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AN AFRICAN PRINCESS OF STYLE.

SOUTH AFRICAN NATIVE PHOLOSO SELEBOGO (27) IS A TRUE FASHION PRINCESS. HER STORY IS ONE OF BEAUTY, STYLE AND CREATION.
SHE HAS WORKED FOR NUMEROUS INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS SUCH AS THE WORD, L'OFFICIEL, MARIE CLAIRE, SLEEK AND BLEND TO NAME A FEW.
HER NEW PROJECT 'PHOLOSO'S STYLE BOOK' CAUGHT MY ATTENTION EARLIER THIS YEAR. DISCOVER WHAT THIS INTRIGUING YOUNG TALENT HAD TO SAY ABOUT FASHION AND SUSTAINABILITY DURING A VERY PERSONAL AND INSPIRING CONVERSATION.

By Bruno Pieters


BP: YOU STARTED WORKING AS A STYLIST AT A VERY YOUNG AGE. CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST JOB?
PS: I first started dabbling with styling in 2009 and my first paid job was for Hugo by Hugo Boss. It was like being in a twilight zone, not fully awake but not asleep (dreaming) either. The pressure on myself went up 10 notches but it also gave me a new kind of feeling of validation.

BP: WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN?
PS: I have definitely grown in many ways, including in size! It sounds cheesy but I have become more responsible and I learned to face what is outside my comfort zone with a different attitude. I have learned to make seriousness and playfulness one thing. The person we ever really disappoint is never others, but ourselves.

BP: TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR NEW ONLINE STYLE BOOK PROJECT?
PS: The most exciting thing I did as a child was playing with my dolls, dressing them up and even sewing my own outfits for them (I will never forgive the girl who stole about 6 of my Barbie's!).I was never into pretending to drink tea or playing husband and wife. So in a sense, Stylebook is an adult extension of that frame of mind. I am not commissioned and I don't have to consider advertisers so I can focus solely on my own thing and my taste, whether others like it or not. I love fashion imagery and it is a dream to direct and edit my vision together with the many talented photographers I work with / and intend to work with in the future.

BP: HOW DID THE IDEA COME TO YOU?
PS: For a while I had the desire of putting something of my own out there and so after much complicated thought, a simple idea came to me to just do what I love most. I wanted to say something about the clothing/fashion that I love but not in the form of your typical blog....It is on a path of growth!

BP: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT FASHION?
PS: I love its prettiness, the ideas that grow alongside the concepts.... I love how it somehow captures the gist of a time and its changeability. I'm a Gemini and it facilitates the changing of my many faces.

BP: WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
PS: Everything!

BP: DOES SOUTH AFRICA INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
PS: This is a tough question. I can't avoid being South African and I love that part of my identity, but truly and deeply I feel like I'm from all over the world. I guess that is why I have an urge to travel and to see and experience the other places I call 'home'. Rather then saying S.A. influences me, I would say that it inspires me!

BP: WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA?
PS: My family, the food, the variety of the flora and fauna, the fact that we sing on every occasion, the rhythm, the Fanta, the climate, the fast-food, my friends, the earth there, the fun spirit....

BP: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY TODAY?
PS: It's too fast.... there are the main collections, resort, pre-fall and so forth, a mother brand having multiple off-shoot brands etc.... did I miss something? I can't keep up with such a pace, or at least have the time it takes to stop and love something long enough. I am not able to consume all that is available to me. And certainly most people's pockets, including mine, cannot keep up.
Just like any other industry, the fashion industry has to ask itself whether profit comes before fairness, lives and the environment.

BP: I REMEMBER YEARS AGO YOU ONCE TOLD ME MY CASTING FOR MY SHOW WAS TOO WHITE AND YOU THOUGHT IT WAS INSULTING. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GIRLS ON THE CATWALK TODAY WHEN YOU GO TO FASHION SHOWS?
PS: I would not say insulting, or would I..?
Take, for example, your typical high school movie where you have a group of white kids/friends and then the complimentary funny black kid to suss and shoosh the viewer. I felt fashion had the same attitude towards race. The balance is getting better now and I am especially thankful to such platforms as Vogue Black that creates a stage for such discussion. The next step would be to coalesce the 'usual' Vogue with the Black version, in order to make that complimentary kid really part of the group. This applies to Asian groups, and all of the diversity within our world.
Don't get me wrong; I understand that there is more than just the selection of models involved...there is the overall concept, artistic vision and the story that is being told through the specific collection's presentation. The trick and challenge in life is always finding that balance.

BP: WHAT IS A GOOD DAY?
PS: Waking up naturally without being startled by an artificial alarm clock. My mind/body is an intelligent machine, which knows how to regulate itself. I feel akin to sunshine that way! Having a sense of freedom and abundance in order to do what gives me joy. I feel very lucky and grateful for this. Sharing good food with those I love means a lot to me, and booking a job is also way up there to making it a good day all 'round....Being in a state of song.

BP: WHAT IS YOUR DREAM?
PS: Not to have to dream anymore... I dream for there not be a difference between my reality and my dreams....I dream that people would put humanity before profit... I dream at least, if not lead by higher ennobled aspirations and true intellect in our decision making as a species, that we are led by objective logic and empathy and not by our emotions filtered through our self-serving animalistic urge and survival instinct fuelled by fear.... I dream that my beautiful South Africa would get out of its dark racist cave and not just gloss over it.... I am forever marked.
I dream of returning to Eden, looking fabulous!

BP: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE IN THE WORLD?
PS: I would like to change the constant perpetuation of ignorance and I would like to see the concept of God (not the religious definitions) becoming 'cool' again. I would like our education system to encourage the importance of questions such as; Who am I? Where do I come from? And also, why?

BP: HOW GREEN ARE YOU?
PS: I do the basics like turning off water taps when not needed and the like. I am aware that I have a choice and I attempt to not over consume and to question the origins of what I buy. Honest By is fulfilling my dreams of conscious consumerism, through leading us beautifully into an era of transparency. If you knew how the clothes on your back came into existence, would you still buy them? Awareness is the first, and very important, step.

BP: ARE YOU THE CHANGE?
PS: Everything that is good in me, I would in turn like to see in the world..... and all that is lesser within me, I will do my best to change. Letting go of what we/I perceive as comforts is not an easy task. Change is inevitable and a constant.

BP: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?
PS: Know thyself, and thou shalt know the Universe.
- Pythagoras
It's my favourite because it applies directly to my life at this moment...and next week it might be something else. One day in, the next day out! ;)

BP: THANK YOU FOR THIS INTERVIEW.

WWW.PHOLOSO.COM/STYLEBOOK

Photography Lee Wei Swee
Stylist & model
 Pholoso Selebogo
Make-up
 Miguel Jiminez for MAC
Model
 Ezekiel @ Dominique Models