Anthony Smith and Bradley Abrahams are the creative and design masterminds behind local streetwear label, 2Bop. Paying homage to the corner-store video-game culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s while putting a fresh spin on retro cool, 2Bop represents South African originality at its juiciest. Exposing the underbelly of underground street culture, 2Bop is hip, classically Capetonian and a label that, bursting with local flavour and attitude, is fast becoming iconic.
2Bop began in 2004 as a way to put a passion for classic video games into something tangible. When Smith and Abrahams were growing up in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town during apartheid, for just “2Bop” (20 cents) a pop, bootleg arcade games at the corner shop provided them with a joyride through a fantasy world they were ordinarily locked out of. Along with the rivalries, crews, contenders and champions that dominated the corner-shop scene, Japanese and American video games were their peephole into cutting-edge international design, graphics and music.
With a passion for gameplay and an eye for style, the idea behind 2Bop was to produce clothes — “tees”, “caps” and “sweats” — that they wished people wore on the street. They were inspired by games like Streetfighter II, hip-hop giants like Biggie Smalls and style icons like Karl Lagerfeld, and their range references their youth and passions with a proud shout-out to their culture.
The duo recently won a R150 000 grant with the Jupiter Drawing Room’s Constructus Award. They are now focusing on international expansion through an online shop, distribution Down Under and a mushrooming list of stockists. 2Bop is proving it has huge international appeal. Their tagline says it all: “Raak wys!”
— Lu Larche