Wednesday 10 April 2013

Sheena Bagshawe x South African Fashion Magazine IT Chirl x According To Jerri

If you want the juice on any South Africa’s magazine fashion houses and industry I believe she is the to-go-to person.  Invite her over for some high tea with and macaroons to relax her tongue and get her to SPILL THE JUICE. If that doesn’t work fly her to Paris or Rome. I hear those are the places she is would be truly be herself.

She has worked pretty much in most of our magazine’s fashion departments. That might be due to her catching personality, her focused hustle, her ability to work the room and network, ability to get along with people, a good work ethics reference in her portfolio or a rich daddy who can make things happen for her.  Whatever the reason might be she has worked hard and earned her stripes, next time you see her pay the guurl some homage.

I read through her Q&A and it was insightful and informative. A face to face interview with her would serve a best case study for all the young kids who would like to follow in her career path. It seems like she had great mentors along her early starting years in the fashion industry work force. Who shared with her, great memorable advice to which I found myself nodding quite a lot, clapping, and hands up in the air and screaming hallelujah; whilst reading them.

Her name is Sheena "The Fashion Warrior" Bagshawe. Let’s find out what Miss Thang is about...

1. I love your vibe

2. How would you describe yourself in one word?
That's quite a difficult question; I'd say "adaptable"

3. What is it that you do and why?
I'm currently the Fashion Assistant for ELLE Magazine in Johannesburg. I basically find clothing, shoes and accessories they are from the best clothing suppliers in Jo'burg-ranging from brands press offices and show rooms to the cities stores and boutiques- and send them to our Cape Town head office to potentially be shot. I organise the production of Johannesburg based shoots and represent ELLE at events up here too. 

I do it because after being lucky enough it to experience the production and behind the scenes work that goes into magazine; I fell in love with form of media even more. I find the job very fulfilling when I look at each month issues, or even our online website. Whether it’s knowing that I managed sourcing an amazing product being featured on a page or that I helped someone with something small on a blog post, every bit counts and it’s all about working as a team. 

4. You are a biggest inspiration to someone reading this; may you please share with them a few words of wisdom they will forever cherish, and ignite their will power to keep on keeping on:
I'm going to share advice that challenged me but eventually made me better. I'm a naturally talkative person who wants to ask questions, chat and think aloud constantly. My first boss Lindie Ferreira, one of the founders of Marion and Lindie, told me to be conscious of those you work with. She made sure I knew how to read people, and that often the best way to learn from superiors was to quietly observe. Learning focus and becoming a quiet, helpful force who knows how to assist their boss/ bosses before they tell you want they want will get noticed for all the right reasons. 

5. Has there been a defining moment in your life that made you decide to take the direction in life that they did?
I always grew up wanting to design clothing and make other women realise how amazing they could look and feel with the right garments. However during the finishing stages of making my final collection (part of a BA Fashion Design at LISOF) it made me realise that design isn't for me at this stage. That vindication has led me an entirely different path I could have never anticipated but one I'm very happy to be travelling along.

6. Your STRICTLY two favourite South African bloggers?
Amber Jones at Thunder in our Hearts has a constant stream of beautiful, well selected images across different categories. I love her Limited Edition collections for Mr. Price and her blog makes feel closer to this retail design champion- even though I've only met her twice.

I also love Cape Town Style Guide by the incomparable Robyn Cooke. Robyn's voice comes through strongly and her sense of humour is fantastic in a business that often has none. She reports on celebrity style, red carpet choices, international magazine covers and the occasion fashion editorial- it has to be jaw dropping for her to consider it though.

7. Give me names of the three unsung heroes of South Africa’s fashion, style and trends playground – fresh faces, underdogs and preferably people I don’t know.

8. Which country or city in the world do you think would allow you to be truly YOU?
I enjoyed Paris and Rome, I would love to live in those cities instead of just visiting a tourist. Although it may be a dream only the lucky few can achieve and short trips do have their value, I feel like very little of a city's essence can be experienced during a limited time.

9. If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say?
Hahahaha, I have no idea! Hopefully not the newspaper norm about corruption or scandals.

10. What are your views on people who do not like to pay for others knowledge and skills on an area of their specialty?
I find it very frustrating, the amount of times I have heard peers tell me about someone trying to hoodwink by saying  they'll get so much "exposure", how it will be great to build their name and they'll learn so much or how their business card will be passed on, etc; is beyond shocking. At the end of the day if we keep treating members of the freelance creative industry like their skills and time spent working aren't worth the money they deserve, the industry will continue to shrink. I find that very sad because there is actually enough space for every designer, photographer, stylist, writer, boutique owner and blogger to find their own niche, network and flourish.

11. When do you stop doing things for free and start talking money?
The fashion industry in this country does predominantly work with a system of unpaid interning, which can seem unfair to the interns themselves and those who aren't fortunate enough to take such opportunity. However there are very few people I know who didn't start by gaining unpaid experience.

In terms of when you should stop; my mentor while interned told me "If you intern longer than six months, people stop taking you seriously." I identify with this highly, I'm also going to quote make-up artist Tiffany Wilson who has said "My car doesn't run on hugs"... no one's does.  

12. South African bloggers; what is it that they doing completely wrong?
Quality of content and how original it is.

13. Do you buy clothing items based on the fact that you saw a designer wearing a loaned designer outfit? Does it matter, does it make a difference?
No, but I do use clothing from my friends who are designers for events! More often than not if they have pieces I adore and can't stop thinking of then I'll buy the item of clothing, but not because I saw it on someone else.

14. The most unglamorous thing about fashion is?
Almost everything! I think the only 'glamorous' thing can be going to events- at the end of the day that is work too. 

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