The new generation aspiring models are advancing at a fast pace. They are more woke!  These are individuals who show their liking for beauty and fashion trends at an early age. This has led to the rise of a whole new generation of 13-year old’s who aspire to be models in the fashion industry. This is based on their clear perspective about what they want to achieve in this fierce and competitive industry. Typically, women who are in the fashion industry today would tell you that it was their childhood dream to become a fashion model.

Nomthandazo Buthelezi is the new face in the South African fashion modelling industry who has had the passion to become a model very early in her life. From Richard’s Bay in KwaZulu Natal, she says her mom initially exposed me to fashion modelling.

“From a very young age my mother exposed us to clothes and modelling. She used to work for a clothing retailer and whenever a new kiddies range came out, she would put me on the ramp to showcase the clothes. I then started imagining myself draped in designer wear on print magazine and billboards. It’s been a dream of mine ever since,” says Nomthandazo.

Nomthandazo Buthelezi

She, like many other upcoming models is inspired by Alek Wek, a South Sudanese-British model and designer who began her fashion career at the age of 18 in 1995. She was the gamechanger and redefined beauty in the fashion industry.

“Alek Wek was the first model to influence my attitude about modelling. She rose above, against all odds in the 90’s and created a huge name for herself in the industry. I appreciate her beauty and confidence,” she says.

Speaking to iFashion – Chief Executive Officer of Alushi Models said, “Choosing a modelling career has to be a clear decision, because being in the industry is not as glamorous as it seems from the outside. Modelling is one of the few careers where you are judged by your looks and it’s accepted. Modelling has nothing to do with beauty; it’s about having a unique look that you can grow with in the industry. The industry is also about 30% looks and 70% character.”

Some of Nomthandazo’s work includes working with Foschini on a women empowerment campaign and collaborating with local fashion brands. Her wish is to one day work with international brands.