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Lindo Buthelezi

Images sourced from: AFI, Simon Deiner / SDR Photo.

The wave of fashion week season has set in and this past weekend, African Fashion International Week marked the great launch of fashion month in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The first night was a prestigious event with the Africa Unites show featuring some of the continents jewels of fashion. Following that was David Tlale’s show, Joyce attributed to his late mother.

The second night was filled with as much excitement as the event opened up to the public. On night two crowds littered with influencers, fashion enthusiasts and media personalities were treated to showcases from seven fashion houses.  

On the final night, the audience was treated to a 10 set showcase of African fashion. Overall, it was a spectacular weekend.

Here is a round up of some of runway trends to pay close attention to, this season and in those to come.

Touchy

Beads, delicate feathers and even the plastic many of us are growing to hate were some of the details not only seen but used to create a range of ‘want too touch’ textures.

Mini Rounds of Bags

Circular delights, half moon clutches and mini cases were standout accessories on the catwalk of the Sandton Convention Centre.

Leather Weather

Whether you like it genuine or faux, you’ll be happy to know that a strong streak of leather was present on the runways this past weekend. Corsets, belts and exaggerated sleeves all created with smooth finishes.

Half and Half

This season, many designers we’re giving symmetry the cold shoulder and opting for asymmetrical details and mis-matched shoulder games.

Take a Bow

Pretty bows, large bows, and manually tied bows were a customary touch to some of the best runway looks.

On The Loose

Fitted silhouettes were outnumbered this year by A-line structures and flowing frocks.

Fluidity

Tailored, masculine-cut suits were a popular both on and off the runway. Gauzy skirts and blouses flowed through both the men’s and women’s collections.

feature image source: @alexia_oliver on Instagram; MUA:@jeannemy_artistry

This is Alexia Oliver who recently featured as a guest on Wrapped Radio.

@alexia_oliver on Instagram photographer: @charlemagneolivier

Alexia was a final year medical student at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa when she was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2017.

@alexia_oliver on Instagram

She has experienced a series of seemingly insurmountable medical challenges over the past two years, 

@alexia_oliver on Instagram

@alexia_oliver on Instagram

and on Monday the 30th of September, she was declared completely cancer free.

@alexia_oliver on Instagram

For more of her story tune into Wrapped Radio and follow her work on @cancer.babes.sa on Instagram or join the Cancer Babes, South Africa Facebook Page.

 

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

 

 

One of the beautiful things about Instagram is that you can discover incredibly inspiring people to connect with on a daily basis. I stumbled on Zoya’s profile a little over three weeks ago and decided that I wanted to know and share a small part of her story right here. Be inspired and enjoy the read.

feature image: Photography: @paige_fiddes
MUA: @chloehicks_makeup
Styling: clothing by @mood_studiosstyled by skyedechazal
Shot at @soundcaststudios .

Where were you born and raised? 

“I was born and raised in Cape Town.”

 How old are you?

 “25!”

What does a day in the work life of Zoya Pon look like? 

“I’m a full time model with Ice Genetics, content creator and founder and editor of an online magazine, Three Magazine. Every day differs for me, depending on the season! Most days I have coffee and see what’s going on in the world, check in with my Three team members, check emails and work on Three or conceptualizing shoots. In between I might have a casting or shoot content for Instagram or my portfolio. I usually clock off at 6 unless I’m shooting a job that day. Hopefully I can get in 8 hours. I like sleeping. Oh I love sleeping.”

As the founder of Three Magazine, please tell us what the Magazine is about?

“I began working as a freelance writer at 17 when I had my first piece published in Saltwater GIRL (I loved that mag as a teen so it was a big deal!). I loved a good Facebook rant and the things I would post revolved around social justice, human rights and trending social topics. The response I received urged me to start Apeiron, a blog, which I produced content for and managed myself while I worked as an editorial intern, then freelance content producer for Marie Claire when I was 21. Apeiron received good traffic because I soon realized, there were a lot of people in my age group who WANTED to know what was going on around them and converse about that but didn’t have that platform that engaged with them on these topics. When I was 23 I worked as acting online editor for Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire before beginning modeling full-time and deciding to focus on launching Apeiron as an online magazine, and bringing other people on board. Since then it’s evolved into Three, and we’re currently re-branding so the website is under construction. There are big things coming soon for us, and I’m really excited about it!

If I can summarise Three into three sentences it’d be: An online magazine for the creative youth, by the creative youth. Three aims to inform, empower and encourage the reader to create their own opinion on the world around them. We are a conscious, collaborative and inclusive platform for young South African creatives.”

Source: @threemagza on Instagram Photography: @frantz_birkholtz Shorts: @ohokworldwide

What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned from being the founder and editor of your own publication?

“I’ve learned a LOT along the way and it’s been up and down. My main lessons for anyone starting their own anything are: 

If you know the why of what you are doing (and there must always be a why) then you are on the right track. Keep going and remember that.

Ask. Don’t be scared to ask for advice. Find a mentor if you can in your field and do the research you need to.

Believe in yourself. Too many times I looked for validation that I was on the right track, but ultimately I needed to believe in what I was doing first before I could ask anyone else to.”

How long have you worked as a professional model?

“I’ve been modeling on and off from the age of 9, but I began working part-time consistently from 20, and full-time from 23. It’s a career I’m grateful to do because it challenges you and always brings something new. It’s taught me a lot about myself because you have to have a very solid idea of who you are to work consistently in such an appearance-based, and ever-changing industry.”

As an Asian-South African woman, what are some of the challenges that you contend within the modelling industry?

“I’ll speak frankly and say: There’s a lot of tokenism, which is expected with any POC in any industry… I’m typecast often. To do well, I realized I had a niche, and I had to capitalize on that so I made tokenism work for me in a way. I’ve always experienced ‘nice racism’, and my Asian heritage was made fun of growing up in a majority white community but modeling actually encouraged me to take ownership of that part of me (I’m half white), as something that made me unique. Hence my Instagram handle ;). Tbh being a petite model has been more challenging than anything. I was shot down by agencies, and I had to prove myself and make sure I was on my A game before I could shoot editorials locally, and now I’ve done worldwide campaigns. I hate hearing justifications for the height and size requirements, such as ‘tall models look better in clothes’ (what absolute bullshit) or ‘it’s just the sample size’ (then change that). It’s boring.”

@thatasiangirlza on Instagram Photo: @themarxtagram
MUA: @makeupbytylerwilliams

In your opinion is the South African modelling industry working hard enough at becoming more inclusive? 

“The local industry is very ahead of the curve in terms of inclusivity in my opinion. I see so many models of different sizes, ethnicities and looks doing the damn things for local brands and magazines. South African women are especially diverse, and I think the industry does well to reflect that.”

If you could only choose 5 items to wear for the rest of the year, what would they be? (Love your style, btw)

“Thank you xx 

I probably only wear 5 things consistently in my closet already, which people can probably gather from Instagram LOL. 

  1. My sparkly Doc Martens
  2. High waist shorts
  3. A white cropped tee
  4. Over-sized denim jacket
  5. My black fanny pack with the squishy toy key chain my sister bought me.”

@thatasiangirlza on Instagram

 Where can people keep up with you and your work?

“I am most active on Instagram so that’s a great place to start!” @thatasiangirlza

Feature image: @kinks.n.all on Instagram

Today’s #WCW shout out goes to fashion guru, Xolani Gumede.

Where do you work and what do you do there?

“I am the Fashion Editor at Essentials Magazine. I am in charge of product content creation for both our digital and print platforms, writing all fashion articles for both platforms, and conceptualising, styling our fashion editorials every month, as well as styling our cover stars.” 

kinks.n.all on Instagram

How long have you been the fashion editor at Essentials Magazine?

“I’ve been working at Essentials for a little over 3 years now.”

What are your favourite trends for winter 2019?

“I’ve been loving the over-sized camel coat trend, retro animal prints, layered necklaces worn over roll neck jumpers and anything with masculine tailoring”

What are some of the Summer 2019 trends we can look forward to?

“As we head into the warmer months, there are two seemingly opposing chains of thoughts; be bold or laid back cool. So look out for both pops of bright neon and utility inspired clothing in muted hues (like sage green). When it comes to detailing, bow accents, dainty ruffles and fringe seem to be making a comeback.”

What advice would you give a young person wanting to work at a print publication?

“My advice would be to work on your digital acumen. That may sound weird, but digital media is taking over the industry. So stay ahead of the curve by immersing yourself with all things digital. From SEO development, to thinking of yourself as more of a content producer than a print writer.”

What have your career highlights been so far?

“Oh gosh, there have been so many, but two of my highlights are traveling internationally with companies that respect and work with our magazine; and working with Chef Nti for the cover we did with her. She is truly a self-made successful business woman (her story was so inspirational).”

kinks.n.all on Instagram

How do you keep up with fashion and digital trends? Which sites or influencers do you follow?

“I’m lucky enough to be able to attend fashion shows, which are a pretty good indicator of what to look out for in terms of trends. Our local designers like Rich Mnisi, Mmuso Maxwell, and Black Coffee are a wonderful way to stay ahead of the trends and fashion curve. In terms of local influencers, I really like Palesa Mahlaba, Aqueelah Harron and of course Sarah Langa. They have individual style and a great work ethic which is inspiring to observe.” 

kinks.n.all on Instagram

What are some of the best aspects of your job?

“The free clothing of course! But seriously, I love being able to come up with new and interesting fashion concepts for every issue, and of course working with super creative photographers and makeup artists.”

Where can people find and follow you?

“You can follow me on Instagram @kinks.n.all or read my articles on our website https://www.essentials.co.za/

You have your own natural hair blog, please tell us a little bit about that. What inspired you to start it and where can we find that?

“Oh gosh, it’s not a blog as of yet… Looking at the market and the move towards Instagram and YouTube has shifted my focus. So I would like to take that focus onto my Instagram account. The natural hair journey is long and challenging one, but you can look to my Instagram page for natural hair tips and tricks that have worked for me. I’m only about 2 and a half years natural, so I’m not rushing it. I share as I learn and grow in this journey.”

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

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