by Lebohang ‘Leptie’ Phume
I have attended fashion shows before but never of this magnitude.
Attending the SA Fashion Week on 4th & 5th April 2014 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Rosebank, Johannesburg. The other event was South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) at Gallagher Estates, Midrand was a true blessing to a fashion lover and an aspiring model like myself.
The events gave me the platform to engage with the fashion industry ‘big sharks’ and I learnt a thing or two from them. It is anyone’s wish to go from one exclusive ‘invites only’ event to another in one night, and I was very fortunate to have been in the midst of it all. Walking the red carpet at the SAFTAs, with the cameras flashing in front of you is just something you see on TV. When it happens to you, an unknown it both inspires and gives you hope that one day you too will walk the red carpet of all exclusive events, being known for who you are and what you do. No one will be asking for your name after every photo that is taken. Those photographers capturing every moment of the red carpet inspire you to work that much harder on achieving your goals.
One day I will not be asked to take a photo at a photo booth by random ladies just because I am beautiful but because I am a highly accredited model, stylist and blogger.
I met plenty of well-established individuals at the fashion week but the highlight of the whole weekend was engaging with the king of fashion himself, David Tlale.
Many people have characterized him as this serious, arrogant so called diva, but I beg to differ. He is a very humble and fun human being. I mentioned to him that I am an aspiring model and would love to walk the runway some day. With just a single gaze, top-to-bottom he said, “forget about runway, you’re too short for it, but keep modeling”. My spirit was crushed about but I am not willing to lose hope. I will prove it to him that nothing is impossible.
If there is one thing I have learned about this industry, it is that you are defined by your status, so if you don’t have one you will not be taken seriously.
For instance Anele Mdoda once walked the runway, but David said I am too short for it. The difference between us is that she had celebrity to leverage, which created a platform for her career whereas I am just a random lesbian who is still trying to make a name for herself. This will not break me; it will not stop me from pursuing my dream. There is one thing I forgot to ask Jerry Mokgofe a fashion blogger. I wanted to ask why bloggers never roast each other.
Was it because they were too scared to do so because they will be roasted in return?
Anyway I will get a chance one day. It has been a weekend of experience for me, a lifestyle I’m embracing and look forward to adopting as my second nature. I was born for this.
Previous by ‘Leptie’