Words by Lesedi Ramonyane
Renowned in many parts of the world but often scrutinized here at home, the term ‘blogger’ has come to have a somewhat superficial and negative connotation attached to it over the past few years. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this; the digital space evolving to accommodate micro-bloggers (otherwise known as your favourite aesthetician to follow on the ‘gram) is one that is often thrown around. But whether you like them or not, there’s no denying that the industry has given rise to a new-age career that our parents could have never imagined would exist.
On a global level, the likes of Aimee Song, Asiyami Gold and Chriselle Lim have upped the ante from bloggers to become fully-fledged businesswomen with teams that research, create and share content on their behalf. I recently had a chat with a local blogger who was fortunate enough to experience New York Fashion week in the front row but also as a bystander to the spectacle that is a gruelling production that could leave you hibernating for a week after the last street style photographer takes their last snap.
In a similar context lies the misconception that fashion bloggers are simply documenters of their #ootd’s. Red eye flights, hours channelling your inner supermodel, planning outfits, locations and planning content for your blog in a time where we’re inundated with trends and a new face left right and centre can create a competitive and sometimes petty environment. Despite all of this, there are few who stand out not merely because of the pretty pictures but because these ladies have put in the work to forge their careers that see them doing what they love. Some might not agree with it, but there’s no denying that they are reputable entities that some of your favourite brands look to both for inspiration and a helping hand.
Disclaimer: your favs might not be on this list.
10) Pam Zokuhle
(Photos by Khethelo Nzimande)
A Durban native, Pam is the girl to go to when you need to look good without breaking the bank. Her casual style incorporates trendy statement pieces that can work on almost any day of the week. Although she is still fairly new to the scene she’s worked with brands such as Mr. P and Topshop over the past year.
9) Thato Mahapa
(Photos by Cedric Nzaka)
Law student and a lover of the finer things in life, this 22 year old maintains that looking good shouldn’t only be for off-campus activities. If you ever thought a white shirt was just another essential in your closet, Thato will be more than willing to share a few pointers on how to build your collection. When he’s not being a fashion-forward gent you can also find him scouting some new spots to check out in the city.
8) Rebecca Arendse aka The Minimale Blogger
Minimalist style blogger, writer and photographer, Rebecca’s talent speaks for itself. This Cape Town native is who you should be following for a perspective on local design and channelling a luxe, minimal look with the help of some savvy shopping tips.
Keep up with her style here
7) Lerato Kgamanyane aka Rato K
( Photo by @worthathovsandwords)
(Photo by Austin Malema)
(Photo by @longtermutopian)
(Photo by Cyril Zuma)
Digital entrepreneur, blogger and Transport Economics student, it’s hard to believe that Lerato has been in the game for such a short while and still manages to wear all these hats. She has used her platform to establish HellenRose, a social media management and creative consultancy in addition to expanding her blog to become an online portal for women, by women.
If you’ve been living under a rock, check out her work here.
6) Keabe ‘Kiabe’ Mautla
(Photography by ADW Photography)
This bald beauty writes to inspire the modern woman and for those who dream of wearing Balenciaga but can only afford Zara (for now). When she’s not climbing the corporate ladder as a business analyst, you can find her stylish travels and some daily style inspo on her self-titled blog.
5) Kenny Jules Morifi-Winslow
(Photos by Sekhfei De Lacy)
Kenny Jules Morifi-Winslow is the founder of IIIRD CITIZEN, a Parsons MA Graduate and a Fashion Anthropologist. She transcends the definition of a traditional blogger with her nuanced exploration of numerous topics and theoretical essays. Kenny’s unique approach is inspired by her desire to impact critical engagement within the design industry because of her varying academic history. You can follow her here and check out IIIRD CITIZEN here.
4) Cassandra Twala
(Photo by Thickleeyonce)
Curator by day and blogger by night, Cassandra makes adulting look so easy. Having worked with Mercedes Benz, Clinique, Nike and Country Road, she’s a versatile young lady whose influence is not limited to fashion. Follow her adventures and get some style (and lifestyle) inspo on her beautiful page and blog.
3) Aisha Baker Parnell
(Photos by Tegan Smith)
Years of hard work and building a solid team that shares her vision is what has led Aisha to the success that she enjoys today. She shares a holistic view of her personal style from the days she’s tempted to be in her PJs like the rest of us on a bad day to when you need to make an impression. Aisha’s style seamlessly incorporates streetwear, budget buys and high end pieces for looks that will you have double-tapping without a second thought.
Having fronted campaigns as well as being the brains behind them, Aisha’s appeal remains just as authentic as it was when she first started. Have a peek at her website here and give a follow on the ‘gram.
2) Tshepang ‘Twiggy’ Mollison
(Photos by Cedric Nzaka)
(Photos by Austin Malema)
(Photos by Bash Jameson)
No stranger to these parts, our May cover girl is someone who has figured out how to turn passion into profit. Her star has risen tremendously over the past year and it doesn’t seem like she’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Similar to some of her peers, Twiggy has also ventured from not only being in front of the camera but collaborating with the likes of Spree and Absolut Vodka to bring her vision to life. Twiggy has used her lifestyle to pay the bills whilst living a hell of a life.
Visit her blog here if you’re still living in the dark ages.
1) Aqeelah Harron Ally
(Photos by Abdul Malick Ally)
Last but not least, is an OG in the bloggersphere, Aqeelah has made a name for herself over the last 7 years by sharing her personal style on her many adventures. Having ventured into beauty and vlogging recently the quality of her content still remains exceptional throughout. Whether you need tips on how to style the season’s latest pieces, online shopping or transforming basics into show-stopping ensembles she leaves little room for you not to be inspired.
Having made the jump from a 9-5 to being a fully-fledged blogger, she’s worked with the likes of Hugo Boss and Adidas to name a few proving that being a blogger isn’t always just a line in a bio. Aqeelah truly is in a league of her own, follow her here and here.