Some girls and boys grew up enjoying playing dress-up in front of the mirror but only a smidgen of those go on to become stylists. Lufuno Claire Sathekge is part of that drop of individuals who’ve made their happy time in front of the mirror a career.
“A friend of mine who had started photography offered to take snaps of me during lunch time, to practice his photography and for me to document my outfits. He and another friend eventually started a photography company and they used me to style their first big shoot, and that’s how I started,” Sathekge says.
The 31 year-old did her three year Bcom marketing degree from RAU, now the University of Johannesburg and says she never considered being a stylist a career until only after she had started working in the marketing industry.
It’s been four years since she switched industries and now Sathekge’s name is visible in the running credits of some of your favourite TV shows. “I am still with Vuzu, I also style Massive Music. My relationship is with the production house, Don’t Look down Productions. It has been a beautiful, growing and fulfilling journey with them. I get to do what I love and work with an amazing team.”
“Style is what you do with your clothes… It is how you put them together and make them your own that makes you stylish.”- Lufuno Claire Sathekge
Sathekge also offers her expertise to musicians in their music videos. She did the styling in Mafikizolo’s award winning music video Love Potion, she’s also worked with vocalist Tresor and Nomuzi Mabena among some of her clients. “Some people have no style sense, but I have yet to work with those kinds of people. I prefer to collaborate in all my styling work so I always make sure to have the client’s sense of style in mind when I start working with them. I do know some people I wish I could rescue though…but I have yet to work with them,” she says.
Three years ago she was part of an ad by SA Tourism with Velocity Africa which got her going to various parts of Mzansi documenting people’s novel experiences of travelling within the country.
“It was one of my best work experiences ever. Extremely challenging as well.”
It’s often said that style is innate and inherited while fashion on the other hand sees people draped in colour-blocking items because it is what’s fashionable on the day, not because it’s who they are per se. Much like a one-hit wonder juxtaposed to an artist who can produce a body of work.
“Style is what you do with your clothes. We can all buy the same clothes from the same places. It is how you put them together and make them your own that makes you stylish.”
“My style is moody, a bit eclectic but always classic with a fun twist,” states Sathekge. “I have a lot of items that I collect that are signature to my style like quirky brooches, biker jackets and items with Mickey Mouse on them.”
She admits to not being one who looks too far ahead regarding her future, but that hasn’t barred her from dreaming.
“I’m currently working on my clothing range. I’d like to grow beyond South Africa with my work, do more editorial and arty work. I’d love to experience this work in different parts of the world but mainly on the African continent.”