MKM x Yay Abe and African Ginger 

Local designers with a dynamic collection for Markham this season.

Yay Abe and African Ginger make their mark on our upcoming winter range. The unique, sophisticated work of these local designers is a game-changer, taking us somewhere we’ve never been before.

This season, Markham’s fresh collaboration with Yay Abe and African Ginger is sure to keep the winter blues at bay – or, at the very least, mixed into a rainbow palette of inspired, proudly South African designs. With a range of everything from hats to hoodies, these local designers have got you covered from head to toe so that you can stay warm in a fiery array of bright colours and contemporary patterns.

Yay Abe, a.k.a. Russell Abrahams, doodled his way through high school and into his career as a fiercely talented designer and illustrator. His past collaborations have included local and international fashion retailers and the Nothing’s Too Hot for Hunter’s campaign for Hunter’s Dry. His flat, minimalist-but-bright pieces, which are characterised by thick outlines and vivid colours, paradoxically resist stillness. Instead, these contemporary designs send the eye flying, one line running into the next, shapes shifting and swimming in a lucid, relaxed, hypnotic way.

Even in these wild worlds of living colour, the integrity of Yay Abe’s wonderlands is maintained; while figures and objects appear to pulse, there is the sense that nothing is out of place. With this perfect balance of simplicity and luster, Yay Abe’s got something up his sleeve for anyone wanting to brighten up a day in a casually sophisticated sort of way. 

Next up, urban legend African Ginger, or Seth Pimentel, is an artist and illustrator with a diverse, dynamic style – think bold hues coupled with a distinct but synchronous looseness of form. African Ginger kicked off his career at six years old by colouring outside the lines, causing his teacher to recognise the Basquiat-style force of his work. Since then, he has taken to his art with an unbridled love that extends from watercolour and ink to digital illustration. Despite the freer elements of his pieces, he skillfully knits his unrestrained strokes into a canvas of cohesion, so much so that it’s easy to find yourself suddenly immersed in his work’s embellished intricacies. 

Seth’s inky, splashy, and detailed style is an eclectic amalgamation of textures and dimensions that blossom into an emotionally and conceptually layered celebration of people and belonging. His career highlights include the Converse x Jagermeister Into the Woods project and working with big brands like Levi’s and Adidas.

A little play and whimsy in a winter outfit is a grey sky remedy. Between Yay Abe’s ability to adorn a sweatshirt with kaleidoscopic patterns that stay easy on the eye and African Ginger’s knack for expansive embellishment, winter layers have never felt lighter.