Q&A: Linda Sifumba, stylist

lindaLinda Sifumba is a South African stylist best known as the winner of SABC 3s She’s The One.

At what age did you start becoming fascinated with fashion?
My interest in fashion started at 16-years-old and rapidly grew from there. Through the years my fascination with different aspects of the industry developed.

How did you prepare for a career in styling?
I studied commercial fashion for two years. I had a friend who worked for a production company that shoots music videos and she knew about my studies in fashion. Styling music videos was my starting point. I then moved on to publications as a fashion assistant. I also did personal styling jobs like image and wardrobe consulting and personal shopping with clients and fashion talks at events. I built up many of my connections through networking at parties and events.

How do you stay updated on the current trends?
I buy loads of magazines and I’m obsessed with WGSN, an international blog. It’s really informative when it comes to trend forecasting. I also read blogs and browse Pinterest. These platforms help communicate what people like and also helps with identifying the different sub-cultures within society.

What is your dream job?
My ultimate dream job would but to own my own fashion/creative hub and to be a fashion mogul! Before that, I’d love to be a fashion editor or a trend forecaster.

How important is communication between yourself and the photographer that you’ll be working with? What sorts of things do you do to prepare yourself for an upcoming shoot?
The photographer brings your vision to life, so it’s important that there is a clear understanding before the start of a shoot. I would make sure there is a meeting, where we discuss this vision. I then establish a mood board communicating the different gradients, textures and feel and theme of the shoot and also the type of model that we will shoot with. The mood board will help me to have a clear understanding of my approach when sourcing. I then source item for my shoots from designers and retail stores. The same evening I lay out the ideal styled-up outfits to be clear on what we will be shooting. On the shoot day all I have to worry about is dressing up the model and enhancing the looks.

What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself taking your styling career?
I will be starting a blog exploring fashion, writing, music and art, which will ultimately become a platform for young, up-and-coming designers. It’s a culmination of all the things I love. I don’t want to give too much away, so watch this space!

What are 3 key words to describe yourself?
Grace. Love. Happiness

Name the top three things in your styling kit that are must-haves?
I can’t live without my clamps, tape, and pins.

Advice for the up-and-coming fashion stylists up there?
Build and establish connections, especially with photographers, models, designers and retailers – they play a big role in your styling career. Also assist, intern or work in fashion retail. It’s so important to hone your craft as much as possible!

Favorite all time designer?
Internationally, I love Coco Chanel and Alexander McQueen. Locally, I’m a big fan of Laduma Ngxokolo and Black Coffee.

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