Following up on the success of Takura’s music video Noise released earlier this year we took time to get to know the stylist behind all the well-dressed actors in the video.
Tafadzwa Makoni has been putting work in and striving to make a name in the fashion game by helping to nurture and groom the distinguished gentleman.
Where did the passion for fashion come from?
It started around late 2005 when my mom got into the retail business. I basically grew up watching her buy and sell clothing not knowing that it was grooming me to understand supply chain management, merchandising and other foundational structures in the business of Fashion. As my interest in Fashion grew I could analyze colors and patterns and forecast trends by the age of 16. What’s interesting is I didn’t realize that all the information I had could be turned into a skill because the lifestyle itself had been normalized in my family.
Looking at your Instagram page there are a lot of pictures that are aesthetically pleasing, you model as well, How has that been?
How I got into modelling can only be explained by one sentence: I strategically placed myself into situations that allowed me to see opportunities and go for them.
The first time modelling became a thing for me was when I tried out for Mr & Ms Interact during my A Levels. At the time everyone around me believed that this wasn’t a competition that students from mission schools should partake in as if they didn’t deserve to be part of it. I just didn’t believe that being at a mission school had anything to do with my individual capabilities so I tried out in spite of all the negative feedback that I got from some of my peers.
As God would have it, I won the competition and got a contract from Catherine Ruze Agency. What started as a bid to prove to myself and my peers that we shouldn’t be bound by our fears, later on, defined the path my career would take.
In 2015 another opportunity came when I went to UCT. I joined a charity club called UCT RAG and was assigned to the Fashion Show project. We had Boss Modeling Agency helping us to scout models for the show so on the last day of auditions I took a chance after the final contestant finished and just got into the room. As soon as I got in the Boss team asked me to audition even though I wasn’t on the list and actually offered me a place in their Agency that day.
I worked with Boss for a year and my experience was tough due to the competitiveness of the industry, but nonetheless inciteful. In the larger view of things, the exposure I got from the industry taught me the value and impact of content in the digital age. It gave me a revelation that we have the opportunity to rewrite our narratives and tell a different story about Africans, one that’s made by Africans for Africans. Our creative culture can only progress if there is an effective dialogue between creatives in all fields. I encourage all creatives in Africa to keep collaborating because we have the chance to deconstruct those narratives that purposefully make us forget who we are; we can finally redress all the false representations that purge the richness of our people and our culture. The time is now!
So you are styling Takura, how did that feel?
I have to say, I’m truly blessed to work with people who share my vision. What I appreciate the most about working with him is that he is very time conscious and keen to listen to new ideas so it never feels like work with him. 2019 is going to be interesting for our team.
By the way, you did a great job, how did you get it to be such a success with everyone dressed so well?
Thank you very much. That was the first music video I’ve ever styled so it means a lot to know that I tried my best at the time and the response was positive. I honestly worked with what I had: I have a good network of friends and colleagues who are designers, bloggers and directors. They helped me come up with the right outfits for the video so collaboration definitely made that video a success. It’s by the Lord’s grace that I have met these people as they have become a valuable asset in my life.
Give us some tips on coming up with the ultimate outfit and being the ultimate gentleman?
My motto is that true style has nothing to do with how much money you have, it has everything to do with how you curate your taste to your means. The secret to coming up with the ultimate outfit already lies within your wardrobe so first work with what you already have, play with
What else are you doing that we haven’t mentioned?
I also offer image consulting for anyone who wants to see a change in their life through improving their appearance, behaviour and communication. So if you feel you need to improve your personal or professional image or desire to tap into your inner gentleman, you’ll know who to come to.
What is the future looking like?
I’ll have to save that information so you can experience the journey with me.
PS: I always leave subliminal in my instastories.