She’s talented, gorgeous and has an amazing energy. Immediately when I saw her at Kitcheners in Braamfontein she was wearing coloured leggings, which she designed herself, the cutest pink boots and a funky purple afro, I was stunned! How can someone look this different but yet look so good, but I guess that’s the everyday life for a young designer who is always on the go! Ayanda Nhlapo also known as Queen Yaya is a young female who is into “dope sh**!”, thats one of the things she said when I sat down with her to have a conversation about what she’s all about, her aspirations and everything else in-between!
Who is Queen Yaya? “Ayanda is an ambitious woman who grew up in Springs,which is the East side of Joburg. She is an aspiring actress and a designer. Queen Yaya on the other hand is her alter ego, who represents her artistic musical side as a performer and song writer”.
How did you step into the fashion industry? “It’s all about consistency and keeping it real. I believe in starting something and continuing with it. I believe in self-improvement, that’s how I got into the industry and that is what will maintain me”.
How did you know that this was something you wanted to do? “My first dream was to become an actress, I studied Drama at NSA. Then I furthered my studies at Boston Media House. I discovered that I had too many interests and talents, fashion was the last thing on my mind, I then discovered I had a passion for it and I was actually good at setting and finding trends”.
What is the most challenging thing about being a young designer? “Finding a way to make your mark and to stand out from every designer and finding your niche, although a lot of designers still struggle with that”.
What is currently lacking in the fashion industry? “Creativity, everybody seems to be doing the same thing. The industry needs people who are not afraid to try new things and just be different”.
In five years where does Queen Yaya see herself? “Going international in terms of everything I’m aspiring towards. I also have a single that will be dropping sometime soon”.
What motivates and inspires you? “Eryakh Badu truly inspires me I love everything she stands for. A lot of other artist’s in-general inspire me as well. Pharrel also inspires me the fact that he started the trend with his famous hat, it makes him look so unique”.
What’s that one interesting thing that people don’t know about you? “I don’t like or eat red meat, but I eat chicken though, oh and dairy products. The first thing I do when I wake up is uhhmm..switch off my alarm clock”.
Ayanda is definitely going places. Look out for her she’s the next biggest thing!
Catch her on Sabc 3 every Sunday at 08:20 am for the Young Designers season 3 episode, follow her @Queen_Yaya .