A fashion stylist by profession, Kwena’s style is at another level. Her fashion and hair narrative is not the normal that we are used to seeing. Here style equals to Vogue like quality – fresh, authentic, risky and very inspirational. Sticking to her roots, she draws her inspiration from her continent Africa. She borrows ideas from different native clans and turns them into visuals that have caught people’s attention all over the world.
A force to reckon with, she has been featured by International magazines like Vogue and Marie Claire. Clearly, Kwena is a fashion Icon who is quickly making headlines in the fashion world. Her style is going viral and its just a matter of time before we see her stepping into the fashion realm with the giants.
A down to earth soul, Kwena wants to share her story with you. Here is what she has to stay.
Describe your style and source of inspiration?
My style is very experimental, fun, colorful, risky, cultural in my own description, a story , a movement, edgy and is for the people. I find inspiration from the streets and its people, old music, icons that lived before us. I’m intrigued by what was inspiring them besides, anger and apartheid. I’m inspired by the future; what I don’t know excites me to live. Books I read, building, dancing because in dancing I let go and that’s when I see things clearly when I’m in that zone, inspired by our stories, history, culture, my village in Limpopo where I come from, my family, movements of things and life.
What inspires your hair styles?
Being a stylist affords me the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country and to meet so many different characters along the road. Each person I’ve met has always had an interesting aspect of their hair. Somestand out for being unique while some simply intrigue me because they choose to be “regular” for the sake of fitting in. Experiencing this variety of people sparked the notion of how people relate to their “crown” – which is what your hair is essentially. You can choose to have it be bold and in your face, or it can be like every other hairstyle that’s out there which may be considered “generic” or “normal. I’ve also been attracted to how different tribes around the continent wear their hair – particularly in West Africa. There’s a lot of documentation made by history scholars, and international artists, around black people and our hair. The natives of Ugogo, whose hair traditions, are exceptional are just one of a few. There are also the Fante women of Elmina (Edina) in Ghana, for example, who had beautiful thick hair and their hairstyles were always so intricate and crafted to perfection. In fact, my current coiffure hairstyle is inspired by women in West Africa. The hairstyle was later made popular by our beloved mama Miriam Makeba. South Africa also has threading and plaitting techniques that are unique and allow us to express our personalities. I decided to start the series because it was high time that we tell our hair stories, from our own lips and through our own lenses. No one can tell Afrikan hair stories better than us because we are the ones living these stories.
What inspires your outfit choice and accessories?
Events of the day
Feelings of the day
Why do you gravitate towards bold colors and prints?
Because is what people are scared of
Scared to stand out
They wanna fit in
And I’m taking it upon my shoulders as a stylist/fashion therapist to wear them with pride and teach them it’s okay and it can be done right and win to be OOTD
It’s okay to be different, feel like you don’t belong trust me there’s a community somewhere just like you and one day y’all gonna meet.
Know who you are
Be proud of who you are
Know your culture
Learn other cultures
Embrace them don’t judge
Connect and you’ll see the best coming out of you because we win and do great when it’s from within and if you don’t know who you are, you have no within
Learn, get some knowledge
Ask different people
Research on things you like and just be you because there’s glory in you and you can only find glory alone
Ohhh and learn to share as much there’s a blessing in that.
Become a friend of Kwena via Facebook and Instagram @Kwenasays