We knew it was too good to be true. What 94-year-old world leader launches a clothing line anyway?
According to WWD the 466/64 Fashion line, which was purportedly launched by Nelson Mandela, is in fact not affiliated with the former South Africa president.
In an email to WWD, James Cecil, president of Cadence Communications, which represents the Nelson Mandela Foundation in North America, wrote:
466/64 Fashion is making false claims that it is tied to Nelson Mandela — it is not, nor does it benefit him or his foundations. They are deliberately misleading people in the fashion industry — the name ‘Nelson Mandela’ is not to be used in conjunction with any commercial products. They cleverly use his quotes in their advertising, but this is not his line of clothing; he did not launch it, nor is he associated with it.
And if that didn’t drive home the point enough, Cecil added that 466/64 Fashion and the 46664 Foundation “have no affiliation with Nelson Mandela, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, nor the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.”
That’s funny, since all the press releases about the highly-anticipated launch of the collection noted that 46664 South Africa was founded by Mandela and that 466/64 Fashion was inspired by Mandela’s legacy. Eek!
So what do 446/64′s people have to say for themselves?
A spokeswoman for 466/64 Fashion issued the following statement:
46664 South Africa has its own board of directors and is a separate entity to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 46664 South Africa has officially licensed 466/64 Fashion. 466/64 Fashion’s mandate from 46664 South Africa is to establish a global fashion brand that can create a sustainable income stream in order to fund various humanitarian projects. 46664 South Africa’s ethos is not to use Mr. Mandela’s name and image commercially. 466/64 Fashion is therefore not Mr. Mandela’s clothing brand or line and should not be reported as such.
So basically they screwed up. The line (named for the prison number given to Mandela when he was incarcerated and the year he was sentenced) is indeed inspired by Mandela but is definitely not founded by him. The “Our Story” section of the brand’s website currently isn’t working. Time for some quick editing?
It’s unclear from the statement if 466/64 Fashion is sorry about the lie — but in the end, the brand got some major publicity and may even sell some of its colorful threads.