HERVÉ LEVINE STORY
Hervé’s family had to leave Zaire due to the First Congo War (1996–1997), also nicknamed Africa's First World War. Levine was born at the beginning periods of the war. A civil war and international military conflict took place mostly in Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of Congo), with major spillovers into Sudan and Uganda. The conflict culminated in a foreign invasion that replaced Zairean president Mobutu Sese Seko with Laurent-Désiré Kabila.
Hervé later mentioned
“Growning up a lot of people I have spoken to about my childhood have found it odd that l was self-aware by the age of 3.
I was aware that l could speak words but my parents or older siblings couldn’t understand me due to the fact I was still learning how to form my sentences correctly. This led me to find a new way to communicate, l realized that creativity was a global form of communication. I’d create things all day and spend hours building Lego structures just to understand how to constract new forms of communication.
I would later start drawing and reading picture dictionaries to educate myself on literature at 6 years old. In between these activities I’d sit alone for periods of time wondering where we all came from. At age 10 I taught myself graphic design using the old windows computer.
Levine’s Family managed to escape Zaire and move to Uganda for a couple of years before migrating to Australia as first-generation immigrants in 2003.
This fascination of curiosity would often get me in trouble during my schooling years, they thought l wasn’t paying attention and would just daydream. They weren’t wrong, school didn’t interest me much. Everyone was forced to wear and learn the same thing otherwise they’d be considered uneducated or dumb by other students. It was a self-policing system full of insecurity. I knew creating and designing was my natural talent and way out, capable of doing it without much effort. The sport was my second obsession until l saw the work required to play professionally after receiving a scholarship at Maribyrnong College for basketball.
Since my younger years, I was practical when it came to long-term choices. And sport wasn’t the route l wanted to take. Therefore, l began my designing journey, a way out of the social contract.
An African Australian boy with an understanding of both continents, here is where my story begins. I was created and designed by the designer and creator to design and create.”
"YOU WILL BE ADDRESSED BY THE WAY YOU DRESS"-HERVE LEVINE