In news that came and hit us right out of nowhere, US rapper Mos Def, also known as Yasiin Bey has been announced as the creative director for New York/Cape Town based fashion brand Unknown Union. Mos Def who has worked in several creative industries will work with the international arm of the brand overseeing design and conceptualization of its new collections.
Yasiin, who is more known now for his high profile conversion to Islam and his subsequent activism gained popularity with a hip-hop career as a conscious rapper. He became mainstream when he starred in the film Brown Sugar as Queen Latifah’s love interest. The rapper recently moved continents and resides with his family in South Africa.
With Yasiin at the helm overseeing the brand’s design concepts, the label is about to launch The Original Royals Collection. The new line will draw inspiration from the rich history of the Basotho people, a Bantu ethnic group from southern Africa, specifically inspired by their traditional cultural blankets that date back to over 150 years. Pieces are constructed from Authentic Basotho blankets exclusively manufactured by Aranda Textile Mills and in partnership with the royal family of Lesotho. Today, Unknown Union remains the only company in the world to be granted the rights to create apparel from this national treasure. Other future collaborations include an upcoming project with Yasiin’s global media collective, A Country Called Earth.
Unknown Union’s Original Royals Collection will make its debut at Capsule Las Vegas until February 17. For Unknown collective this is a power move. Even with his diminished celebrity, Yasiin Bey as creative director of the label will draw attention to the label in Africa and beyond. Hopefully they have a team of actual trained designers to pick up the slack and guide him in the actual process of manufacturing, otherwise Unknown might find itself in the predicament Adidas currently is with the Yeezy Season collections.