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fashion

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:

@chesney_williams

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.

Fragrances 

Homeware

Fashion

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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💙

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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.

 

 

 

The cooler weather calls for longer sleeves. Here are some of the stand out pieces currently available online.

Occasion Dresses

 

Formal Dress

Casual Dresses

Printed Dresses

 

It goes without saying that denim is the staple of 90% of wardrobes. It’s the durable go-to that never fails and this season these 4 denim styles are taking centre stage.

High Waist and Cropped

 

Jungle Inspired

Distressed Denim

Flared