Feature image source: @camillionaire_jhb on Instagram

Today’s Wednesday shoutout goes to the founder of a South African jewellery brand, The Big Cheese.

Here’s more of Camilla’s story.

@camillionaire_jhb on Instagram

Where are you from?

“I grew up in Joburg and have recently returned to my home city after six years of studying in Cape Town.”

@camillionaire_jhb on Instagram

Can you tell us about The Big Cheese?

“I launched The Big Cheese in February of this year. The business aims to provide unique and bold statement jewellery and I place a heavy focus on curation and youth culture. All of our jewellery is Gold Plated to allow for increased affordability. I am passionate about environmental and social sustainability and this reflects in the brand from how I make the packaging through to how we decide to transport and courier the chains.”


Since you matriculated what experiences have you had in the fashion industry that have lead you to where you are today?

“Initially, I pursued studies in Business Science (Finance with Accounting). I quickly realised that I had absolutely no interest in the field, and convinced my parents to allow me to move into studying a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion at FEDISA. I completed my BA, but realised that I needed intellectual stimulation alongside the more practical creative skills that I had acquired. This need for balance inspired me to do my Honours at FEDISA, where I specialised in establishing an academic framework for cultural appropriation in fashion, with a focus on future research and application


I have always focused on garnering experience whenever and wherever I can – I have always thought that a rounded perspective of any industry is most beneficial in the workplace. I focused on this throughout all of my studies and have built up work experience since 2013. This means that I have experience in and knowledge of: project management, data collection, fashion retail, styling, trend research, cultural strategy and creative writing. I also learned skills such as sewing, pattern making etc. throughout the course of my BA degree. I unite any and all skills that I have acquired in order to run The Big Cheese. I am also currently interning at an art gallery for experience and learning purposes.”


Which moments in your fashion career (school included) would you re-live?

“In 2018, I had the pleasure of being an assistant stylist for About You’s Freedom Festival. The German brand essentially recreated AfrikaBurn and Between Two of Us, we styled roughly 300 people for the duration of four days in Kersefontein. It was a hectic experience, and took its toll physically, but it truly pushed me to my limits and showed me what I was capable of doing. I worked alongside young, inspirational people and it was an amazing and expressive learning experience for me.”

@camillionaire_jhb on Instagram


So far, what have been the most unforgettable lessons you’ve learnt from being an entrepreneur?

“The most significant lesson that I have learnt is the importance of research. Without the relevant research, it is difficult to understand your market, making it difficult to succeed.

 It is important to have self-discipline, to be proactive, and to take the initiative to complete tasks, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it.

Perseverance is key; however, I also think that it’s important to know when to stop pursuing an idea, especially when it is taking a toll on you mentally, economically or health-wise. 

Never underestimate the importance of creative trades or favours – these will allow you and any collaborators to be able to help each other in a non-financial sense and can save people a lot of money in the initial phases of any creative business.

Get as much experience as you can, and never turn down an opportunity to learn something new.

Always market your own products. Wear your clothing or jewellery, use your skincare products. It is important for people to see that you believe in what you are selling.”

@thebigcheese_sa on Instagram


Name 3 of your best loved local and international fashion brands.

“This question has taken me the longest to answer, because I believe that there are so many amazing designers within their own rights/areas of the fashion industry. I have always been in awe of Alexander McQueen’s work (prior to his death). At the moment, I love Iris van Herpen and Klippa Denim. More local brands that I adore include: Lukhanyo Mdingi, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu, Thabo Kopele and Crystal Birch.”


With your experience in a Trend and Research environment, what advice would you give someone with aspirations of working as a Trend analyst? 

“It is important to note that trends are not limited to the appearance of sequins on a runway. Micro-trends refer to short-term trends or fads; however, these are all influenced by larger forces referred to as macro-trends. Within macro-trends, one has to be able to evaluate the current society based on many factors, for example: the political, social, economic situation of a society. It is also important to realise that these differ between countries and cannot be universally applied.

My key piece of advice would be to exercise awareness of absolutely everything around you; for example: advertisements, store windows, street wear, and topics on social media sites. The power of observation will aid one in identifying common themes which can later be substantiated or dismissed with research and statistics. This requires a certain level of instinct, where I believe that this particular kind of instinct can be taught.”


Where can people find, follow and buy from you?

“At the moment, we are operating solely off of Instagram. Our tag is @thebigcheese_sa. From there, should anyone be interested in purchasing a product, they can send us a direct message or an email (our email address is: thebigcheesedrop@gmail.com). It is possible to arrange viewings to try on the products with myself; however, we are currently working on stocking a store in Cape Town, as well as an online store. 

The jewellery is available for collection in Joburg, and is able to be shipped throughout South Africa for an excess fee. This is done via PostNet so as to minimise the risk of transportation, as well as our carbon footprint.”

@thebigcheese_sa on Instagram



Feature image source: Kourtney Kardashian on Instagram

We may not be anywhere near summer or have the slightest desire to be seen in open toe shoes, however, one thing we can ascertain is that the vintage square toe shoes of the ‘90’s are back to reclaim their stop at the top of the “hottest accessories” list.

First we welcomed the re-emergence of the kitten heels and shortly after that dad’s retro sneakers became a hit. I now think it’s safe to say that the world of footwear has mastered the art of turning seemingly ‘ugly’ shoes into fashion must-haves. 

Although pointed rodeo boots are all the rage at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before square fronts take over our Insta feeds.

By no means do I or have I ever considered myself a fashion forward or an early adopter so I’ll probably, if at all wait until this trend’s lifespan has matured until I throw my money at it however, if I were to give it a try right away these would be my reasons for doing so.


  • Square front= more room


Simply by judging the square fronts I can almost guarantee that there will be more than enough room for my toes to move around, which is great for the health of my baby toes. Secondly,


  • I have long feet so pointed toes are a NO!


Perhaps it’s just a personal hang up but I generally don’t feel too great about my feet looking longer than they need to. The square shape will always be a comfortable balance between sharp points and circular fronts.

Now to getting your fix

For now, there’s serious inspiration to be drawn from the Bottega Veneta’s Instagram page and on occasion the Insta stories of Leandra Medine of Man Repeller and Kourtney Kardashian however for a more practical approach, here’s our list of accessible square fronts.


White square toe sandal, Zara, R859
Flat woven slingbacks, Zara, R999
Mock Croc slip on at MRP, R229


The man on the left is my father, Themba Buthelezi and next to him stands his childhood best friend, Simon Mvubu. This is a picture of them taken on Father’s day 2018. They have both always been very fashion conscious and particular about the brands that they choose to wear. One of them sticks only with classic styles and silhouettes while the other is unafraid of hopping on the trend bandwagon every now and then and experimenting with a variety of prints, colours and styles.

I have chosen them as my style icons for this Father’s day wish list and so whether your dad is a classics man or a trend setter, we have the perfect gift inspo to make him a happy man this Sunday.



Feature image source: eli_sh_ia on Instagram

There’s a whole lot more to luxury fashion than monograms and expensive price tags and this week’s woman crush, Elishia Govender educates us on exactly that.

What were you doing before starting your career in luxury fashion?

“I used to work for Rivers Church as a receptionist & volunteered there for many years.”

How long have you been working in this industry?

“I started working in 2012 for Louis Vuitton and joined Gucci in 2015. This year marks 7 years in the high luxury fashion retail environment.”

eli_sh_ia on Instagram

What has it been like working with brands that have a rich heritage yet also have  a major influence on millennials?

“Working for an Italian brand has been phenomenal. It has been nothing but a privilege to have been a part of the revolution that Allesandro Michele has made into every millennials definition of what true fashion is right now. No boundaries, gender fluid and expressive.”

If it wasn’t luxury fashion, where do think you’d be working?

“My heart will always be in outreach to underprivileged schools and kids. I am on a journey to begin an outreach to schools in rural areas where myself and a few friends of mine have decided to start an NGO where we would be able to start assisting kids through all grade with financial aid, life skills, after school projects and counselling. We aim to start bridging a major gap that we have found with many schools that are in dire need of assistance with financial aid, after school activities and life skills.”

Where do you currently work and what do you do there?

“I currently work for Gucci and I am the Department manager for the store in Johannesburg.”

What have been some of the greatest rewards of working for brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton?

Louis Vuitton opened a door to find my passion in the fashion industry and styling. There is so much more to the fashion world apart from just clothing. Gucci gave me a platform to put forward my experience and grow myself. I started as a sales associate and built my way up. I have been able to travel the world, visit the fashion capital and discover the design process for some of the most iconic pieces known to the brand and that has just been the start of my career. I still feel like I have just unlocked my first chapter to this amazing adventure as there is so much to still experience.

eli_sh_ia on Instagram

What have been some of the greatest challenges you’ve encountered in retail?

“My greatest challenge has been adapting to situations. Fashion evolves and it takes a lot of dedication to keep yourself well informed about competing brands , product knowledge, customer relations; these are all the pieces that get the complete puzzle together.”

What do you wish people knew about working in fashion and especially retail?

“Retail can be so rewarding, but only if you put the time and effort into it. It isn’t easy and takes so much dedication and hard work. I have worked up to 15 hours a day sometimes. I started off as just a sales associate with no idea that it could lead me to such a magical career. It took me a few good years to become the Department Manager as that position had been created in South Africa specifically for me. It taught me perseverance and sacrifice, I gave up many family events, holidays and so many special occasions to be at work. Retail hours can be a nightmare. It was so tough at first but I get to travel the world now for amazing events, pre- screenings of seasons and even all expenses paid weeks to Italy as a reward for all my hard work. From the outside, society sees retail as just a poor little sales job that someone was lucky enough to get, but to be chosen to be an ambassador for such a prestigious international brand is every girl’s dream if they have a flair for fashion. Stick to your passion and work hard at what you believe you deserve.”

eli_sh_ia on Instagram

Is working in luxury fashion as glamorous for employees as it is for the brands’ customers?

It really is a glamorous job, sometimes we do have bad experiences but it comes with working face to face with people from different walks of life. But when it’s gets good it gets really good. Meeting famous people and growing relationships with people you’d never think you’d meet in your own world is nothing but magical. It’s encouraging to meet people who have worked extremely hard to be able to afford such expensive brands and even if they don’t necessarily buy from the store we meet many people who really do admire us for the brand we represent.

From the current collections in store right now, which 2 items for men and women would you recommend as the perfect gift?

My favourite piece at the moment is Flashtrek. An amazing collection of gender fluid shoes. I love that about Gucci; fluidity of genders, no boundaries and no rules to the fashion world.

Shop some of the coolest winter jackets for every chilly occasion this season.

Casual jackets

Dress up jackets

Puffers and bombers

Timeless classics


Feature image source: @chesney_williams on Instagram

Here’s a little bit about a star within the South African fashion industry that you have to know about.

What did you study?

Studied a Diploma in Fashion

Where did you study?

Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy

Can you tell us a little more about AFI PRIVE and what you do there?

AFI Privé is the In-House label for African Fashion International, it is a women’s wear brand that focuses on affordable luxury as well as once off custom made pieces for any occasion. I started in the Fastrack program (2017) and made it to top 3 in the competition. After the competition came to an end I was offered a position as one of the lead designers for the label. I have been able to design beautiful collections inspired by our African continent and showcased at African Fashion International Fashion Weeks.  

Source: @chesney_williams on Instagram
Source: @chesney_williams on Instagram

What have some of your career highlights been so far?

Designing and working for Dr Precious Moloi Motsepe who is not only one of my icons but really pushes to help grow African fashion designers and showcase what we have to offer to the world. Working closely with her is a dream come true.

Attended São Paulo Fashion week SS18

Designed with Tayla Nguskos and made a luxury dress that was showcased in New York for Fashion 4 Development.

Designed ball gowns for the Miss Sundowns 2018 contestants.

Source: @chesney_williams on Instagram

What are some of the most exciting things about being a young designer in South Africa?

Right now it is extremely exciting to be a young designer in South Africa! Africa is on the rise and more than ever as designers and creatives we are being taken serious and the world is finally recognising the amazing work we create. We have the opportunity to speak to the world and showcase our crafts and inspiration.

Source: @chesney_williams on Instagram

Is there a city that inspires you?

Marrakech Morocco! I still have not been able to go but this in one city that inspires me through and through! From the culture through to the architecture of the buildings and doors as well as there patterned tiles.

What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

Our AW19 collection was inspired by the African wildflowers. We explored the flora under our African Sun and went to Kirstenbosch gardens which provided us with vast inspiration into colours, shapes, textures and patterns.

Where can your designs be viewed and bought?

Visit our us at : afiprive.com

or at: afi_prive

we will be having a pop up soon as well and all info will be shared soon on our Instagram handle. So watch this space!

Are there any other ventures (fashion related or otherwise) that you’re involved in?

Unfortunately can’t say yet but there is an upcoming project that I am working on.

Where can people find and follow you?

Follow me on Instagram:


Mothers… What would we be without the women who raise, love and celebrate us? I know I would never have made it without my mother and all the other women in my life who have willingly and lovingly stepped in to play the role.

So to all the mothers, grandmother, aunties, older sisters, we love you and we wish you all a wonderful mothers day. The world wouldn’t be the same without your love.

Here’s a list of some of affordable gifts for the super cool moms.




Design House in feature image: Shifting Sands

Last year around this time I convinced a friend of mine to join me for the bi-annual bridal expo in our city and not because I was planning a wedding but simply because I was curios.


I had never fully appreciated all the details that are needed to make a wedding work until my experience at the expo. From what I’ve seen, wedding planning looks both exciting and exhausting all at once.

From what I can imagine, or maybe how I would approach the planning phase is by first finding the styles of dresses that I think would work for me. I’ve recently become obsessed with some of these local and international bridal accounts and I think they are worth following.

So if you, or someone you know are in the market for a wedding dress or just want some inspiration to dream about for that one day in the future, here are some Instagram accounts that will make you want a wedding as soon as tomorrow.

Zuhair Murad 

Ralph & Russo

Marchesa Fashion

Monique Lhuillier Bride

Reem Acra

Georges Hobeika

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Georges Hobeika Couture SS 19. #georgeshobeika

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Georges Hobeika RTW FW 19-20 #georgeshobeika #rtw

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Orapeleng Modutle

La Art Neviole Emporium

Tuelo Nguyuza Collectiv

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The weather in Johannesburg has been wet and cold over the past few days and all I really want to do is stay in bed and binge watch series and create my month end wishlist but with the Easter weekend behind us, it’s back to the reality of work, school and normal life.

Fortunately, payday is around the corner for most which means you can treat yo’self to some work wear that will make you excited about getting back into the swing of things.

My expectation for work wear is that it has to work for you for as long as possible and that is why I always recommend quality over quantity. This however does not mean breaking the bank but choosing clothing that see you through at least two seasons.

The best place to start with a working wardrobe is with functional classics such as pinned stripes, checks and neutral tones. From that foundation you can always add a touch of colour textures and some print variations.

These are five of my work wardrobe selections to make Monday to Friday dressing a little bit easier and cuter, of course.

Monday: Mondays are all about structure and how you start your day often sets the tone for the week. Kick off your week with perennial classics and pair of PLUM tonal sling backs for the ultimate fresh start.


Tuesday: Tuesdays are for adding layers of texture. To me, animal textured ankle boots, a faux fur coat and satin scarf all sound like a winning combination for the perfect Tuesday feeling.

Wednesday: Brighten you midweek up with blooming florals and a touch of pink. Pair it all with slim black pants and comfortable ankle boots from Cotton On.

Thursday: Add light neutral tones to warm you up to the weekend.

Friday: Frinally!!! The day that marks the beginning of the weekend and maybe even a little less rigidness to the office dress code rules. Edge out of the work week and ease into the weekend in a generous knit and a touch of faux leather and mock croc.




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