Who planted your fashion seeds?

Socialite Uyanda Mbuli.  /John Liebenberg
Socialite Uyanda Mbuli. /John Liebenberg

It can be argued that our sense of style, or even lack thereof, is largely influenced by someone we grew up around.

Be it a family member or a certain personality we used to admire from afar, they certainly have had an impact on our current outlook on fashion and our style personalities.

The same goes for our favourite celebrities, whose sense of style usually blows us away on the red carpet.

Someone must have planted their fashion seeds.

Some of our favourite celebs give us a bit of their fashion history and who they attribute their sense of style to.

Uyanda Mbuli is a socialite, businesswoman and reality TV star who says that her mom was her biggest style influence.

"My mom has always taken the way she dresses very seriously, always wearing matching shoes and bags to this day. She's the one person who had the greatest influence in my style.

"Her look was mostly classic - hats, a pencil skirt suit, matching bag and shoes. She wore African attire a lot as well, with a doek and matching bag and shoes.

"When relaxing at home she wore flowing dresses. She always kept it classy."

Smelling good was also a big deal for Mbuli's mom, who always had perfumes that used to permeate the house.

"My mom wore different perfumes which made her smell so strong. I can't remember one in particular because she changed them often, but she was the only person in the house whose scent was always distinctive and beautiful.

"We were not allowed to play with her perfume. We all aspired to grow up and have her scent," Mbuli says.

Rhythm City actress Amogelang "Reneilwe" Chidi also says her mom was her style icon, who taught her to not be afraid to embrace colour.

"When it's time for me to get all dolled-up and 'slay', as they say, my mom is the go-to person for advice.

"Growing up I always admired her sense of style; it's so effortlessly classy and always well put together.

Celebrities and the trends they started

Amy Winehouse popularised the cat-eye trend when she first broke onto the scene in the 1990s.

The singer popularised the sasoon-inspired haircut that was shaved on the one side of her head in 2009, when she showed up on the red carpet rocking the look. Walk into any salon - in town or kasi - and ask for the Rihanna cut, and chances are they will know exactly what you are talking about.

"My mom loves colours, from her clothes to her shoes and even to her bags.

"Her ability to make colour look so well put together was always something I loved most about her style," Chidi says.

She says that to this day, her mom takes her fashion seriously and dresses to the nines just to go to church.

She also says there is a particular outfit that stands out in her mind that blew her away when her mom wore it way back in the day.

"There's an outfit of my mom's I will never forget; a black and white polka dot dress, with lots of layers of white lace underneath, her stunning red strappy heels and the ultimate statement red bag.

Lesley Musina is always a picture of sophistication./ Veli Nhlapo
Lesley Musina is always a picture of sophistication./ Veli Nhlapo

"She looked like the most beautiful pin-up doll straight out of a magazine," says Chidi.

Actor and Speak Out presenter Lesley Musina is always well put together and the picture of sophistication on the red carpet. He says the one person who taught him about style and how to dress up was, surprisingly, his mom too!

"When I grew up, my mom worked at one of the department stores and was always a style icon. So she introduced me to designer brands and used to buy them for me.

"She also taught me a lot about the colour wheel - which colours go well together and which ones don't. I distinctly remember her teaching me that black goes well with most colours."

Musina says his mom also taught him to not be too conspicuous and ostentatious and that simplicity goes a long way.

He says that even today, his mother has an input in his fashion choices.

"If I'm home, I would always give her two outfit choices and ask her which one is best. When it comes to style, I trust her immensely and her signature is always embedded in whatever I wear."

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