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H&M collaborates with South African Illustrator, Yay Abe on a new collection

The Yay Abe x H&M South Africa collaboration is part of an initiative to promote the local design industry by supporting small business owners

By Palesa Kgasane  | May 5, 2022 | Art

Yay Abe is the brainchild of multi-disciplinary artist Russell Abrahams, the owner of the Cape Town based illustration studio known for its colourful culturally relevant designs. This collaboration is the first of its kind for the popular Swedish retailer H&M. “This collaboration is the first ever locally printed collaboration from H&M in South Africa and we are excited to offer our customers a unique collection that’s inspired by the celebration of life”, explains H&M’s Country Manager Caroline Nelson.

Photo courtesy of H&M

Russell Abrahams’ signature illustrations tell the story of local people and cultures through the use of vibrant colours. His work is inspired by the society in which he lives, Yay Abe is an artistic extension of Russell’s personality. “The collection by H&M is inspired by gratuity and reciprocating apprectiation between people”, adds Russell. He says that he really wanted to create a collection that would give people a sense of pride. “It’s all about feelings, affirmation and craft. I think illustration should always evoke emotion.”

Yay Abe also known as Russell Abrahams. Photo courtesy of H&M

This exciting collaboration comes at a time when African designers such as Thebe Magugu, Rich Mnisi and Wanda Lephoto are growing their stars globally, a true testament to the multitude of local talent.

The collection of printed merchandise will be available in selected H&M stores from 2 June 2022.

Photo courtesy of H&M