20 year old South African talent, Phupho Gumede K is a multi-disciplinary successful fashion creative and his journey in the fashion industry began in 2016. He is one of South Africa’s Youngest Couture Fashion Designers with creations which have won several ‘Best Dressed’ at various award shows.
With impressive accolades such as:
- 2017 Best dressed (Ayanda Ncwane for the Crown Awards) in a Phupho Gumede K
- 2017 Creative Director of Romeo & Jean Boutiques
- 2017 1st magazine cover(Drum Magazine and Move Magazine Christmas issue)
- 2017 styled and directed fashion editorial for Essays of Africa just to name a few.
Let’s actually delve into the dream of Phupho Gumede.
Who is the man behind “Phupho” (dream)?
“LOL…that’s a very tricky question! But the man behind Phupho is a shy extrovert, (didn’t know those existed till I met myself) a free being, Kim Kardashian super-fan and lover of good things in life but still down to earth,” he laughs.
When did your love for fashion begin, currently looking at your fashion sense?
“I started loving fashion before I could even talk,apparently I would wear my sister’s wigs and high heels when I started walking and I guess it grew from there. Watching them and mother dress up, I just fell in love with clothing and fashion and what it could do to a person’s confidence“.
If it wasn’t for the fashion field which alternative career would Phupho be in?
“I studied 7 months of BSc in Biology. I guess I would do Cosmetic Surgery. Its like fashion but permanent and on skin, ” he says.
Describe your role as an Image consultant and a Personal shopper in your own fashion dictionary?
TRICKY! Its very challenging but I always think of it as a collaboration between you and the client.
What are the pros and cons of being a stylist in South Africa?
“Pros- Being a creative at a time when people are more accepting of careers within the fashion sector and actually seeing how important they are.
Cons- Not being paid on time, potential clients wanting you to work for free, clients wanting you to “style” them but in fact they just want you to create a copy-and-paste version of something that already exist. People who don’t know what they want as well as those who do, it’s alot! But the love keeps you going and hungry, ” he explains.
Who are your favorite top 5 South African designers ‘doing good’ at the moment?
” Gert Johan Coetzee, Thebe Magugu, Ntando XV,MatteNolim and Orapeleng Modutle”.
What is the most expensive item/items you have purchased despite the ridiculous price tag?
“I bought a Balmain Blazer a couple of years ago, (ridiculous but blame it on Kim Kardashian). A Cartier Nail Ring, (I still get anxiety thinking about how I lost it) then a couple of T-shirts from Gucci,Burberry and Dior Fragrances,” he brags.
What event brings style memories and goosebumps back to you? ‘Describe It’.
“Oh My God… Its very hard to pick just one! But it has to be one of my Fashion Week Outfits. Picture a Red Afrogrunge jacket with sleeves to the floor. Also my Durban July all black leather outfit by c95,” he describes.
In the words of Phupho, what advice would you give to upcoming personal stylists or anyone trying to get into the fashion industry?
” I would say go for it. It is very tricky but just go for it. Do what you HAVE to do in-order to do what you WANT to do.Direction is better than speed so just start small so long as you are moving in the right direction”.
In closing, what’s next for your ‘ever dapper’ ‘Phupho Brand’?
“In terms of my looks… We are going all out! I cant wait for people to see what I have planned for upcoming events. In my family we say ‘Win 10-0 or don’t play at all’. As for me as a stylist and fashion multidisciplinary creative, I am looking forward to: more work, more collaborations with other creatives and the journey to the top, “he says.
After reading this interview , if you’re not convinced that ‘Young South African Creatives’ aren’t doing the most, then you definitely haven’t heard of the future of fashion– Phupho K.