Gospel singing sensation, Jarrad Ricketts, has launched an exciting new venture with the debut of his TESTIMONY fashion brand.
For Cape Town-born-and-raised Ricketts, 33, TESTIMONY is a fashion brand that has been in development for over four years now.
After visiting more than 70 schools around the Western Cape doing motivational talks and sharing his journey with South African youth, and doing community upliftment projects through his Jarrad Ricketts Foundation, TESTIMONY is the latest project in which the gospel superstar hopes to impact the lives of South Africans.
"After being exposed to so many different people, their lives and situations through my community work I became inspired by the idea that there is POWER in our STORIES. This led me to creating a brand that is focussed on spreading a positive message, where we acknowledge the path God has placed us on, embracing the hardships/struggles and using those experiences to inspire others to persevere. It does not matter who you are, or where you come from, we all have a story, a story that matters and a story that is worth sharing," he shares.
So why the decision to expand into fashion?
"As a creative I am always finding new ways to express myself, and new opportunities to use my talent to affect and contribute positively to our society. For me it is not only about expanding into fashion, it is about using my influence and platform to create art that breathes hope and positivity into our communities and industry - especially during these difficult times," explains Ricketts.
Ricketts says that TESTIMONY wants to evoke a culture where we become more aware of the messaging we are putting out into the world and in our headspaces. The fashion brand is also linked to the Jarrad Ricketts Foundation, where proceeds are donated to continue community upliftment initiatives.
The first item in the TESTIMONY fashion range is the "JER 29:11" hoodie, which Ricketts designed himself.
"This particular item took a year and a half to develop. It was important to me that we focus on creating a cut and feel that reflected who I am, but also maximized on comfortability, while looking tailored. The biggest highlight was seeing TESTIMONY materialize - from the concept, through to developing the garment. From the cut and shape, to the labels, fabric choice, colour, branding, I designed it all. I also had a lot of input from industry professionals and other designers to ensure that I was creating a good quality product."
Choosing the right colour for the hoodie was once of Ricketts' most important decisions to launch the brand. In doing so, the TESTIMONY JER 29:11 hoodie is going to give fashion lovers "the iconic hoodie experience."
"The hoodie is quite an iconic silhouette, and one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing one can own. I saw an opportunity to recreate a garment that not only served that purpose, but to take it a step further to turn it into an item that gives you enough options to personalize the fit and feel for your body."
"I chose a neutral colour palette as the concept was built around creating a brand that lends itself to a calm, uncluttered and peaceful lifestyle. I want TESTIMONY to be the brand with a difference, one that is conscious of what we are speaking over our lives and putting out into the world."
TESTIMONY will be sold at HIGH STREET FASHION store in Blue Route Mall in Cape Town and retails at R550 each.
Ricketts and his design team are set to launch additional fashion items later this year.