Category Archives: Photography

Closer To The Ultimate Dream: Julia Otobo Pursuing Her Modeling Dream In New York

Dax Martin

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It is always great to see my favourite creatives progress in their careers and one such creative is Julia Ese Otobo. Julia is a 23 year old Nigerian born Half Delta and Half Igbo model who has taken New York by storm after being signed by MSA Models.She is in love with Afros and black hair, something that is evident in her blog www.nappyese.com. The decision to keep her hair natural came about because of a guy that she was in love with, she started keeping her hair natural because of him and eventually fell in love with her natural hair, her brave stance back then was admirable as the modelling industry had not yet fully accepted natural hair. Besides modelling, blogging and vlogging, Julia is taking a course in Digital & Affiliate Marketing to up her game.

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Julia decided to start modelling after she listened to her favourite fashion model Doyin Haastrup Olatokunbo talk about the Pearl Look Model Nigeria modelling competition that she was producing and Julia knew that was the time for her life to change. After having to drop out of University because of lack of funds, Julia enrolled in the Pearl Look Model Nigeria competition and knew that she needed to win in order to make her other dream- being a Victoria Secret Model come true. Being a part of the boot camp was very difficult but she was determined to win and win she did! As the winner of Pearl Look Model Nigeria she won an all-expenses paid trip and a contract to South Africa to work with Ice Model Management in South Africa.

Khosi Nkosi

 

I believe that Julia is one of the best models that Africa has to offer, she knows how to own the runway and her fashion editorials are always pleasing to the eye and I remember when I first saw her on the runway at Mercedes-Benz fashion Week Joburg, I was really captivated by her. I have been following her career ever since. In one of our talks she explains that although modelling takes a lot of hard work, patience and persistence, she is grateful for each and every opportunity that she has ever gotten  as she’s had the opportunity to work with amazing brands and fashion designers.

Luminance shot by Sivan Miller

She recalls one of her favourite shoots to date was when she worked with her twin sister Janet Otobo for Luminance Magazine in South Africa while also having graced the cover twice. Julia is currently living it up in ‘The Big Apple’ and has booked multiple shows for a number of designers like Chromat and Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. The model’s ultimate goal is to walk for Victoria Secret in a glorious Afro (like Maria Borges recently did) in order to show the world that Black hair is beautiful. I can surely imagine that, can you?

Photo Credits

SDR Photo

Tim Hulme Photography

Steven Love Menendez

Luminance: Sivan Miller

Article originally published on Moon-Look Mag

Meeting Themba Mbuyisa: South Africa’s Rising Star

The Incredibles

Themba Mbuyisa is a young brilliant photographer from Soweto who took up photography as a way to keep himself busy because he had the time and a creative eye. Photography was an impulsive decision for him and not having a camera was definitely not going to stop him from being a photographer, so he decided to enrol himself into a photography course. Themba does not believe that photography is set in stone for him. I mean, after 4 years in the industry, he’s still trying to figure himself out while not allowing ‘fame’ to get to his head. He is currently studying for his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of the Witwatersrand.

AFRICA RISING - ELLE SEPTEMBER

After entering Elle Magazine South Africa’s ‘ Elle Style Reporter’ for the second time after his first attempt in 2013, Themba finally won in 2016 and has been working with the magazine ever since. His win only registered in his mind when he did his first photo shoot, which he describes as being a great experience. The photographer’s creative process starts with a collage of images and notes that get revised until a clear picture comes up for the shoot. “I construct images,” he says. “My work has a thought process behind it and I decide what needs to be and how the lights need to shine on it.

StreetStyle for Ezpresso Show

StreetStyle for Ezpresso Show

Themba, who values friendship above most things, enjoys working with people who believed in him when he first started out in his career and works with young people in most of his shoots. Although he says that he does not have favourites, he especially loves working with Sthembiso Mngadi who has helped him transform his initial ideas into great images. 2017 for Themba is all about making connections and exploring other parts of photography that he has not given much attention to in the past while also putting himself out there by applying for exhibitions that he would not normally apply for. In April this year, the photographer is looking forward to being a part of the 32 nd Villa Noailles Hyeres Fashion and Photography Festival in France. 

Travel Issue - ELLE SA December

Travel Issue - ELLE SA December

Accolades:

Youth Excellence Award

Sony World Photographic Awards 3rd Place National Award (South Africa) 2015

Sasol New Signatures finalist 2016

Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2016

Prime Obsession for ELLE SA

Prime Obsession for ELLE SA

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Article originally published in Moon-Look Magazine

Jenevieve Lyons Wows Fashion Lovers At #SAMW

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Jenevieve Lyons always leaves us talking after every show and last night’s show was no different. The LISOF graduate has sure came a long way since her AFI FastTrack days.  Her latest collection titled Deferential which she debuted last night at South African Menswear Week in Cape Town is all sorts of amazing. She says that the collection plays on the ugly, gender fluidity and juxtapositions. It is the new movement of anti “being”  and anti categorization. So basically the collection is about not being and my take on this is that it is not just for men but for women as well. I love the layers and her amazing skill with the cut-outs. It’s a true work of art and that green grass had me looking forward to summer. The garments allow for easy movements and are suitable for all kinds of weather. I love that the kind of person to wear a Jenevieve Lyons creation is one who cares about looking great and is not bothered about what people think is masculine or womanly. The contrast of the colours draws you in and when you thought that was the wow factor, the tailoring and the creativity with the belts and the layering gets you. This is my favourite collection from Jenevieve thus far and judging from the people’s reactions on social media, I am not the only one. Which is a good thing because as a designer your current collection should be better than your last and that is what Jenevieve Lyons has nailed to the T.

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All photos by SDR Photo

It’s Down To The Final 8 For Elle Style Reporter 2016

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With over 300 entries showcasing the latest trends in the world of fashion, the search for the next ELLE Style Reporter by ELLE in association with Orms & Canon, began. Through blog posts and storyboards, the stiff competition made the judges’ deliberation all the more difficult. Now, narrowed down to eight finalists, the best behind the lens will be awarded with the incredible opportunity to be the next ELLE Style Reporter.

The ELLE Style Reporter property was created just three years ago, crowning two successful winners, Trevor Stuurman and Niquita Bento; the announcement of the third winner is now just around the corner! With an ever-growing interest for local fashion in South Africa, the idea of the property was to find someone who’s perfectly attuned to what’s new on the streets and the catwalk. The winner should have an eye for fashion, be social media savvy and have the ability to narrate what’s on the ground through their lens. ELLE’s publisher Gisele Wertheim-Aymes says, ‘With the growth in social media, this really serves as an example that anything is possible and ELLE wanted to be the catalyst!’

The first winner Trevor Stuurman successfully created a niche in the industry by developing his own distinct trademark, and the second winner Niquita Bento, balances playful fashion quirks with interesting architecture through her lens as ELLE’s creative assistant. Together they prove that the ELLE Style Reporter is a sought after platform for emerging talent.This year again, the competition is powerful: ELLE Editor, Emilie Gambade says, ‘The eight finalists have really brought a unique point of view. A fresh look at ‘home-grown fashion & style’, away from the usual street style images we often see. Each of them brought something different and allowed for their own emotions, their personality to softly tint their work and imprint their images.’ 

The Finalists are:

Photo Cred: Simz Facebook

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CRAZY, SMART, WORKAHOLIC, DETERMINED, CHILLED BUT A LITTLE CRAZY!”

                                                     SIMZ MKHWANAZI, 25, DURBAN

 “This will really have a positive impact on my career – This is only just a start to greatness!”

“I actually feel like I’m going to win this! (fingers and toes crossed). You feel me?”

Pboto Cred: Yetunde

ourfriends.co

“INVENTIVE, SPONTANEOUS, UNCONVENTIONAL, PERCEPTIVE, CURIOUS!”

YETUNDE DADA, 25, PRETORIA

“I’m really excited, as I feel that I’ve stepped into a different paradigm because I was a previous entrant in 2013 – managing only to get into the Top 20. Being part of the Top 8 now is a sign of growth for me and I’m ready to move forward! I feel that I have now focused on storytelling during my photography journey because I am a blogger who fell in love with photojournalism, fashion and writing at the same time a few years ago, and I think these things are elements in my work and helped with my selection for the Top 8.

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“HUMBLE, CREATIVE, ADVENTUROUS, SMART AND COOL.”

               THEMBA MBUYISA, 23, JOHANNESBURG

“Being a Style Reporter sounds like a cool thing to do actually. I feel cool!

This is something I’ve been doing for years, and I think I’ve been selected because there is someone out there who believes in my work and me as a creative person.  I love what I do and I believe that it shows on my work!”

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http://urbangem.co.za/

“ARTISTIC, AMBITIOUS, SOMEWHAT SASSY, TEA ADDICT, WITH PANACHE!”

GEMMA MARY SHEPHERD, 22, CAPE TOWN 

“I feel honoured to be a finalist in this year’s competition given the high level of talent in South Africa at the moment.”

“I think I’ve been selected because I have both the photographic and writing skills to report artistically and journalistically on events and fashion trends in South Africa.

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“FUN, STYLISH, YOUNG, CHRISTIAN MAN!”

LUNGILE JAMANI, 22, JOHANNESBURG.

“I am so excited and yet a bit nervous about being a finalist.

I think I’ve been selected because of my eye for style. The way I try to depict street style is most certainly not the same as the other – I’m probably one in a hundred

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“PASSIONATE, CURIOUS, SENSITIVE, ARTISTIC AND ROMANTIC!”

NIKKI ZAKKAS, 24, JOHANNESBURG.

“A street style photographer for an inspiring fashion publication such as Elle would be a dream come true, combining my two studied interests: fashion and photography perfectly!

I think that I have been selected as a finalist because the role of street style reporter is uniquely suited to my educational background, putting my knowledge and skills in fashion and visual communication to good use.”

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“CREATIVE, PASSIONATE, INTROVERT, HARDWORKING AND ECLECTIC!” 

LUSANDA NDITA, 22, JOHANNESBURG 

“I am thrilled to be one of the finalists, because this competition is a great platform to promote aspirating photographers like myself.  I am looking forward to sharing my ideas on youth culture in my society.I think I have been selected because my photography explores a “home-grown” style characterized by fashion forward individuals.”

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“‘ALWAYS HAPPY’ (CAN WE COUNT THAT AS ONE WORD HAHA), PASSIONATE, CONFIDENT, MOTIVATED, CONSCIOUS!”

SIBUSISO “ZEUS” FENI, 21, CAPE TOWN

“I am actually stocked, because it feels like I am in arms reach to achieving one of my biggest goals in life, which is shooting an Editorial for Elle Magazine!“I am doing the “money dance”!(Kevin Harts Dance) I think to be honest what Elle is looking for this year; best describes what I do on a daily basis, especially in terms of candid street style photography. Passion is another thing they looking for which I think they can see through my work.”

  

THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE: Announced on the 5th Of May in Newtown Johannesburg 

·         An exclusive one-on-one session with acclaimed photographer, Ed Suter

·         A Canon EOS 6D DSLR with EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 is STM lens to the value of    

·         R30 995, courtesy of Orms & Canon

·         A monthly stipend of R5 000, from July – December 2016 in his/her capacity as the 2016 ELLE Style Reporter

·         The opportunity to tell their stories through the pages of ELLE, creating content for all platforms under the leadership and guidance of the editorial team and the editor Emilie Gambade.  

 

 Watch! ELLE Editor Emilie Gambade, ELLE Fashion Director Tarryn Oppel and ELLE Contributing Editor Malibongwe Tyilo on more of the juicy details here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDMjfQ6xDk 

On the 28th of April, the finalists will be treated to a technical workshop, under the leadership of sponsors Orms & Canon. There, they will also have one-on-one time with the judges before the final deliberation is made. The journey will culminate on the 5th of May at the Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg.

 

TO FOLLOW THE JOURNEY, STAY TUNED TO: www.elle.co.za/enter-elle-style-reporter-2016-2/

Tweet who you think will win: @ELLEMagazineSA 

TAGS: #ESR2016 #OrmsandCanon

 

The Mermaid Awakens Her Warrior

Mermaid and Warrior Underwater shoot by ilse moore and fuaad abdool Models: Bianca Koyaba and Fuaad Stylist and creative director: Fuaad Abdool

The Mermaid Awakens Her Warrior is a great underwater shoot conceptualized and directed by Fuaad Abdool in collaboration with amazing young African  women. From what I gathered the story line is that of love. the mermaid wonders deep into the ocean where she meets the warrior, motionless and she radiates her energy into him thus awakening him. The project was a way of combining and illustrating the artistic skills of South African female creatives and more over Fuaad wanted to change the perspective of how people view mermaids. He says that he couldn’t find images of black mermaids so he wanted to create a modern rendition of mermaids and challenge the perception of how mermaids are supposed to look like.

Mermaid and Warrior Underwater shoot by ilse moore and fuaad abdool Models: Bianca Koyaba and Fuaad Stylist and creative director: Fuaad Abdool

This was model Bianca Koyabe’s first underwater modelling shoot and I personally think she looked great and she absolutely nailed. The mermaid costume was designed by 21 year old fashion designer Savannah Caster who had never made mermaid costumes before. Humiraa Mahomeds had never done body art for an underwater shoot before and she used eye-liner to draw the tattoos of the warrior. She had me believing that the warrior actually had tattoos. I give her a thumbs up for that.

Mermaid and Warrior Underwater shoot by ilse moore and fuaad abdool Models: Bianca Koyaba and Fuaad Stylist and creative director: Fuaad Abdool

Details of Team:
Art Direction & warrior: Fuaad Abdool
IG @fuaad_abdool
Photography: Ilse Moore.
Her website, www.ilsemoore.com and IG is @ilsemoore
Costume Design and Fabrication: Savannah Caster
Instagram @vasannah
Male body art painting: Humairaa Mahomed.
IG @hummingbird_127
Mermaid: Bianca Koyabe.
IG @bkoyabe

Mermaid and Warrior Underwater shoot by ilse moore and fuaad abdool Models: Bianca Koyaba and Fuaad Stylist and creative director: Fuaad Abdool

Mermaid and Warrior Underwater shoot by ilse moore and fuaad abdool Models: Bianca Koyaba and Fuaad Stylist and creative director: Fuaad Abdool

Imprint A/W 2016: Haboring Hope

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I was introduced to Imprint By Mzukisi Mbane last year at SA Menswear Week in Cape Town and I have been hooked ever since. I love the way Mzukisi styles his look books and how he takes you to places. The choice of models is always the perfect fit, on Haboring Hope he works with Corine and Lesala Mampa.

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Clothing :  Imprint
Stylist : Mzukisi Mbane
Models: Corine (female) and Lesala Mampa (male)
Photographer : Dylan Louw
MUA : Prada

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Haboring Hope is a collection inspired and dedicated to changing and challenging the concept of menswear and the meaning of being a men in Africa in a very beautiful, calm and less dramatic way.
Last season we started on a journey, creating gender bending looks. Also referred to as unisex. Inspired by the woman who gave birth to us all. This season we are still on that same gender bending tip. But this time inspiration is taken from various cultural group as well as religious group. Translating this in a more edgy, futuristic and clean way.- Mzukisi Mbane- Founder & Creative Director

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Mzukisi the Creative Director of Imprint says Haboring Hope is unapologetic and it is definitely not about fitting in, it’s simply about being you and it is peaceful and calm. In creating this collection, he says he was taken to a place where creativity is limitless and I can surely see that from his collection. You are immediately drawn in by how simple yet unique his designs are and the combination is just RIGHT.

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I found myself having this freedom. I got taken to a place where creativity was basically limitless. I became free to challenge the very idea of what menswear is (to the society). How it is supposed to be constructed, the silhouettes and well which lines to cross. In this collection you see me playing around with a lot of geometric shapes. Most shapes taken from a deconstructed a – line skirt.I also found my self challenging and exploring  the term over-sized and fitted. I was able to just create and have that “so what” attitude. I wanted to tell the story of believing in your dreams and who you are from a different side. A side where you don’t have to fight. Aside of beauty and peace.- Mzukisi

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“Hope on bravely”

Project Street Style 24hs By Ray Geof

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Project Street Style 24hrs is a fashion projects by Ray Geof, a Street Style Reporter and Fashion Blogger from Francistown Botswana. Ray started the project because he believes that fashion is 24 hours. He has been having fun capturing the creative and stylish people of Botswana.

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I started it because i want to showcase authentic & real everyday to day fashion of the people of Botswana.The streets never lie and fashion on the street is raw its not like of high fashion editorials which is over styled- Ray Geof
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The project is on going o if you would like to check out what Botswana serves in terms of street style check out http://raygeof.com/

All Hail The Honey By Rendani X Kgomotso Neto

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Creative graphic designer Rendani Nemakhavhani and photographer  Kgomotso Neto have been serving us some visual pleasures with a series called All Hail The Honey. I have absolutely enjoyed all the 3 chapters  and I cannot wait for more to follow. The series started off with the Honey (Rendani) in water and with a whip and of course it is interesting and we were intrigued and hoping for more. The narratives are very interesting and keep the audience up to date with the story. And they got me adding some of my own in the story.

21/10/25 The Honey, a collaborative effort between Rendani Nemakhavhani(Illustrator) and Kgomotso Neto Tleane (Photographer).

21/10/25 The Honey, a collaborative effort between Rendani Nemakhavhani(Illustrator) and Kgomotso Neto Tleane (Photographer).

21/10/25 The Honey, a collaborative effort between Rendani Nemakhavhani(Illustrator) and Kgomotso Neto Tleane (Photographer).

21/10/25 The Honey, a collaborative effort between Rendani Nemakhavhani(Illustrator) and Kgomotso Neto Tleane (Photographer).

As black girls we can relate to the 2nd chapter of All Hail The Honey series- The Hair Struggle. Our hair has suffered a lot from relaxers, braiding, weaves and plaiting. It is a struggle that. The Honey says that everyone should know that black hair shrinks in hair, it really does. Once you get your hair ‘DID’ you really avoid water because it all goes down and goes back to being nappy (But we still love it nonetheless)

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We all dread those salon visits but they have to be done so we can keep our hair “fly” and most importantly healthy.

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In the 3rd chapter Kgomotso steps in front of the lens to star as Gavini in a story inspired by Yizo Yizo. A story of love in the township, that kind of “Skhanda love” if you will. The visuals are absolutely amazing and they really did a good job.

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The duo keep it real all the time and most of us can relate to their series. On being real Rendani has the following to say:

Real is always what I aim to show off in the work that I produce. That is exactly how I want the work to be received as genuine.  I don’t believe in fronting about what I’m selling. In The Honey series we are selling you what makes up a typical outfit for most girls. We don’t necessarily buy everything that we have (from fancy shops). People must also know that when black hair meets water it shrinks. It’s just a matter of understanding the basics of how you make what you have work.

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To follow more of their work go to allhailthehoney.tumblr.com

 

 

 

 

 

Earthy Tones For Hauz Of Lenze’s SS15/16 Lookbook

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” A NEW MAN” by Hauz Of Lenze is for the man who is confident, strong, not afraid to take risks and break fashion rules. The man who is new and has evolved and is likely to set fashion trends.

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Models: Francis Mubanga and Alan John

Designer: Brian Ndienze

Photographer: Philly Mohlala

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I love the selection of the colours, the earthy tones that most designers usually neglect in their collections and I love that Hauz Of Lenze always offers something unique and says that it is okay for men to wear lace and be a bit risque.

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Umhlanga Dance In Swaziland: Pictures

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa - Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa – Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony
Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa - Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa – Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony
Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa - Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa – Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony
Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa - Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa – Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony
Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa - Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Ludzidzini, Swaziland, Africa – Umhlanga, reed dance ceremony
Maidens dance before King Mswati III on day 7 of the ceremony

Photos by Edwin Remsberg and Kady Dulny

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