Local stylist pushing boundaries

By Rosalia David

IF you have ever wondered who’s behind some of the amazing outfits worn by your favourite celebrities, look no further than Windhoek-based Aubrey Tjerivanga who is one of the most sought-after stylists making a name for himself in the local fashion industry.

Over the years he has styled personalities such as Maria Nepembe, Dillish Mathews, Gazza, Dice, Selma Kamanya, and has been styling NAMA presenters for three years in a row.

Not only has he worked with Namibia’s top personalities, Tjerivanga has also worked with private companies including styling acts for TV commercials.

“These are just a few, I have worked with many people. I’m quite all rounded when it comes to fashion and styling here in Namibia,” he told Confidente in an interview.

Tjerivanga began his career as a stylist after growing up in a home where his grandmother and mother loved sewing clothes, driving him to pursue fashion for a living.

“My grandmother is a fulltime seamstress but she mostly specialises in Herero dresses. Growing up and watching them sew and come up with all these new designs made me start being creative from a very young age,” he said.
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He said, growing up, he would always watch his grandmother and mother sew clothes and got impressed with the type of designs they made which in turn fuelled the interest for making people look pretty.

“In 2015 I got a job at My Republik as a style guide. So after completing my training and I started working I knew that styling is actually what I wanted to do in fashion,” he explained.

He says styling makes him happy and allows him to bring out the creative side of him.

Asked on what some of his major highlights are, Tjerivanga said, in 2018, he worked with international fashion magazines such as Vogue Ukraine and GQ China for their summer editions.

In the same year he was featured in a French fashion and lifestyle magazine called Amina.
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“I recently received a call from BBC Africa and they want to do a feature on me. I can’t wait. But I think one of the most touching moments is when I cast and styled my mother for an Old Mutual campaign. Nothing beats the joy and pride my mother had for me that day. That was the day she understood what I actually do.

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Although he described his career path as smooth sailing, he said the respect for creatives remains a challenge adding that people in general do not respect creatives and assume what they do is not important or impactful.

He also pointed out that local designers do not have a lot of ready-to-wear items that can be handpicked at any given time.

“They always have to make something from scratch which at times takes longer than the deadline I have.

With all the hard work I have put in my craft I have managed to make a very good name for myself as a brand where clients do respect me and my art.”