Asanda Sizani was recently announced as the new editor in chief for premium South African magazine, Glamour SA making her the latest member of the Conde Nast family. This is quite the mile stone for the fashionable lady who has stayed grinding, albeit, quite silently.

Intrigued, we decided to some research on the leading lady. These were some of the key notes we took home.


She’s no newbie

Asanda Sizani has carved an inimitable name for herself in the South African fashion industry. She has worked for some of the largest fashion magazines and retailers in the country and collaborated with world renowned brands. Asanda has held the positions of fashion editor for ELLE, fashion editor for Woolworths’ WMag and fashion editor of Destiny and Destiny Man magazines. She returned to the global ELLE brand as fashion & beauty director. Among her accolades, Asanda’s passion lies in creative collaborations. Musician Solange Knowles personally requested for Asanda to appear in her music video of the famous song Losing You. She has consulted for renowned brands such as Consol, Yardley, MaXhosa by Laduma and Ballantines in their advertising, above the line and visual communication. Asanda has appeared in fashion campaigns for international brands ranging from Diesel to KISUA. Regarded as an influencer in the local fashion industry and champion for emerging creative talent, Asanda was selected by The Plug SA in their list of the Top 10 Most Influential People in South African Urban Culture.

It would seem as though Asanda has been at work not only building a name for herself in an industry that churns out talent daily; but she’s also let her success speak for her as she’s been on the rise in the world of print magazines.

Her culture is a big part of her art.

My culture is always my point of reference. Not only my Xhosa heritage, but referencing other cultures as well. I’m drawn to colour. I’m a person of colour. I’m especially drawn to the Masaai, BaSotho and Buddhist monks’ artful, regal way of dress. It’s important to show pride in one’s heritage. For me, it’s always exciting to give traditional pieces a contemporary spin – be it beadwork, turbans or blanket wraps. I’m glad more people are embracing their culture in everyday life.

She told GQ. Sizani whose roots lie in King Grahamstown located in the Eastern cape province is particularly big on representing her side of Africa in her work. There’s an authenticity that this requires and we’re delighted that she is not only living her truth but also portraying Africa’s positives on a global scale- a needed narrative change amidst the negatives overglogged in global media.

She doesn’t have your typical Grad-School qualifications

Not only is Sizani’s journey less conservative than most in that she doesn’t have a Masters degree or even a Bachelors degree; she also went to a Technical school which many staunch conservatives and academias would describe as sub-par, yet her journey to the top seems to have been written in the stars.

I’ve always had a passion for visual storytelling. I studied Art Direction and Graphic Design at Red & Yellow School of Advertising, and CPUT prior to that. My plan was to work in advertising. I always had a natural flair for fashion and had been copywriting and styling on a freelance basis.

It’s not about your beginning, it’s about your journey. Your education might not even matter in the grand scheme of things, if you’re able to put your head down and do the work especially in the creative industry.

She was spotted while working as a Junior Producer

I then worked as Junior Producer for a fashion TV series called African Couture which aired on SABC3. While there, I was encouraged by Chu Suwannapha, then Fashion Editor at Fairlady, to apply for a vacant Fashion Editor position at Drum. I applied, interviewed and got the position – that was my entry into magazines.

At the time, Sizani worked dilligently with a passion not even aware that she was being watched or possibly being scouted. This is a clear motivation for us to keep doing well whatever is placed in our hands. You just never know who might be watching.


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