You have to live under a jelly rock to not know that Chipo Mapondera is one of SA’s vociferous fashion personalities. This is a modest fact and not open for discussing because trust me, right after you finish reading this piece I’ll meet your hand somewhere mid-air for a high 5. I had an opportunity to chill with Chipo over a cup of tea at the Styling Concept offices recently and this is only a part of our jaw.
ABOUT AN ENTRY INTO FASHION.
- Like most people of my generation, Chipo sort of fell into it. Of course stemming from a teenage interest in magazines whilst still studying in England.
- She studied Drama and French and on her Summer holiday she interned for Marie Claire SA in Cape Town working with Leila Petersen and upon her return to the UK she interned for Vogue where worked with the powerhouse that is Charlotte Stockdale. When she came back to South Africa, she hooked up a 6 months internship with Sharon Becker at Elle Magazine and she made great contacts in the industry.
- In December 2012 Sharon linked Chipo with Lorraine Maisel of Styling Concepts to help with an event for NIKE, which went on for three months, which turned into six months where she adopted other projects with the company and spun on to her current position with them.
- Speaking to her, it is clear that she has found an abode in fashion PR because part of her job necessitates partaking in many spheres of the industry, from producing campaigns, styling shoots, writing and brand activation through awesome events.
ABOUT CHIPO THE COOL KID.
Although she denies this fact, if you’re lucky enough to be in her presence, I can guarantee a colossal wave of prominent awesomeness –there really isn’t a cheesy equivalent greatness). However, I went on and fired questions, trying to decode her clandestine elements.
MJ: How do you spend Chipo time?
CM: whatever that means, a lot of my friends are quite big on the music scene, so I’m often out at parties where some DJ or perform. Normally wherever Dirty Paraffin or Bhubesii headline, I’m likely to co-cheer.
MJ: Which areas do you frequent?
CM: Everywhere really, mostly near the city centre. I love discovering nonconventional retreat spots, great clothing hubs new eateries –I am such a foodie and love learning to make new stuff too.
MJ: You cook? What is your speciality?
CM: I can make almost anything. I can even make pizza from scratch.
MJ: Music? Tell me about the music you are into.
CM: A lot of cool underground hip-hop and electro music. If I had to think of one artist from the top of my head, I’d say Theophilus London.
MJ: Theophilus London is all kinds of cool. I think he just might be our generation’s culture icon.
CM: Totally, I love all things cultural. I am obsessed with pop culture, street culture, high culture, history I constantly witness myself morphing into an art culture geek.
MJ: What other fields of art do you like?
CM: All kinds, graffiti and everything that it instigates, form pop art inspiring an entire era, to neo-realism motivating great classic fashions all to way to pre-Raphaelite works which incite peaceable moods.
MJ: Who are some of your current favourite fine artists?
CM: I love the works of KAWS, Jeff Koons’ originality. I’m also quite pro-femme, so Tracy Emin raises a few brows. My good friend Tabitha Millet also makes some great art.
At the very end, I have learned that there really is no secret route to making what you want work for you. “it’s all about taking a great interest in a certain field and being intuitive enough to work towards excelling no matter what”. Chipo is not only cool; she is hella wise and all kinds of nice too…
Love her madly!