Nelson Mandela 46664 charity to launch fashion label

46664 Apparel line
Image caption The label includes colourful prints inspired by Nelson Mandela's taste in shirts

Nelson Mandela's Aids charity 46664 is to launch an international fashion label, the former South African president's foundation has announced.

It will be called 46664 Apparel after the number Mr Mandela wore in jail.

Profits will go to the charity and the label is also intended to boost South Africa's clothing industry, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.

The anti-apartheid icon spent 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994.

"46664 needs reliable and sustainable income streams, something we believe the 46664 Apparel can significantly contribute to," Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, told reporters on Wednesday.

He said there was clearly a market for clothes with Mr Mandela's former prison number as a logo - and the charity's T-shirts have always proved popular.

"Historically we found that people who attended 46664 events all wanted some kind of identification with the programme," he told the BBC.

The BBC's Nomsa Maseko in Johannesburg says a selection of garments were shown off at the event to announce the label.

The clothes included everyday wear items as well as couture outfits, she says.

The men and women's range is being designed by Seardel, South Africa's biggest textile and clothing manufacturer.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the label would be launched in South Africa in August - along with a shop in Johannesburg.

Stores may also be opened in the US and the UK next year.

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