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SNEAKER FACTORY CELEBRATES MONUMENTAL SUCCESS IN JUST FIVE YEARS

Sneaker Factory has grown rapidly since its inception five years ago in November 2019. Starting with one store, the company now has over 200 stores nationwide. The brand aims to provide affordable footwear and apparel from top brands like Adidas, Vans, Reebok, and Puma at great value to South Africans. Recently, Sneaker Factory also started producing their own apparel brand made from local materials to support the local community and offer customers high quality products at great prices.

“Sneaker Factory’s rapid growth and success in these five years is a testament to the dedication and passion of our team, as well as the unwavering support of our loyal customer base” stated Sneaker Factory Marketing Manager Lulama Mnisi and affirmed, “We set out to create a one-stop destination for the top local and international sneakers and apparel brands at affordable prices. And with our expansion and introduction of our own brand just five years into our inception, we’ve truly solidified our position as the go-to destination for fashion-forward individuals across the country.”

To connect with Sneaker Factory or get more info about their offerings, please check out their online platforms on Instagram (Thesneakerfactory_sa) Facebook (Sneaker Factory) & X (Sneakers_Factory).

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GALXBOY OPENS NEW FLAGSHIP STORE IN ROSEBANK

GALXBOY, a popular urban fashion brand, opened its flagship store at The Zone in Rosebank last night. As always, we are pleased to see the continued growth of black-owned businesses. The founder and head designer Thatiso Dube started GALXBOY in 2008 after noticing a gap for a brand designed by and for youth, particularly Millennials and Generation Z. Through ambition, perseverance, and teamwork, GALXBOY was created. I spoke with Thatiso and here’s what he said: 

What does the opening of the new flagship store mean to you?

My first job was at the Amakipkip store in Rosebank back in 2012. It is quite meaningful to now be opening a store where I used to work. The brand has really expanded since then and it’s great to see the support. The support pushes us to keep going and open even more stores.

What does GALXBOY stand for, and who are your customers?

This luxury streetwear brand aims to bridge luxury and affordability. My goal is to make luxury fashion accessible to more people. I want folks in my neighbourhood to be able to experience the same high-quality materials and stylish designs as expensive brands, but without the super high price tag. I’m bringing the world to the hood at affordable prices!

What does “black excellence” mean to you?

To me, black excellence is all about uplifting each other. It means showing support for black-owned businesses and making them thrive. We need to celebrate black people who are chasing their dreams and succeeding. We also need to get used to the idea that black excellence is possible. This is our time to show future generations of black children that they can achieve their goals too.

Finally, what’s next for GALXBOY?

We’ve got big plans to expand internationally soon. Lots more products, stores all over the place, and going worldwide to show everyone what we can do. Global expansion is coming!

Images by FashionForceAfrica

GALXBOY WEBSITE 

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Staying Authentic To My Own Journey – Tshego Koke

I recently had a conversation with Tshego Koke, a renowned TV presenter, MTV Base VJ, and rapper, regarding his journey in the entertainment industry, his recent Safta award victory and his aspirations for the future.

Congratulations on your recent Safta win for best TV presenter! How does this achievement make you feel and what significance does it hold for you?

I am grateful for the progress I have made in the industry and consider myself fortunate to be in an ever-changing and evolving space. While some individuals may question the significance of TV presenters in today’s society, particularly with the emergence of social media influencers, particularly TikTokers, I am grateful for the recognition I have received through winning the Safta award. This accolade has provided me with the opportunity to continue my personal growth and serves as a testament to the importance of staying authentic to my own journey and constantly reinventing myself, resulting in continuous improvement.

You broke into the entertainment industry when you won the VJ search in 2017. How has your experience been in the industry so far?

Over the course of six years, I’ve experienced a lot of highs and lows in my journey. While the highs may seem ordinary, it is during the lows that I have truly been tested and forced to find strength. It is in these moments that I have come to realise that everything happens for a reason. The industry is constantly evolving, presenting us with valuable opportunities to learn and grow. By embracing the lows, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the highs and the lessons they bring.

Any advice you could offer to aspiring TV presenters and share any insights you have gained about the industry that you believe others should be aware of?

Above all, believe in your talent and recognise that our purpose is to progress rather than cling to the present, allowing others the opportunity to contribute just as you have been given the same chance. Acknowledge that the perception of talent has evolved, and the approach to evaluations has taken a different form. Moreover, it is crucial to actively promote yourself and take advantage of social media to showcase your skills, enabling you to gain recognition and collaborate with brands regardless of where you are.

What does the future hold?

The future is full of countless opportunities, and I have always been someone who plans ahead. However, I’m not afraid of embracing new experiences and being open to different possibilities. I have come to understand that the industry is changing, and in order to succeed, it is essential to have multiple streams of income. Whether it means going back to school to pursue a different career or taking the leap to start a business, this has taught me the importance of stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Follow Tshego on instagram, CLICK HERE

MTV (DStv channel 130) is now also available to DStv Family subscribers.

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Nomsa Madida: A Formidable Presence in the Beauty Industry

 

Part of the celebration of black excellence involves recognising and appreciating black beauty. In our latest style feature, we highlight one of the most influential voices in the beauty industry, renowned make-up artist Nomsa Madida. With over a decade of remarkable experience in the field, Nomsa Madida has established herself as a formidable presence and a leader in the industry. She is the go-to makeup artist, with a portfolio that includes professional qualifications, an ever-growing career in the beauty industry, and a list of esteemed clients, magazine covers, and television appearances, among other accomplishments.

Her extensive expertise has enabled her to master her craft and become one of South Africa’s most sought-after makeup artists and image stylists. We extend our congratulations on her cosmetic range SasaCosmetics, a flagship range of locally-made products that has received excellent reviews. We wholeheartedly support and admire black-owned companies like hers.

Sasa Cosmetics Website

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Spring ‘23 GUESS Accessories Collection – Out with the cold and in with the all-new Spring collection 

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As South Africa awakens from its winter slumber, a new season bursts with warmth and rejuvenation, ushered in by the lively GUESS Spring ’23 accessories collection. Brimming with vibrant new additions, the season’s collection weaves in the sunlit allure of nature’s finest elements. Every piece is imbued with a sense of metamorphosis, just in time for a spring awakening. 

Ladies’ Accessories: Hands-on handbags 

With pops of orange, the comeback of micro and mini bags and versatile double pouch crossbody bags, the Spring collection spans across a larger assortment with refreshed tactile prints that are primed for seasonal change.

The collection embraces a playful rhythm of enticing novelties and finishing touches. Fleet snake print handbags slither in with mesmerizing blue and natural colorways. Shoulder straps are adorned with antique gold and shiny gold metalware, heritage-coded logos are debossed, and signature accent buckles are added. You’ll find luminous iconic peony logo prints intertwined and quatro G motifs catering to the refined craftmanship of the collection. 

The collection is defined by the curved bamboo top handles of the Stephi handbag, and the embellished logo studs and rhinestones in the Fynna canister handbag. Adventurous houndstooth raffia fabrication with the Abbey crossbody and tote as well as elevated quilted materials in the updated Alanna bag. Available in classic white, beige, dusty rose and dark black as well as bright colour swatches, the collection creates distinctive and practical everyday companions for the gamut of personalities in the diverse GUESS family from those who relish leisure, value carryalls to the perpetual grunge fanatics.

The assortment is curated with a keen eye on functionality with bags that can be worn in multiple ways, exemplified by the trendy double-pouch Noelle crossbodys, Noelle flap organizers, the dainty Sestri micro bag, and the Aviana bag adorned in navy jacquard 4G fabric.

GUESS Men’s Accessories: revamped and relaunched

For GUESS men, the 2023 spring collection beckons an exclusive range of new backpacks, wallets, crossovers, PU duffel bags, and luggage. All imprinted with style and functionality. Blues, greys, beiges, and blacks embellished with embossed labels set the tone for the versatility of the men accessories that sweep from distinctively understated to urban cool. 

Key take-home pieces this spring are the GUESS Men’s step-out sneakers. This season, men’s footwear will be relaunched covering all the bases when it comes to everyday wearability. Spins on the brand’s logo prints, embellished GUESS triangle logo accents and thick soles with a sculptured grip and contrasting accents will mark the amplification of our GUESS Men’s strides.

Discover the new spring accessories, including handbags, watches, purses, sunglasses and jewellery at our GUESS stores or online at https://guess.co.za/product-category/women/handbags/ www.GUESS.co.za https://guess.co.za/product-category/men/accessories_m/

#GUESSHandbags I #GUESSShoes I #GUESSMen I #GUESSWomen  

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KAT SINIVASAN- STYLE INSPO

Each month, we curate a collection of fashionable men who are leading the way in setting trends. These individuals serve as a source of fashion inspiration that you should be paying attention to. While you may not always agree with our choices, we are here to provide explanations for each person’s inclusion on the list and highlight the style moves that you should adopt from these stars. Without any further delay, allow us to introduce this month’s best-dressed individual. 

Katleho “Kat’ Sinivasan is a multi-talented South African artist recognized for his skills in music, television presenting, and acting. He embarked on his entertainment career in 2005, immersing himself in classical music and drama studies. His notable achievements include his work on SABC1’s magazine show Mzansi Insider, as well as hosting SABC 1’s New Year’s Eve show – Come Duze. Additionally, he has showcased his acting abilities in sitcoms and dramas. In 2017, he made history as the first South African host of E! Online Entertainment’s talent search. Furthermore, he has served as a fashion host for two seasons of South Africa’s “How Do I Look”. Beyond his on-screen endeavours, Katleho excels as a skilled master of ceremonies for live events. Recently, he received praises for his hosting of the Fabiani Masterclass. We consider him a style icon because of his relatable yet elegant fashion sense.

Images from Kat’s Instagram

He fearlessly experiments with different styles and embraces the use of colour. Whether he’s wearing track pants or a suit, his style never fails to catch the eye.

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A ‘TRUE FASHION’ CONVERSATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE CAPE TOWN ART FAIR

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Thapelo Mokoena discusses Bakoena’s new Beard Care range

Male grooming is becoming more visible in popular culture, with more and more men taking an interest in their personal appearance, which is great for individual confidence – and don’t forget about hygiene! Thapelo Mokoena, an actor and TV producer, recently announced the launch of the Bakoena Beard Care range on Instagram, so we spoke with him to find out more.

The Bakoena brand believes that the greatest way to make a statement is to act like the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time). A man’s sense of pride is often represented by his beard, so it’s important for him to take care of it properly in order to look and feel good. The Bakoena range offers products specifically designed to give your beard a boost, such as their Beard Wash cleanser that removes dirt and grime without stripping any natural oils and their luxurious Beard Butter blend made from mango and shea butter – perfect for nourishing your hair follicles while maintaining texture!

Muzi: Congratulations on your new Beard Care range, what inspired you to go in this direction?

Thapelo: I was drawn on this journey by a personal solution to my eczema until I met Jared Hines, my business partner and skin wellness expert. I was amazed by his understanding of organic ingredients and eventually, he created a natural treatment just for me – and it worked!

Since making the switch to natural products, I’ve noticed that most of the items in my bathroom aren’t appropriate for my climate or aren’t made locally or on a continental scale. This curiosity drove me to create a grooming line that focuses on African beards that are prone to ingrown hairs due to their length and that are prone to bulging due to darker skin tones – making them accessible to all.

Muzi: Grooming is often associated with women and femininity, and most men disregard it because it may compromise their masculinity. What’s your take on this?

Thapelo: In this day and age, it’s short-sighted to view things from a socially-driven perspective; now, it’s all about wellness. Conversations revolve around health, vitality, and sustainability -and grooming is a part of this too.

We’ve given such a negative definition to grooming, treating it as nothing more than a time-consuming activity to look “pretty” or “hot”. But in actuality, grooming is self-care; it’s about loving yourself and taking good care of your body. It doesn’t compromise masculinity–it’s actually about preserving and enhancing the wellness of your skin, beard and face. We should all be proud of taking care of ourselves.

Muzi: What does male grooming mean to you?

Thapelo: It means striving to be the best version of yourself as a man, and I believe that when you look at our product as Bakoena Brands, there are values that speak to the type of man that we’re speaking to.

At Bakoena Brands, we strive to help men become the best versions of themselves. We represent the values of being a man, husband, father, brother, and lover, and we want our products to be something that every African household can relate to. Our tagline “The feeling of home” is what we want our customers and tourists to experience when they use our products.

Muzi: What’s next for the Bakoena brands now that you have added cosmetics?

Thapelo: It may be a bit premature to ask, but we just welcomed our second child into the world and it is an amazing journey that lies ahead. I’ve spent the past two years working to make this venture a success and I’m proud to say that it has a long lifespan – longer than my own life! We are grateful for each person who has joined us, as well as those who have purchased our product. As we continue to grow and flourish, let’s take care of the African home one product at a time.

Visit bakoenabrands.com to find out more about this fantastic brand and how they can help you keep your ‘crown’ looking regal!

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Conversation with Mohale Motaung

What comes to mind when you hear the name Mohale Motaung? Well, I didn’t think much of him until I saw the Showmax special Mohale: On record, and my opinion of him completely changed. Mohale Motaung, an actor, radio host, and model, speaks with iStyleBlaq.

MUZI: You’ve made a name for yourself as an actor, radio host, brand influencer, and model, but who is Mohale Motaung?

MOHALE: I am an entrepreneur as well as someone who is very committed to children and young people. I am a go-getter and simply someone who does what he wants. I’m someone who lives a colourful life, is confident and enjoys being around people who are hardworking, positive, and want the best for themselves and others.

MUZI: You stated that you are an entrepreneur and that you are now a director in five companies. I’m just curious what piqued your interest in entrepreneurship and how things are going for you.

MOHALE: I’ve always enjoyed coming up with ideas, exploring different things that interest me, and attempting to turn that into an income. I’ve been working since I was 18 and have worked in a variety of industries and sectors. Because I couldn’t do what I wanted as a result of working for someone else, I became interested in entrepreneurship.

MUZI: Do you face the challenge of not being taken seriously in business as a public figure?

MOHALE: This happens quite frequently because when people think of public figures, they think of people who want to be famous, not people who take business seriously and even sit in boardrooms with people who don’t think they can articulate themselves in business terms.

MUZI: You studied Marketing and Economics at IMM Graduate School; which lessons have proven to be the most valuable that you are now applying, especially as an entrepreneur?

MOHALE: When you study marketing or economics in school, you learn a lot, but you also learn how to run a business and make decisions that aren’t just profitable. Some people believe that business is all about making money and profit, but they overlook the importance of developing a sustainable brand and one that appeals to multiple markets. When doing business, you can focus on making money because that is what we all want, but you should also focus on building a brand that is sustainable, one that people can identify with, and one that gives back.

MUZI: Let’s talk about personal branding while we’re on the subject of branding. I bring this up because you were labelled as that person, and I don’t know much about you, and I never liked Mohale until I saw the Showmax special. What are your thoughts on personal branding?

MOHALE: You can build a personal brand in any way you want and decide what you want it to be, but people will make of it what they want because people will see your personal brand and form their own opinions and make their own decisions. People knew me because I was married to Somizi Mhlongo, and they had their own opinions about my marriage and relationship, as well as the kind of man I was.

People made their own assumptions about the brand I built, even though I had an idea of what I wanted the brand to be like, and I believe this is because I’ve never been someone who was open about who I am and what I do. I didn’t mind.

When it came to the Showmax special, all I wanted was for it to be genuine, to speak about who I am, and to let people decide what they wanted to take away from it. It’s critical to create a personal brand that relates to longevity and that people can relate to because I can’t avoid being a public figure and having people who support me literally watching every day to see what I’m doing, who I’m with, and if I want to maintain that branding, and also in relation to the work I want to do, it’s critical that the brand looks good and does good, and that is my goal.

MUZI: How do you feel about the perception people have of you? 

MOHALE: We can’t deny that I was married to someone with more financial muscle and a stronger personality than I do, and in this case, it kind of tarnished the person I am, because people have always looked at the shining star, and that’s what they cling to when they think of me and look at me. I wouldn’t say I’m angry or hurt because I was married to Somizi Mhlongo, which is significant in and of itself, and because people didn’t know about me or where I came from, they had to think of me and Somizi every time they thought of me. That led people to believe I was married for money or wanted to be famous and that was not the case.

MUZI: What are you working on right now?

MOHALE: I’m working on a skincare line that will be released soon, so I decided to go into the beauty industry because I’ve always been interested in grooming and how my skin and beard look. I’ve interacted with a variety of brands, even when they approached me because that’s the niche market they assigned to me. I’m always looking for ways to look good and make others look good. I am also working with a local sneaker brand that has already launched but will open its first store in Melville in December, so I’m a part of that.

MUZI: Finally, how would you like to be remembered?  

Mohale: I want to be remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest and was not afraid to make difficult decisions, or as someone who walked the path that most people do not want to walk. There are some decisions I’ve made and things I’ve done that people look back on as if they never happened. I simply believe in living my life in the best way possible, and anything that contradicts that has to go. I also want to be remembered as someone who believed that if you put your mind and heart into it, anything is possible.

Images from Mohale’s IG.

 Instagram:  @mohale_77

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LIFE AFTER BIG BROTHER FOR THEMBA BROLY

Themba Mabaso, aka Themba Broly, Big Brother Mzansi’s second runner-up, has been making waves since the release of his latest EP project, Ghost. The Alexandra-born father of two released a three-track self-titled EP featuring Virginia Qwabe, Prince Bulo, and Skye Wanda with the help of award-winning DJ Mthokozisi ” Tira” Khathi. Themba Broly spoke with iStyleBlaq about life after Big Brother Mzansi.

What motivated you to enter for Big Brother Mzansi, and did you have a game plan?

To be honest, I signed up for Big Brother to gain exposure for my tattoo shop and music. The worst part, in my opinion, was having to learn the game and strategies within Big Brother. I went in not knowing what the game was about, having to watch my back and study people, and being kept in the house for three months not knowing what was going on outside. Being away from my family and children, as well as not knowing who voted for me.

I began to understand how the game functioned because I had no idea it was dependent on viewers and votes. So, after learning that the housemates get to vote and nominate, but the viewers make the final decision, I told myself, “you know what, given my weirdness and the fact that I’m just a boy from Ekasi, I probably have about 2000 people voting for me.” I had no idea I had one of the highest votes in the house.

Do you have any regrets about taking part in Big Brother?

I have no regrets; instead, I am grateful for the show because it gave me a lot of exposure, especially for my tattoo shop and music. Big Brother has had a significant impact on my life because I am now able to do things that I could not do previously. I am currently renovating my tattoo shop in order to expand it, and I also worked with DJ Tira on my latest EP project, Ghost.

Let’s talk about your most recent EP, How did that happen?

Music is my first love, and it has always been my dream to release music. Teekay from Goldfish Concierge Lifestyle Productions introduced me to DJ Tira at a function. We started chatting and felt really good. Then Tira approached Teekay and asked if I wanted to go to the studio with him. When Teekay told me, I was overjoyed, and of course I agreed. Dj Tira then flew me to Durban to the afrotainment studios, where we released the EP, which consists of three songs, the hit single being “Uyangifaka,” and these three songs were released in a matter of a day or two.

The response has been incredible, and my ghost nation fans have been amazing in streaming and purchasing the EP. Now we’re planning a tour to promote the EP, amongst other things.

Do you have any issues with people not taking you seriously as an artist and instead seeing you as a reality TV star?

I’m not concerned with what other people think of me, which is why I have tattoos on my face; I’m used to people looking at me funny in malls, thinking I’m demonic, but that’s no longer the case; people now embrace me. I’ve been misunderstood, misjudged, and misidentified as a “skrr skrr”—and I’m not a skrr skrr, I’m a Kasi boy who never went to fancy schools. I grew up in a poor neighborhood in Alexandra known as “TB,” and my dream was to make it in life.

Regarding people not taking me seriously as an artist, I am and have always been passionate about music, and I even sang on Big Brother. One of the reasons I had such a huge fan base was because I would randomly break out into song and sing my own and other people’s songs. So, I’m absolutely confident in my abilities as an artist.

What are your plans for the future, and what can we expect from you?

My long-term goal is obviously to have a successful music career and to go global. I also hope that my tattoo shop will expand to become the largest in South Africa, with branches all over the world. I have a lot of plans that I can’t talk about right now, but there are a lot of things coming up after Big Brother. I didn’t win, but I feel like I did because many of the goals I set for myself when I entered Big Brother are now being fulfilled.

Photos by Eyelegance_optometrists & Stillsbytom

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