ON THE RADAR WITH RETHABILE MENDU

2. What are some of your main passions and why are they important to you?

My other passions are make-up and beauty, as well as learning how to make my own clothes. Sometimes the clothes I buy from our retailers fit my style, but I’ve always imagined myself wearing my own clothes. And dreamed of creating so diverse even those who know little to nothing about fashion can still wear and enjoy them. I’m also passionate about interior decorating and creating beautiful living spaces, as they can give the user a safe and comfortable space for creativity.

3. What are the 5 invaluable tips you can share for shooting looks, what would they be?

When shooting my looks, I try to keep it outdoors however my outfit will usually influence the environment. My outfits can vary from street style to a classier outlook.

  1. The time of the day I pick to do shoots are exceptional important as I try to capture the perfect lightening.
  2. The environment has to be comfortable and allow you to be creative. I sometimes look for scenes that let me include something unique in my picture, but it depends on what emotions I’m trying to provoke.
  3. I love colours so whenever I see a beautiful building with plenty of colours I make a mental note to return there when I’m done with classes. Especially if the colours will compliment my outfit.
  4. What is different about my shoots though is that I don’t use confined or built-up spaces for my shoots. Everywhere I go I see an opportunity to use my surrounding spaces and take pictures in places that describe my fashion journey.
  5. Lastly when shooting looks you need to be comfortable doing whatever it takes to get the perfect picture, whether that’s laying on the floor or standing on a wall – nothing is absurd!

1. Tell us a little about yourself

Hello, my name is Rethabile Mendu and I’m a law student at the University of Fort Hare. I’m passionate about the justice system, but my first love is all things fashionable and beautiful. I live in the East London, where very few people believe working in fashion is a viable career. My style is vibrant, and I love dressing up and taking the perfect picture! I would love to travel the world one day as it is something I believe would provide me with the opportunity to experience and embrace different cultures and backgrounds. This experience would provide me with inspirational influences, new styles and way of thinking in our industry.

4. What camera do you use to shoot? And do you have any favourite locations or backdrops?

Unfortunately, I do not own my own camera even though it’s something I’m saving towards as I am a student. I mostly use my iPhone to take pictures and I love messy backgrounds and walls they bring life into the picture and without you saying a word it tells the story.

5. What are some apps you can’t live without?

I can’t live without Instagram and of course The Stylista, whenever I’ve taken amazing pictures I make sure after uploading on Instagram and my blog, I post them on The Stylista and beauty bulletin to share with the rest of my crowd. I also love Facebook as well to also engage with my peers in different places.
6. Where do you get most of your inspiration?

My environment provides me with my inspiration, places I travel too and people I meet inspire me too. I believe your journey may not define you, but it provides you with a lifetime of experiences.
7. Describe your personal style

My style is simple and it’s easy to get the hang of, at the same time it’s unique and daring! I pick what makes me comfortable and feel beautiful! I plan my outfits, so that I always know the type of look I’m hoping to achieve on a particular day.

8. Favourite colour of the moment

Metallics, at the moment I love them and just can’t seem to get enough.

9. What is your go to outfit/look?

I love boots be it summer or winter! And right now I’m obsessing over a good leather jacket, they are timeless and beautiful to wear since winter is coming up we already switching our trends and style.
10. Who is your favourite fashion icon?

Kendall Jenner is currently my favourite fashion icon, her work is amazing and her journey has been incredible! I admire how much work she’s put in within a small space of time in the industry.

11. What is your dream collaboration?

My dream collaboration internationally would have to be with Alexa Chung and from Africa it would have to be Lupita she has done an outstanding job of influencing woman all over Africa and the world, especially women of colour.

12. What does a typical day look like for you?

On normal day I’m on campus most of the day, where I’m attending classes and later on I’m in res where I live with the rest of the students. But on the weekends if it’s not too busy at school I’m back home and in between I’m everywhere on a social level, as I like to keep a busy social life.

13. What is your go to beauty routine?

I always make sure I take good care of my skin because I love make-up and playing around with it. When I have a day on campus I’ll wear minimal make-up and use a lighter lip colour.

16. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

In 5 years’ time I see myself hopefully pursuing a career in psychology and using my knowledge in this field to help children in South Africa that deal with issues in society and in their household, I also see myself as a mother and a mentor for people who want to know the pros and cons of the digital social media space.

17. What are the best things to do in your city? My city is beautiful and small and has one of the best sunsets ever. It’s not as big as Johannesburg nor is it full of opportunities, but the people are friendly, and it has beautiful spots where I shoot.

18. Are you part of any social communities in your city? Yes, I’m currently assisting in the XCON Foundation, where rehabilitated criminals work towards a change in their lives as well as helping other criminals to better their lives.