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Letter to the fashion industry from an aspiring Vogue Italia stylist

20 May of 2014

By Siki Msuseni @SikiMsuseni)

You can grant me as many stories as you can, I am well aware that sitting in a MyCiti bus from the V&A Waterfront to Media24 carrying R25 000 worth of merchandise for a main fashion spread shoot is not the best idea, what if I told you I am willing to die fighting the skollies not to take the merchandise, because that’s how much I love fashion. To sum it up, I do not have my own car and I do not intend on purchasing one anytime soon but my hunger to work in fashion will not die.

This article was originally published on the 1st April 2014 on Siki Museni’s blog, All Things Intriguing, under the title ‘Siki Stylist’.

Sad to share my sentiments but I do feel someone in the fashion industry needs to read this. The fashion industry is missing out on real talent, especially the magazine fashion departments. Look I am not out here to bash at anyone specific but I am here to share what has been a common topic of discussion over lunch dates with young aspiring fashion editors.

It’s ever so often that I browse for fashion intern or fashion assistant jobs on the internet and I close the page immediately after seeing, “OWN RELIABLE TRANSPORT IS ESSENTIAL” excuse me madam in HR I am not privileged to have my own car as I am still studying and concerning your unpaid fashion internship how will one survive without petrol money? I’m not a trust-fund baby. I am hard working, I am good in admin and have an obsession with being organised, I am a true perfectionist at heart, I have the creative flair that could get me hired in a split-second at Italian Vogue, did I mention that I am driven and humble enough to clean the untidy storeroom filled with clothes dumped by the fashion editor after shoot days? I am ever conceptualising style shoots in my head. Fashion is the main ingredient in my blood stream. If you don’t believe, Google me.

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Knowing myself for being the one who never lets anything get in her way in getting anything I want, I am a true epitome of a ‘Go-getter’. I have met some really talented individuals who could make fashion stylists run for their money but with the infamous own-reliable-transport-is-essential tag line SA fashion magazines & digital magazines are missing out on real talent. I keep on refreshing the web-page hoping some publishing house will hire an intern based on A) Creative flair B) Humble enough to do dirty work and make coffee for everyone on set. C) Willing to learn and conceptualise own fashion pages in the long run. D) Will pay you a basic salary so you too can look like a fashion mule at Fashion Week. E) Driver’s licence is essential but own reliable transport is not necessary because hiring a cab for sourcing-and-returning days is all well and good with us.

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You can grant me as many stories as you can, I am well aware that sitting in a MyCiti bus from the V&A Waterfront to Media24 carrying R25 000 worth of merchandise for a main fashion spread shoot is not the best idea, what if I told you I am willing to die fighting the skollies not to take the merchandise, because that’s how much I love fashion. To sum it up, I do not have my own car and I do not intend on purchasing one anytime soon but my hunger to work in fashion will not die. So dear publishing house, FUCK YOU for your job vacancy written “OWN RELIABLE TRANSPORT IS ESSENTIAL”. I am more than happy to style my own amateur fashion shoots using what I have in my wardrobe. After all in my headspace I believe I’m already a Fashion Director at Vogue, Italia.

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Photographer: Azola Dyonta (@azoladyonta) 
Stylist: Siki Msuseni (@sikimsuseni)
Model: Zipho Gum

 


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  1. I’m in fashion. We make use of interns. We even pay interns. Yep, that’s right – we pay basic expenses and then even a little more to EVERY single intern that works with us. Whether in the exploitative UK space, or back home here at a fashion week etc.

    But unless it’s something as simple as a fashion week (at one venue), not having the ability to get exactly where is needed quickly and efficiently, is simply not a chance we can take. Been there, got burned by that. It’s sad. I remember working my ass off as a student to buy my first shitty Fiat Uno. But I was mobile. My life leaped forward. And cabs are fine and well, but cost that out properly, and realise what you’re spending.

    Sadly, passion or being super creative doesn’t tick all the boxes. Being humble is great, and getting your hands dirty is not something you shout brag about doing, it’s expected, especially in today’s highly competitive world.

    But the attitude is right, and that’s why you’ll make a success. But do not rely on luck – create your future. You may not afford a car today, but perhaps sacrificing for what you want, and doing a drivers test now, is the start of your future. Because if you really do feel that you’re Italian Vogue material (lets send Franca an email, she loves us in Africa), something as simple as a car is not going to hold you back.

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