Name: Aubrey Tjerivanga Tj.
Occupation: Stylist/ Student
Relationship status: Single (Apparently I’m just too much, LOL!!)
Having been in the industry for just over a year young stylist Aubrey Tj is setting a standard for fashionistas across Namibia. We sat down with him this week to chat about his inspiration and future plans.
What inspired you to join the fashion industry?
Fashion is something I’ve really liked ever since I was at a young age. It’s just something that I’ve really always wanted to do, but back then people just wanted to be lawyers and doctors. Those are the fields I went to till I realised that no this is not for me. Fashion actually needs me. I can’t just sit back and wait for someone else to build the industry.
You have already worked with style icons such as Gazza, Adora and Oteya, what was that experience like for you?
It was really very nice. It was really some of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. It was not on a big scale it was just for a portfolio and a magazine cover; it was nothing like attending events. It was really nice getting to work with them and starting on something so small, because with photo shoots that’s where they learn to trust me. They’re also able to see that if I’m this good at something small then they start trusting me with bigger projects.
Being so young and already having achieved so much at such an early stage in your career, what else is in the pipeline for you?
I was hoping to do some styling for the KORA awards, but since that has been cancelled. This gives me more time to work on the NAMAs and increase the number of people I’d be styling. In SA you get stylists who style up to 10 people and they all look different. I want to show my versatility, I want style all this people but not have it seem like their all dressed by the same person.
What’s more challenging styling an artist with an already established image or working with models?
Working with an artist. You have to put them in something no one has seen them in before. So a lot of research goes into choosing their outfits that way even their fans can see a different side to them.
Who has been your absolute favourite person to work with thus far? Why?
Gazza. Everyone has been great to work with, but dream has always been to style Gazza. I’ve always been like one day I want to say I dressed Gazza. So for it to have happened so early in my career was a big step and it was really overwhelming What I liked most was that the day we shot I got his exact measurement right. I hadn’t met him before or had any interaction with him. I just judged by his size and was like he looks like he might be this size. Remarkably when I got on set all the clothes fit him perfectly.
What inspires you when choosing pieces for a shoot?
I usually get to know my clients then I choose pieces that compliment who they area and their vision for their careers. Bringing different pieces together also gives the whole outfit more of a WOW factor. Luckily I’ve also gotten to work with people who look good in everything, I’m able to work with different colours and take risks.
Who would be the ultimate style challenge for you?
My biggest style challenge isn’t a who right now it is a what. I always find it really difficult to find the right pair of underwear to go with the outfit. The colour is always wrong.
Who or what was the worst looking outfit or design you have seen thus far?
Thus far it would be Heidi Klum at the 2016 Oscars. She wore this purple chiffon dress that looked like pieces of material just put together, but then again clients also go against stylists’ advice and wear what they want.
If you could style any international celebrity who would that be?
They are so many, but off the top of my head Queen B (Beyoncé), Rihanna, Knowledge Katti and our very own first couple.
Have you always had an eye for a good outfit or have you had blunders of your own?
Yes I’ve had my blunders! We all think of an outfit and put it on but once we’re out in public we realise that it just doesn’t work and we have to rush into stores like Mr Price in the hope of covering it up.
What do you think of your fellow Namibian Stylists? Are they many and are they doing a good job?
There aren’t many stylists in Namibia. People usually work with designers forgetting that designers usually just sketch and make what it is you want with the material they have. It doesn’t matter whether that materials colour matches your skin tone or if the design works for your body type. That’s where I come in as a stylist. I work as the go between to my client and the designer. I pick out a variety of looks that I feel work for my client and present them with the options that I think work best.
Who would you say are the 2 celebs most in need of a stylist?
I can’t just mention two right now I feel all ministers and politicians need stylists. The oversized clothes they wear are just not working