If there was a colour to paint this creative fashion blogger, fashion stylist and the list is endless-I wonder what colour would it be. Featured on GQ magazine and on 3Talk with Noeleen, there is nothing Monde Mtsi hasn’t done. We met with this busy bee at Neighbourhood lounge to give us a preview on his life. Here is our Q & A with Monde Mtsi, editor of Reneissance Man (fashion blog portal about man’s fashion)
How did you get into fashion?
Fashion got into me. I just so happen to take advantage of it. I always thought I’d be more in entertainment, but after studying fashion for a year, I realized that’s where my future lay. As what in fashion I didn’t really know at the time, but now, as the sands swim through the hour glass I’m beginning to see my purpose within fashion.
Why did you focus on men’s fashion?
Men’s fashion is interesting than womenswear. Apart from being a guy and having to know how to dress myself and find my own individual style, menswear boasts a range of facets that require much more skill and creativity than womenswear. In South Africa, there are three publications that deal with menswear and the online community is men’s lifestyle focused as opposed to fashion. There’s a niche market to cater for, and I’m prepared to put the work to cater to their desires.
Reneissance men has become a brand on its own-how did you manage to keep it running successfully?
it’s about being committed and understanding the pressure is not with the world but with what I want to achieve. Passion plays a huge role in ensuring I push on with what I do but at the end of the day it all boils down to am I doing what makes me happy. And the answer is YES.
You were featured on GQ and appeared on 3Talk with Noeleen, how were those experiences like for you?
Surreal. I still read through the GQ piece, which is no more than 200 words every now and then – smile to myself and wonder how it all happened. As for the Noeleen moment, well, I still giggle internally that I of all people was on TV and with Noeleen. It’s all too unreal in a real way and I am grateful that I still feel like they happened prematurely. I still see such a long road for myself and I thank the moon and the stars for having granted me such opportunities.
What is your typical day like?
It involves a large amount of admin, answering emails, making calls, occasionally visiting people for meetings or interviews. I do a lot of online research and a weekly visit to the library. When I can I spend the day on youtube watching videos on men’s fashion, grooming and general industry clips.
If you could live the life of a designer-who would it be and why?
I think at present life as Thierry Mugler or Tom Ford (internationally) would be appealing because of the privacy and great men’s collections they produce which showcase a range of creativity. I think life as Adebayo Okelawal of Orange Culture (a Nigerian fashion design and brand) would also prove enriching because of his travels between Africa and London and working with such an exotic medium in a very western world.
How do you find inspiration?
I Google random words, images, ideas and concepts. I look take my dreams seriously and I do a lot of daydreaming. I read an extremely crazy amount of magazines and I enjoy digging up old books and magazines. I also enjoy listening to other people and watching them work.
its winter now and people shy away from colour-so what colours should be worn and what are the must have items for men?
Firstly, people shouldn’t shy away from colour. This is the opportune moment to stand out and be stylishly individual. This doesn’t mean colour block – we all know thats done and dusted. Wear brown, which is the standard colour in winter. Brown chinos, chocolate jumper and then wear a grass green jacket or coat. Must have items include leather brogue boots + two coats in tweed and wool or cashmere + a hooded all weather jacket + an umbrella + a large leather bag + biker leather gloves with the fingers cut-off.
Androgynous style is big internationally- would you venture to it?
I could, purely because I like the style. It’s not for everyone. It requires confidence and courage. It also requires understanding your look and knowing why you’re wearing it. Also, with today’s cross-design pollination, almost most looks are made androgynous. Women wear men’s suits. Men wear silk shirts or lace shirts. It’s all about interpretation and representation.
If your house was caught on a fire-which fashion accessories would you save?
My Tom Ford sunglasses. There is no way I’m facing the world after an accident like that without my shades on for extra shielding.
What does the future have install for Monde Mtsi Management?
There are a few things I’m up to as Monde Mtsi which I’m not at liberty to disclose right now due to contracts, however, Renaissance Men SA is going to push on with more fashion content and grooming for men and hopefully start rolling out some workshops. Whatever we finally get into next, we hope we’ll have continued support from both consumers and industry.