tops are feminine, sassy, playful, and seductive. They can also be alluring and
polished when paired with a sleek fabric and a flattering cut. The variety of
styles, patterns, and designs is broad. The off-the-shoulder top is a
crowd-pleasing style that belongs in the wardrobe of all women.
Whether your aesthetic is more girlish or more rock ‘n’ roll, there is an off-the-shoulder top that will appeal to you and your sartorial sensibilities. Here’s some insight into styling and wearing an off-the-shoulder top.
Duma’s striped off-the-shoulder
top paired with a matching pair of shorts is quite fancy. If you’re looking to
add some serious style to a chic yet casual outfit, you can consider this
look. It’s a relaxed, super comfortable and oh-so-chic.
Toke Makinwa’s off-the-shoulder top with a matching short skirt is a bright, fun and elegant look that can work for any occasion depending on how you accessorise it. The off-the-shoulder top is soft and seductive simplicity. It is alluring and sexy. The elasticized fabric makes it easy to wear and gives it a comfort factor. The matching skirt is understated and complements the top.
Nhlanhla Nciza’s off-the-shoulder striped jumpsuit is, without a doubt, a stunning casual style. The head-to-toe, all-in-one garment creates a striking look that moves beyond a simple dress or pants and top combo, and into more fashionable territories. Choose the wrong fit or add the wrong accessories and your jumpsuit can go from a fashion hero to a fashion zero.
African print outfit is the perfect item to get you out of your jeans and
T-shirt rut. Choose from a variety of print fabrics in a range of silhouettes
to find the one that suits your style. This might be a trendy and relaxed look
for a traditional wedding.
Congratulations to Zozibini Tunzi for winning Miss Universe 2019. The country has been buzzing since the news broke. Celebrities from all over the world shared congratulatory messages to Zozibini on social media. After winning, she had this message to share; “Tonight a door was opened, and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine.”
The event took place on the 8th of December at the Tyler
Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 90 women from across the world
took part in the pageant. Zozibini beat Puerto Rico’s Madison Anderson and
Mexico’s Sofia Aragon in the final three to take the tiara.
Zozibini is a passionate activist and engaged in the fight against gender-based violence. She has devoted her social media campaign to change the narrative around gender stereotypes. She is a proud advocate for natural beauty and encourages women to love themselves the way they are.
“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me,
with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful.
I think that it is time that that stops today,” says Zozibini.
The British Fashion Council hosted The Fashion Awards 2019 on
02 December 2019 at iconic London venue The Royal Albert Hall. Big names in the
entertainment world stepped on the red carpet looking very spiffy.
The Fashion Awards recognises creativity and innovation in
fashion, celebrating exceptional individuals whose imagination and creativity
have broken new ground in fashion globally over the past 12 months, and the
brands and businesses that have transformed the possibilities of fashion today.
Our favourite model Adut Akech was crowned Model of The Year
2019. The South Sudanese-Australian beauty covered seven Vogue covers this year
and five September issues. She’s also on a mission to finish school and to
support the beautiful women of her homeland, who don’t have the resources to
make it in the fashion industry.
“I don’t want to be known as ‘Adut, the model’, I want to be
known as someone who made a positive impact. It’s an honour to be used as an
example of what diversity looks like,” she says.
Among the Special Recognition Awards, Naomi Campbell was
officially recognised as a fashion icon, Sarah Burton was heralded as an
industry trailblazer, Giorgio Armani was honoured for his outstanding
achievements, and Christopher Kane was dubbed the designer’s designer during a
night that shone a spotlight on excellence and innovation, but also the energy
taking fashion forward into a new decade.
Change was a theme also reflected in the winner of the Urban
Luxe category: Fenty, Rihanna’s namesake label, which threw the rule book out
the window when it launched in May.
is home to beautiful women from many cultural backgrounds. A large number of these
women have successfully changed the way people perceive beauty. Marie-Noëlle Graobe
is one of the African models that have
successfully broken the stereotypes and making the continent proud.
Every model has the dream of traveling and modelling for not only the country they live in but to eventually travel the world. They dream of modelling in all the major cities for all the high-end names and designers. She has realised most of those dreams and continues striving towards achieving more.
The Republic of Cameroon is a West African country bordered by Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south, and Nigeria to the west. This is where French–speaking Marie-Noëlle hails from, in Doukoula, a place situated in Mayo-Danay, Extreme-Nord in Cameroon, to be precise.
Since arriving in South Africa in 2017, her modelling career has been flourishing. Marie-Noëlle is one of the hottest new faces on the scene, she was soon courted by top design houses for their runway shows. Her distinctive looks have enabled her to walk the crème de la crème of runways such as Jean Paul Gaultier. She has been featured in globally acclaimed magazines such as Vogue – Italia.
“The modelling opportunities in South Africa were much wider and bigger as opposed to Cameroon. Being here has opened a lot of doors for me in terms of modelling. Booking the Vogue Italia cover was definitely my biggest highlight. This is every model’s dream! It was unreal! I didn’t expect it and I didn’t even imagine it. It’s one of those once in a lifetime experiences, it was truly surreal. Glory to the highest,” she says.
Marie-Noëlle is booked and busy! She is signed with Fabulous.Com Models, an agency based in South Africa, Blare Management in Barcelona, and Karin Models in Paris. As a result, she literally lives out of a suitcase because she travels from country to country.
“As a model, I need to be able to model worldwide and therefore need to be represented by agencies worldwide. They all have different goals and ambitions for me, and I get to work with different people too, so it’s truly exciting. Although the workload does tend to be a lot, because sometimes I’m required to be in different countries in a short space of time and it’s really challenging to be traveling from one country to another in a time span of a month, just to do work. I really have no schedule because it’s always so impromptu as I work on the client’s schedule. So, I could literally be called at any time anywhere, I just never know. But I find my balance in God, without him I wouldn’t be able to do this work. I also have a support system behind me. They are always watching and looking out for my mental health,” she says.
bucket list includes working with the biggest fashion houses like Versace and
Yves Saint Laurent. “I know with God; I can achieve it!” she says
The story of Africans in the modelling world is often one of resilience, with a number of black models forging a path for themselves and their communities in an industry that has often stuck to narrow, limited notions of who should be seen and celebrated. The fashion and modelling industry still has much to account for when it comes to its handling of ethnic diversity, different body types, and gender politics, but Marie-Noëlle is one of those models who persevered under daunting conditions to achieve feats of beauty.
She says entering the modelling industry as a black woman is already a challenge on its own, but it’s definitely how the industry still hasn’t adapted to working with dark-skinned models. “Trying to fit into the aesthetic of the industry is also really challenging because it changes every day, this season we might be in, next season not so much. So, keeping up with a trend is hard.
CHALLENGES OF THE INDUSTRY
fashion industry has forced an unrealistic image on women, says Giles Deacon, one
of Britain’s leading designers. He criticises the fashion industry’s continued
obsession with skinny models and points out that the fashion industry tends to portray this image of
totally unrealistic women who are not allowed to be themselves and that this
was just all wrong. He pins the blame for this on the cowardice of many of his
Marie-Noëlle has also endured some of this prejudice. “I’ve been criticised by designers in front of my face. I’m not the smallest person when it comes to our industry and they would always talk about how my thighs and butt are too big,” she says.
GROWING UP IN DOUKOULA – CAMEROON
Growing up in Cameroon was one of
the best experiences, I had the best childhood ever. It was full of so much joy
and fun. My childhood was adventurous because I was one of those kids who
would always get hurt. I was always doing something dangerous. I have two
sisters and three brothers. Unfortunately, both my parents are no longer with
us, but I have my sweet beautiful Godmother who’s in Cameroon.
She started modelling in 2010 but
only became a professional model three years ago. Although she gets booked for
many runway gigs, shooting editorials is what she prefers most. “I like doing an
editorial shoot because firstly, it pays more, and secondly I enjoy being in
front of the camera and sharing different sides of me,” she says.
Marie-Noëlle looks up to people like Maria Borges, an Angolan model who has successfully carved her path in the industry and was named Forbes Africa Magazine’s top model of 2013. “I adore Maria Borges! I actually met her this year in Paris. I admire her work ethic and find her commitment to be very charming,” she says.
When asked if she still models in her country, she said; “Yes, of course, I can never ever forget my people and where I come from. I show my support by doing makeup campaigns, shoots with photographers and look books with a few designers in Cameroon,” she says.
I enjoy traveling, as much as it’s
exhausting it truly is great learning about different cultures and countries of
the world. I love meeting new people as well. It’s just crazy that I am from a completely
different side of the world and that I get to learn about someone with a
completely different background to mine.
I work the most in Barcelona, a city
in Spain, but I love Paris in France. It is amazing firstly because they speak
French, which is my language. It makes communication so much easier and the
people are amazing, and it is a beautiful country.
She says modelling in other
countries is different from South Africa. “There is a lot of competition in
other countries compared to here. The market is so different in Europe and the
language barrier makes it much more difficult, but I still manage,” she says.
She shares how she’s always experienced
colourism throughout her life. “Even in my family, I am the one who darker-skinned.
But I’ve come to accept who I am and I’m enjoying being dark-skinned and I’m
glad that the world is realising how much beauty there is in dark skin.
My advice to other models is; “Stay
true to yourself, never change for anyone. Believe in yourself and always trust
in God. He’s the only one that can lead and guide you in this industry.
Remember that Vos rêves sont valables – Your dreams are valid!” she
Even though one of the many highlights of a modeling career is the chance to showcase a designer’s new collection on the runway, if you’ve never stepped foot on the runway, it can be quite a daunting task. Walking on a long stage in front of hundreds of people and flashing cameras all focused on you! Let’s face it, it doesn’t always go according to plan even for an experienced model. Runway walking is an art form in which models have to put a lot of time and dedication into perfecting it.
As she turns 21 years old this month, Naomi Sibiya reminisces about one of the major milestones she achieved this year, walking on the runway for the first time. Landing a coveted runway spot as a new face to distinguish herself during the Soweto Fashion Week (SFW), Naomi made it a point going into the show that not only does she have to walk the walk, but she had to stand out from the pack. Well! She did that! She turned heads with her graceful walk and wore the different designer garments with elegance.
For this rising star, the fashion week was about more than clothes, it was a manifestation of hope, ambition and a dream coming true. Based in Mamelodi, a township in Pretoria, Naomi had long dreamt of her moment in the spotlight, so when the opportunity arose to model in SFW, she seized it.
She walked the
runway for designers such as Clavon, Negustyle, KMD, Siania, Freshwear and
Shona Accra. While every collection she walked during fashion week provided its
own thrills, Naomi’s standout experience came courtesy of Siania’s long gold
evening dress. “It made me feel beautiful and sexy, she says.
“I practiced my walk every day and made sure to familiarise myself with the shoes that I would be wearing for the show, in order to feel confident and to avoid falling on the runway,” she says.
She describes her first catwalk encounter as euphoric and nerve-wracking at the same time. “Overall it was a dream getting to walk for so many amazing brands for the first time. I absolutely enjoyed walking the runway, even though I was nervous at times. I am grateful for the platform because it gives inexperienced models an opportunity to learn how to walk on the runway. It ignited my love for the runway,” says Naomi.
Runway modeling is a popular career goal, which might lead one to believe that you just need to be gorgeous and graceful to be a success. However, you need to take care of yourself because the world of modeling can be demanding.
Naomi shares her experience; “For instance, on the day of the
fashion show, it is always hectic! Almost nothing goes according to plan and
the changes can be straining. But none of the disappointments can curb the
excitement I get before and after doing the show. All the time, it doesn’t matter how many times
you’ve walked for shows, those butterflies will make their way to the tummy. The designers expect us as models to sell
their garments, hence they go through the process of choosing models they
believe will give life to their designs,” she says.
Naomi started modeling this year in March and explains how it all began. “My journey as a model began when I met Onthatile Mahlangu of Onthabang Photography. I had my first professional photoshoot with her, and she helped to set up my Instagram account and to harness my craft. Modeling has always been a passion of mine, but growing up, my mom wouldn’t allow me to pursue it or even talk about it. The funny thing is that, now that I’m modeling, she talks about how when I was younger, I would insist that my grandma wrap me in her scarfs and then start prancing around the house,” she says.
She talks about lessons she quickly had to learn in her short time modeling. “The biggest lesson I learned, is to always be grateful and humble! I’ve also learned how to be consistent and to absolutely believe that I can do anything,” she says.
“Just because you’ve got a pretty face doesn’t make you a model.The more you embrace your own natural beauty, the better you look and feel. Modeling teaches you to take care of your body. I’m learning to love myself, just the way I am.”
Naomi is undeniably one of the models to watch in the future,
after her resounding success at the SFW, she went on to walk on the Fashion
Without Borders Africa stage. Her dream is to model clothes for one of South Africa’s
popular and talented fashion designers, Gert Johan Coetzee.
“I want my modeling career to not only flourish in South Africa but in the whole of Africa and then to the rest of the world, gracing runways and heading big campaigns,” she says.
HAPPY 21st NAOMI – MAY ALL YOUR DREAMS BE FULFILLED!