Story of Retro “Jane-and-Jann” ICON Prints

Jane Solomon and Jann Cheifitz began printing together in a garage, whilst at Art School, inspired by their shared love of the African textile tradition.

From 1986 – 1989 "Jane-and-Jann" wasn't a company or even a label, but it was a friendship, partnership and collaboration whose handprinted-and-handpainted T-shirts, clothing and home furnishings became widely known in the alternative creative community. Jann and Jane worked and from a studio in downtown Loop Street, Cape Town and sold their DIY products at Greenmarket Square. Their designs expressed an emerging aesthetic at the time that reached for a post-apartheid sensibility that celebrated its grounding in contemporary urban Africa while comfortably in conversation with its global peers.

From 1989 – 1992 Jane and Jann worked together in London and sold their goods at Camden Market, Sign of the Times store and at WOMAD festivals. Working in the UK, they received orders from Japan, Germany, Italy, Iceland and the USA.

Returning to Cape Town they continued to design and produce numerous ranges of clothing and home furnishings as “Icon prints” from a studio in Venken Lane, off Long Street. They hosted a number of year-end, shopping parties from the studio.

Jane took this business forward and extended it to create interior design concepts, while Jann moved to New York in the mid-90s where she created a new label, Lucky Fish, designing, producing and marketing an extensive range of printed T-shirts and home furnishings.

Since 1997 Jane has also designed, facilitated and at times coordinated extensive community-based workshops where creativity and “own experience” is used as a tool for transformation, self-development and income generation. Her work includes the acclaimed "Long Life body maps" where women living with HIV used artmaking to tell their truths.

In 2007, Jane and Jann’s shared aesthetic instinct drew them together again to launch Fabricnation, a design house that outsources the printing of designs to Imaterial Printers.