Urban Tribes is one of Flux Creative’s most interesting projects to date. Flux was approached to assist with the development of a new competition brief for the 2009 Auditions gold design competition, using their trend forward perspective. In the past the design themes of previous competitions had been abstract, and the resulting collections were comprised of spectacular showpieces, but had little relevance (in scale and price) for the average consumer.
Flux were assigned the task of finding a new and interesting hook for a millennial audience, and ultimately, encourage the use of gold. Inspired by the concept of tribes, the Flux team came up with the idea of Urban Tribes and developed a believable set of characters (some uniquely South African) on which to pin the new competition brief.
Eight final characters, which were set out in pairs, demonstrated different personalities and qualities, which could then be used as reference points for the student’s designs: in essence a “client” they could designs for. Students were asked to submit two designs, one high-end jewellery piece and one accessory, inspired by their character selection.
The final character pairs were:
The Pampered Princess
The Old Money Honey
Bond, Jabulani Bond
Hip hop Homeboy
The Black Gold Prince
The Gold Digger
The Urban Tribe concept was a resounding success, which later evolved into a multimedia fashion show experience, a noir comic book, a music video by Loyiso Bala, and finally into a full musical – Streets of Gold.
In 2011 Flux Creative has been brought in again to evolve the original concept of Urban Tribes for this bi-annual design competition, casting a few new characters in the parallel universe that was created in the Streets of Gold musical.