Lehlonolo Kwape is the seventh featured boy in the Breaking Bold blog series. With his self proclaimed 21st century come GQ-man style it is not hard to see why he was a must to feature in this blog series.
Lehlonolo is a full time media design student as well as a full time model. He endures a grueling and demanding schedule and somehow he manages to excel in both major aspects of his life – modeling at the Mercedes Benz South African Fashion Week as well as the Sowetan Fashion Week, he has also featured in one of Pansy Magazines online lookbook and collaborations with avant-garde designer Nao Serati. Both Lehlonolos’ mother and sister are clothing designers, so he has had their insightful and seasoned advice along with custom garments made by them most of his life. It goes without saying that Lehlonolo has a background and future rooted in fashion.
After meeting at Park Station in Johannesburg, Lehlonolo and I basically jogged to Braamfontein to snap some photos of his Michael Jackson inspired outfit before he had to set off to an audition for a Coca Cola advert in Auckland Park.
After snapping some great action shots Lehlonolo talked me through the reasoning for each article of clothing that made up his Michael Jackson – Thriller music video inspired look. Coal black denim paired with a black cashmere jersey gave the outfit a sophisticated base that could easily be added to. Lehlonolo explained proudly that his blood red leather jacket was a gift from Nao Serati when they worked on the Pansy Magazine article together and so he had to wear it for the shoot as well as it working with his Michael Jackson inspired look, which he thinks of as being “the cherry on top”. To give his outfit a more edgy and futuristic look, Lehlonolo paired it with a pair of his favorite black and white Adidas Tubulars. In all, with his height which is just on 2 metres, he stopped traffic and fought bulls!
Lehlonolo opened up to me about the industry he works in and said that he sometimes feels the pressure to present himself as a firm and heterosexual male as the industry tends to label male models as homosexual. Lehlonolo would like to exist in an open fashion industry where straight male models are encouraged to try and pull off stereotypically feminine clothing, without being labelled gay. He reckons that straight male models have just as much right to model bold clothing as gay men do and should be encouraged to do so regardless of their sexual orientation.
Lehlonolo says that the secret to being a fashionable young man is to reference major fashion trends from reputable sources and then use your unique style sense to influence the trends and adapt them to yourself.
Checkout Lehlonolos’ rad instagram feed @themodelnextdoor and contact him for bookings via his email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading. Come back next Monday to see the next featured boy.
Take care and be blessed. Xx