#MelaninMagic: stylist to the rappers, Storm

Image: Simz Mkhwanazi

Celebrity stylist Storm Matodzi is the trendy 28-year-old artist who has been reinventing local rapper's style with his services for six years now.

He has worked on more than 130 music videos, and also boasts a who’s who of clientele that includes Nasty C, AKA,and Jhené Aiko

1. Where are you from?

I’m from Joburg, but I’m Venda. I’m from a tribe called Lemba, who are the black Jews of southern Africa.

2. What did you study?

I dropped out of high school to push my own hustle working in a skateboarding shop and selling clothes on the side.

3. How did you get into styling?

My friend’s girlfriend was always telling me that I dress nicely. Then one day she invited me on a set with her and asked me to dress the guys the way I dress. From there, other people heard about the kid and wanted to start working with me.

4. What does your work entail?

I work with clothing brands and partner with them to make their products sell and look better in a creative form.

5. You’ve been styling for six years: tell us a bit about your journey.

It really has not been easy at all. But I’ve worked with a lot of people who have shown me a lot and how I can grow. I was also the first black person to style Idols SA.

6. What are the biggest challenges you face in your job?

My biggest challenges are people not paying and not understanding my time and value. You also get difficult clients.

7. What is the best thing about being a stylist?

Holmes Brothers, Rosebank
Image: Lamppost

It doesn’t even have anything to do with the clothes. It’s just that feeling you give people — that they look better. You make them feel better about themselves.

8. What are three main qualities one needs to be a stylist?

A love for clothing; a love of shopping all day; and, most of all, you need to know how to sell someone an outfit.

9. If you wrote a book, what would the title of the book be?

Consistency is the right currency.

10. What has been your highlight of 2018? 

For me, it’s been my relationship with Nasty C and how it’s grown. People have been seeing the changes,cause it’s been about two years of us working together, so it’s been great.

11. If you could go back in time to five years ago, what advice would you give to yourself ?

I would’ve lived more of my current lifestyle and not have been unsure.And I would not have worked for anybody else:I would have just worked for myself.

12. What are the key items we should have in our wardrobe this festive season?

Less is always more. You can get well-known brands, but you need to wear them— not let them wear you — cause you can’t buy cool.

13. Any advice for upcoming stylists?

Make sure your clients pay you your money, and just keep  pushing your work out there. Work with brands —and make sure they pay you.

14. What is next for Storm?

I’m working on music currently: just like trying to build myself as a brand. I’m gonna drop a clothing brand: it’s coming next year. I’ve also got a collaboration with the Holmes Brothers. I’m going to drop a music video — I’m working on some tracks with Gemini Major: he’s producing for me.I am going global with my stuff because I am a rare breed: I just need to put in 200%.

This article first appeared in print in the Sowetan S Mag December 2018 edition.

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