Style maven: Kwena Baloyi

We chat to stylist and trendsetter Kwena Baloyi, who exudes a diverse style through her clothes and exciting hairstyles

Describe your style in four words. Authentic, rooted, storyteller and colourful.

Trademark accessory? My hair!

Your first fashion memory? My first day at my first job in retail, years ago – I remember opening boxes of stock and smelling the clothes and that was it!

One piece you’re buying for spring to update your look? Shoes – always shoes!

How did you get your start in styling? From a very young age, I just loved how my uncles, dad and everyone in the community used to dress. I used to observe and obsess over how they took normal clothes and made them look extraordinary. I learnt from my uncle that the styling aspect was key. I experimented on my own until my first job in retail, which involved merchandising and helping customers. My love of creating new looks and playing with different items to make a look work and stand out grew stronger and here I am, still shifting and creating.

The most fun and challenging part about your job? Sourcing – looking for the perfect items for a brief is challenging, but finding those items is exciting and gives me life. Also, I enjoy meeting clients’ expectations and making them happy.

What’s the one thing you’d never put a client in?  Ill-fitting clothes – fit is important. We do it right, or we don’t do it at all. Anything unflattering and uncomfortable is a no-no for me.

What is your never-fail styling trick? Layering and accessorising, which always bring out the outfit, making it look interesting and quirky. Also, confidence never fails in general.

Who are some of your go-to designers for styling now? Erre Fashion, Orapeleng Modutle, Marianne Fassler and Thula Sindi.

Your future plans? I want to create movements and make use of our diverse cultures to attract tourists back to our country.

Images: Trevor Stuurman, David Nyanzi and Austin Malema


Instagram: @kwenasays

Twitter: @kwena_baloyi