Came across this interview on ‘Honest by’ with Europe-based South African stylist Pholoso Selebogo. Aside from the accompanying eye-catching photoshoot that sees her and model Ezekiel in fabulous prints and colours, she says some key things about the fashion industry and her personal life that resonated with me:
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 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!