate from 46664 South Africa is to establish a global fashion brand that can create a sustainable income stream in order to fund various humanitarian projects. 46664 South Africa’s ethos is not to use Mr. Mandela’s name and image commercially. 466/64 Fashion is therefore not Mr. Mandela’s clothing brand or line and should not be reported as such.”
Funny they should say that, because the press kit at the line’s New York debut stated that 46664 was founded by Mandela and that his legacy was the inspiration for 466/64 Fashion. It also explains why Mandela was mysteriously absent at the launch. 46664 was started with the goal of promoting literacy in South Africa’s most disadvantaged schools; with that in mind, it’s sad to think that a foundation with such a noble goal would do something so shady, and that Mandela got dragged into it.