Many would mistake Didier's style of dressing as unassuming, but those who know to look a little closer to find gems can identify the cool in his casually functional picks. We weren't all too surprised to learn that Didier worked in fashion for 15 years while he was still living in France — he cheekily confessed that he was much more likely to make a show of his fashion sense back then. Brands such as Kenzo and Lacoste were lucky to have his careful eye on the construction of some menswear garments (and he was just as lucky to have his hands on several samples). Staying true to his French roots, Didier explains that he prefers to stray away from the heavily branded, flashy items that are trendy these days and rather opts to find high-quality, great fitting clothes. To nail his look, Didier shops second hand and treats himself to a great pair of denim trousers and items from IFUKU now and again.
Russell at The Bioscope has an admirable collection of graphic t-shirts, sweaters and hoodies and the narratives behind them will make you even more intrigued. Although The Bioscope is an independent cinema, it also houses the Limited Edish store that sells most items that you would find Russell wearing (he is the person behind the label). He explained that the idea was to create the kind of t-shirts he likes — pieces with meaning and a story. Russell's approach to garments is to stay rich on quality, minimalistic on branding, and keep things unique. It's safe to say that you won't find Russell in a twinning moment with just any other Joburger — only the cool ones who've been lucky to get their hands on some of his artistic pieces.
You will not miss the ever-so-suave Rodney when visiting the 44 Stanley fan favourite, IFUKU (every single person we spoke to during our visit made sure we were aware of their favouritism). His structured Japanese street style-inspired pieces are obviously the envy of many men and women alike, however Rodney, who considers himself an awkward person, isn't truly convinced that this is a fact. To give you an idea of his infectious energy, Rodney simply couldn't help but laugh when we pointed out that he was a fashion favourite among the 44 Stanley community. He uncovered that he usually only dresses for himself and how he's feeling on the day, not putting much thought into his everyday outfits (besides going back and forth on what shoes to wear). We think that's just a sign of great personal taste. Nonetheless, whether he is trying to or not, Rodney certainly does impress with his outfits. Finding someone who can confidently say their favourite clothing piece is from British designer Nigel Cabourn's Lybro collection isn't an everyday occurrence. We wish our awkward looked that good, but hey, only Rodney could pull it off so effortlessly.
Land of Kin
James' towering, model-like presence and fly fashion sense are hard to overlook when shopping at Land of Kin, even though he perceives himself as a man with a somewhat simple personal style. When we asked what he meant by that — confused because his pants were some of the best we'd seen all day — he explained that he doesn't really pick items according to what would look good, but what would fit his current situation (and what’s readily available in his closet). He even reiterated that he has a clothing rail to help him see his clean clothes easily for more efficient dressing. We guess the fashion sense just comes so easily to James, since he doesn't even realise that the layman's favourite garment wouldn't be a chic pair of corduroy pants from Land of Kin (90% of what he wears is from the store, by the way). Plus, what kind of non-fashionista would admit that they are more of a boots and espadrilles guy instead of a sneaker lover?
Moma's Thabiso will make you reconsider your wardrobe choices in a beat. The man has a flawless sense of style, thanks to years of working in fashion and retail. Although Thabiso has the perk of dressing from his menswear boutique, he acknowledges that there are garments that he wouldn't have thought to stock, but loves in many other stores. If you are wondering how Thabiso manages to look so put together, we have his secret to success. A colour coordinated closet is the key to Thabiso's runway ready look and picking outfits according to what inspires you on the day, of course. While doing some digging to sneakily find ways to adopt Thabiso's style, we learned that he is a fan of Scotch and Soda, Bayman in Instanbul is a favourite and doesn't do denim except from Denham in Hyde Park. Also, his favourite clothing item right now is a navy blue textured polo shirt from Moma, which was fun to learn because we'd been eyeing the item on the rack the entire time!
My Loves Collective
Not that they need any introduction or further affirmation on their 'super cool' and 'super-duper fly' status, but it would be a disgrace to leave out the My Loves Collective trio's immaculate sense of dressing. Brothers Justice and Fhatuwani and their collaborator, studio brother and friend, Sthu, are draped in the best pieces on any given day (we found them in Louis Vuitton sneakers on the day of writing this). Although the studio is a clear indication that these men do love their high-end garments (a Dior bag casually lies on the table, Gucci slides scattered around the studio floor...need we say more?), they also have a way of expertly curating high-quality lower end streetwear pieces. When asked about their personal style, Justice explained that his was an extension of his emotions and tastes and forms part of his language to the world (can you tell why they call him the 'wholesome love'?). Fhatuwani described his personal style as flexible and not boxed to a certain look. Instead, his fashion sense depends on his feelings and doesn’t shop based on brands, but rather what piques his interests. Sthu shook things up a little bit, revealing that he dresses to make himself feel sexy, which means he can be very picky... just to paint you a picture, Justice and Fhatuwani refer to Sthu's clothing picks as 'higher' end. Something that all three men have in common is their interest in the process of shopping. They love to know who made their garments and why, posting IFUKU as an example of a store they love simply because of Rodney’s energy.
Ged at ROWDY is the definition of cool, however, he is a bit reluctant to admit that himself. 'Unbothered' is the term he uses to describe his sense of style, but he agrees that appreciating the effort behind getting dressed up is something to which he he relates. We prefer to define Ged's personal style as minimalistic and relaxed. There is certainly some thought behind the casual monochromatic look we found him in and if the intention was to give off an "off-duty model" aesthetic, he succeeded. Comfort is a priority when Ged is picking his outfits, that way his clothes don't interfere with his everyday life. His closet has a selection of tracksuit pants, chinos, t-shirts and hoodies with his favourite item currently being a baby blue hoodie from Zara, thanks to its colour and quality.