‘Never in my wildest dreams,’ Bonang after featuring at Paris Fashion Week
‘I'm so proud and this was one of the biggest moments of my career’
Bonang Matheba shimmered like a disco ball on the Paris Fashion Week catwalk and she is exclusively spilling the deets of what she is calling one of the biggest moments of her 20-year career.
Matheba on Sunday night was one of the A-listers who strutted on the runway for the latest “Le Défilé L’Oréal Paris” showcase, with the iconic Eiffel Tower serving as the picturesque backdrop.
Joining Matheba were Thuso Mbedu, Viola Davis, Kendall Jenner, Helen Mirren, Elle Fanning, Camila Cabello, Katherine Langford, Yseult, Aja Naomi King, Andie MacDowell, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Coco Rocha, Liya Kebede, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Eva Longoria.
Speaking to Sowetan on Monday morning, just before taking a lab tour with the global cosmetic giant, the former SMag cover star could not contain her excitement about the night before and was still pinching herself.
“I have been in this career for 20 years, and 20 years into my career to have one of the biggest moments happen for me signifies longevity, hard work, perseverance and just being present and consistent,” Matheba said.
“It also means allowing yourself to experience, grow and challenge yourself. When I was approached by L’Oréal it was a no brainer to be at Paris Fashion Week and sharing the runway with the biggest names in entertainment.
“It’s confirmation that hard work, staying and running the race comes with benefits. I’m so proud of myself and this is one of the biggest moments of my career.”
Matheba was offered the opportunity when she hosted Miss SA in August, as L’Oréal was one of the sponsors for the pageant. Reigning Miss SA Natasha Joubert has also been spotted out and about during Paris Fashion Week.
“It was a big yes, I packed my bags, got my visa ready and I got on a flight,” Mathebe said.
“These are the kind of things you can’t even plan or manifest. Because never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this ever happening to me. You couldn’t even dream of it. You couldn’t even put it on a mood board.”
The biggest memory Mathebe will cherish for years to come is the moments that were not captured on camera.
“It’s the moments that people didn’t see backstage. Having conversations with Aishwarya Rai and Eva Longoria, them just speaking to you like you are their friend,” she said.
“Then there is Camila Cabello and Viola Davis and her husband [Julius Tennon] asking me ‘how was it? Did you have fun?’. Those are the moments for me that stood out and how we were treated backstage. You couldn’t tell who was a Hollywood A-lister or not, because we were all treated with dignity and respect.”
Matheba’s fashion moments on the streets of Paris at the weekend also had social media users gasping for air. She collaborated with French celebrity stylist and fashion designer Yorhanne Emmanuel Alexander for her sartorial victories. She was introduced to him by SA visual artist Trevor Stuurman.
Matheba revealed that she will be working with Alexander for the campaign shoot for her upcoming collaboration with American shoes and accessories brand Steve Madden. Scheduled to drop on October 27, Matheba teased that she helped design the capsule collection in New York.
“What is fascinating is that he [Alexander] is about to shoot my Steve Madden campaign, when I get back home, we are shooting that and that is my next big project,” Matheba said.
“I thought since he is Paris-based, I would meet him ahead of the campaign shoot. We met up and it was just love at first sight. The direction he was given was that I wanted to look Parisian chic but also trendy and futuristic – because I’m a fashion girl and I know what the fashion girls are wearing.
“He also challenged me; he put me in outfits I would never have thought of putting myself in. For example, the wonderful black dress I wore [on Saturday] to the L’Oréal dinner with the stomach and boobs, it’s not really a Bonang thing, and he was like ‘do it, show your stomach, t*ts and heart’.”
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