Top Billing interviews 2018 GQ Best Dressed winner Seth Shezi
- If you had to pick one favourite local and international designer, who would you choose?
As a supporter of a myriad of local and international designers, I find it hard to pick just one. My sense of style is a globally conscious way of dressing with roots firmly planted in Africa. Some people will use an era or particular time in history as their source of inspiration, some more Afro-leaning will use print as their expression, I use all of it. It’s vital to be versatile so I use every crayon in my box and what you get is a little bit of everything and the one identifier that always sets me apart is my obsession with proportions and tailoring. Designers to watch because they are saying a lot with their fashion at the moment include Lukhanyo Mdingi, Rich Mnisi, Nicholas Coutts, Imprint ZA, Mxolisi Luke, Nao Serati, Alledjo Studio, Orange Culture, Tongoro.
2. Where do you find daily style inspiration?
Every single design element I come in contact with. I’m a detail oriented guy and notice everything. My observations manifest themselves in how I choose to style myself and my immediate surroundings. So constant inspiration comes from the streets, travelling, classic films, African ceremonial dress, art, and interior architecture.
3. Describe your daily morning ritual when it comes to getting dressed
Because what I choose to put on my back is largey dictated by my mood and what I feel like expressing on that particular day, I’m a last minute decision guy. I don’t plan my outfits, I take an incredibly short time to get dressed. The moment you get in the "getting ready mode" and go through the day’s engagements there will always be an item that screams to be taken out that day, then I simply build an outfit around that item.
4. How has your love of style influenced your professional life?
For one, it has made me opt for jobs that have a more aesthetic or design-centric slant. But for the most part it’s the other way around - my style has been informed by my past experiences, me discovering what I gravitate towards, be it through travel or professionally. In my previous life I was in corporate (as a Business Analyst) so there’ll always be a part of me that enjoys suiting up. But then also my lifestyle, I travel a lot for work and pleasure, having a busy life means I’m constantly on the move and this calls for ease of movement. One of my friends’ sisters said to me: “You are Steez personified” - meaning style with ease - and this resonates with me so strongly.
5. What are your biggest fashion “no-nos” of 2018?
Outside of a restaurant kitchen, there will never be a way to make Crocs work!
An ill fitting suit, where the length is too long, the arms are too long, and the shape is boxy!
Closing both buttons on a 2 button suit (the bottom button should always be open unless the jacket has one button).
6.Where have you put your GQ award?
It sits proudly in the living room only partially obscured by the overgrown pot plants that flanks it.
7. What made you choose that specific look for the GQ Best Dressed Awards 2018?
It was less cerebral decision and more something that came from how I was feeling. As a creative I have a lot to say, there are many stories constantly brewing inside of me and I use fashion to communicate what I might be feeling, enjoying or going through at the time, and for those who can tune in to it, you’ll get what I’m going for without me beating you over the head with it. Being nominated for GQ Best Dressed is an honour, so I thought a tuxedo suit was a must, I chose the colour purple for its regal lineage - which seemed quite apt when I ended up coming up at the top. The styling pieces were personal pieces of mine, my neck piece was a birthday present from my best friend, I had a vintage vintage and the waist bag was an item I designed with Cape Cobra Learhercraft for one of my trips to London. It’s a functional and beautiful design I felt really proud of, so figured what better time than to debut it at the GQ Best Dressed awards.
Photos: GQ South Africa/ Dart Photography ZA