1. Hi Ayanda, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself and what you do as a ‘fashionista’?
I’m Ayanda Nhlapo. I’m the host of Ayanda Inside Fashion on [ED] (DStv Channel 190) every Monday at 18h55. The show goes in search of style secrets and discovers first-hand the inner workings of some of South Africa’s top fashion houses. I’m also an upcoming designer. I won season three of Young Designers on SABC3 and I now have my own clothing line called Ayanda. I’m also a Legit Firestarter, as well as a stylist. I just love everything to do with fashion!
2. You’re on your second season of Ayanda: Fashion House, which explores potential careers in the competitive fashion industry and in-depth fashion themes such as design and illustration, textiles and fabrics, eco fashion, buying and trend forecasting. What was the inspiration behind all of this?
The inspiration came from the love for fashion and the need to grow it and expose it as a successful industry.
3. The fashion industry is one that was male dominated for a while, yet this is rapidly changing. As a young female in the fashion industry, would you say it is easy to get into the industry?
I feel that we have a voice as women today. It is heard and it is respected. There are many platforms and opportunities that are great and available to us, so women have certainly become more empowered.
4. Many young and energetic women aspire to be in the fashion scene and be trendsetters, using blogs and other mediums as platforms. What advice would you then give to them in order for them to excel in this competitive industry?
Prove yourself to yourself because you are your biggest competition. Be yourself. Love what you do. Have discipline. Do your research. Do your best. Be consistent. And don’t be afraid of failure.
5. Would you consider yourself an influencer? If so, what are the joys and challenges you face as an influencer?
I do consider myself as an influencer. The joys are knowing that my soul, power, passion and energy resonates with others. It simply feels good to know that I have a positive effect on someone else.
6. For anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps after reading this, what’s the biggest tip you would give to them?
Don’t give up! Anything is possible!
7. Of course we would not let you go without getting some fun facts out of you! Where do you tend to buy your clothes and what do you like to splurge on? Also, what’s your favourite trend for the coming spring/summer season?
I buy my clothes everywhere and anywhere. I love timeless pieces of great quality that make me feel like a fashion queen. I’m into all kinds of looks and vibes. I believe that fashion is something that one should explore. I usually splurge on stunners, perfume and shoes! This summer, I’m looking forward to bright colours, off shoulders, short-shirts and lots of shimmer.
Interviewed by Muvhuya Mamidze