If you ever doubted how far you can go in life then you need to doubt no more. As mentioned in her newly co-authored book Influence De Luxe – From Soweto to Milan, Kefilwe Mabote is a stylist, image consultant, and one of SA’s leading luxury fashion influencers, who is living proof that hard work and dedication are the tickets to wherever you want to be.
We were fortunate enough to have a conversation with Kefilwe, about everything it takes to be a luxury fashion influencer and the crucial business lessons she has learnt along the way.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grow up?
My dream was to become either an architect or an artist as I really loved drawing, painting and getting involved in graphic-related projects. Interestingly, I ended up studying Graphic Design at Vega later on in life.
So far in your career, what would you say has been the highlight of your journey?
There are many, but the one that still stands out even today is when I got invited to attend the Ferragamo show in Milan, Italy. Considering where I come from, just a simple girl from Soweto, I couldn’t believe I made it that far. I was sitting in the front row seats with other A-list influencers from all around the world. That was epic. It’s an experience I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
How has your life changed since becoming an one of South Africa’s most loved influencers?
There’s more people who look up to me now. And I used to do things to please myself, but now I feel I have a huge responsibility to serve as a good role model as I’m watched by so many people. Sometimes this makes me feel anxious, to be honest.
You have recently launched your book, Congratulations! What inspired you to write the book after all these years in the industry?
Thank you. One of the most common questions that I’ve always been asked in one form or another is: how did you make it as an influencer? In 2018 a friend of mine suggested that I write a book to tell my story of how I made it in the Influencer industry. I thought it was a good idea, so I did it. I used it as an opportunity to share with my fans what it takes to be an influencer and the crucial business lessons I’ve learnt along the way.
You have received numerous awards for what you do including your red carpet looks, what is your all-time favourite look, that you have posted or worn to an event?
The purple dress by Orapeleng Madutle I wore at Mama Bongingema Zuma Foundation. And a black dress by Gert Johan Coetzee I wore in Paris at the Eiffel Tower.
As South Africa’s most loved digital luxury influencer who inspires your pieces and fashion sense?
My fashion is inspired by how I feel. My style is honestly simple but I sometimes like adding one piece to it to give it that extra appeal.
When was the last time you left home without a trace of makeup on?
To be honest, I don’t always wear make-up. I usually put it on when I have a photoshoot session or clients to style. I prefer letting my skin breathe most of the time.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I get mentally ready for the day by relaxing in bed for about 30 minutes. It’s my way of sorting out the to-do list and preparing myself for the day ahead.
How important do you think it is to identify your target audience on social media?
When you identify your target audience, it helps you to have a clear sense of who you’ll be talking to. Moreover, you can’t expect to make money from an audience you haven’t defined to begin with.
If you could have anyone’s closet for a day, who would you choose?
Kim Kardashain’s closet.
Who is your favourite local and international style influencer and why?
Locally, I’ll have to go with Sarah Langa because her I love how original she is with her content And internationally, it has to be Camila Coelho
How important is it for all media personalities to have a social media presence, be it on Instagram, twitter or Facebook?
Because it increases your visibility and brings awareness to your brand. It also solidifies what you stand for in people’s minds. Ultimately, I think it’s good for business.
Where can we purchase Influencer De Luxe: From Soweto to Milan?
You can get it at exclusive books countrywide , TakeAlot. For people who are digitally savvy they can buy an e version of the book on :
What is next for Kefilwe Mabote?
A chef never reveals all of his secrets (lol). All I can say is keep watching the space.
4 things people don’t know about you?
Well, I’m crazy, but in a fun way (lol). I can paint. I get annoyed easily. And I don’t like to pretend.
Favorite quote you live by?
“You don’t become what you want; you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey