The winners of the REDexperiment 2.0, which asked the public to design a jacket, T-shirt and cap that Radisson Red staff will wear as their uniform, were announced at a special preview of the top works on Wednesday February 26.
Chad Linden from Brooklyn, and Sinenhlanhla Lombo and Joshua MacKenzie, both from Durban, all walked away with R10 000 and a contract with Radisson Red hotel to design the winning jacket, cap and T-shirt respectively.
The inaugural RedExperiment, held in 2017, saw entrants submitting coffee cup as well as beer mat designs, which has been extensively used throughout the hotel (“Initiative gives young artist a chance to shine”, CapeTowner, June 8, 2017).
The hotel has now chosen to have their staff wear the winning designs.
Radisson Red curator, Leonie Andereya said they decided to hold the competition because it was time for a new uniform, and while thinking of which designers to use, they decided they wanted a story attached to the uniforms.
“We have many international guests, and we wanted to tell them about our uniform – where it came from – and in turn, tell the artists’ stories as well.”
She said there were over 50 entries in each category, which the judges narrowed down to the best ones, which were displayed at the Radisson Red before the winners were announced.
Ms Andereya said the judges had to decide on the winning designs using originality, what speaks for South Africa, and what the staff would like to wear, as the criteria.
Mr Linden, who works as a graphic designer in Muizenberg, won the jacket category.
He said he heard about the competition three days before the deadline in January, and decided to give it a shot.
“I never thought I would win. I’m still trying to accept it,” said an excited Mr Linden.
Asked about his design, he said he drew inspiration from everyday life.
“I travel to Muizenberg everyday, and I see many things. So I used this for my design. On the jacket is a man with a ‘bleskop’, because that is quite a thing in Cape Town.”
The jacket also has a girl with a stretched out leg, which he said symbolised art and drama, which are two of the qualities of the Radisson Red.
Interlocking hands also incorporated into the design symbolises women in unity against gender-based violence.
“It was dedicated to last year, when all the women united when there were a spate of killings” (“Marches against gender-based violence”, CapeTowner, September 12, 2019).
Asked what he was going to do with his winnings, Mr Linden wasn’t sure yet. “I’m still trying to believe that I won.”
Mr MacKenzie, who also works as a graphic designer, couldn’t express how happy he was that he had won.
His T-shirt design was based on South Africa, he said, sporting a protea, the national flower, and Baxter the Boston Terrier, the Radisson Red’s mascot dog, with inspirational words on it was well, that he thought represented Radisson Red.
Mr MacKenzie said with his winnings, he will buy a new laptop to further his design career. Ms Lombo, a textile and fashion designer, said she was very excited when they called her name.
“I never, in a million years, thought I would win this.”
Her cap design was inspired by the Edwardian era, especially Mona Lisa, which also features on her cap.
She said she still needs to think about what to do with her prize money.
“R10 000 is a lot of money, so I have to be careful.”
She said she admired the hotel for giving artists opportunities to shine. The uniform will be worn by the Radisson Red staff daily for six months, and will also be sold as part of the hotel’s merchandise.