THREADS: Misha and Sizwe in the city of a hundred lovers

Culture, Threads

Linking up with one of Auckland’s cutest couples Misha and Sizwe before they appeared together at New Zealand Fashion Week 2019, it was a surprise to learn this would be Misha’s first ever interview. The couple talk to S E R U M about what it’s like being Kiwi but also originating from another country, dating in the spotlight and also being boujee on a budget: 

How did Not For You Clothing come across you two when they were casting for their  NZFW/2019 show? 

Misha: Just Instagram and DM

Sizwe: Most of our works through Instagram 

And for you two it would be often hey? 

Sizwe: This one (points at Misha). 

Misha: Just promoting stuff  

How did that start for you? 

Misha: I just enjoy taking photos and dressing up  and stuff, then occasionally like brands will just hit me up to promote their clothing, from there it just got bigger and bigger. Random brands would start inviting me to events and stuff, I honestly don’t know what the heck, I wasn’t expecting it but I guess promoting on Instagram is the new way of advertising. 

Who’s the biggest one that you were like wow, cool. 

Misha: Fashion Nova.

Where were you when you got that DM?

Misha: I was just on my bed and I saw the DM from this lady, it was actually just Fashion Nova who DM’d me, I’ve never worn their clothes before or DM’d them so when I saw that notification I was just like what the heck and my heart started racing, I screenshot it and put it on my story, then Seez screenshot it and put it on his story too pretending he got sponsored [they both laugh out loud] but yeah that was so cool. 

So how does it work when you model an item for them? 

Misha: They just asked for my address, I choose a few items from their website and I have to post a picture within four weeks of receiving the item.

So not an issue

Misha: Yeah nah it’s pretty easy, its my hobby, so yeah.

Do they pay you for that girl?

Misha: Fashion Nova doesn’t, like big brands like that they just have heaps of stock, but small brands like New Zealand brands do. 

Ohhh who are the Kiwis let’s always support our local! 

Misha:  There’s Premium Clothing, me and Seez are both sponsored by that, it’s a New Zealand brand and Australia, then there’s Bambi Boutique we’ve been to a few events of theirs and Benefit Cosmetics NZ they’ve sent me some stuff too and then we’re walking for Not For You Clothing today too.

What took you to the States recently was that for modelling?

Misha: Oh I got sent to the States to be in a Snoop Dogg music video. 

So that’s still done through Instagram?

Misha: So for Instagram I was getting heaps of brands and heaps of emails from brands trying to organise something and this man from Instagram DM’d me, he’s now my manager and was the one who got me the opportunity to go in the Snoop Dogg video. He answers all my emails for clothing brands and stuff and organises a price because I suck at that, I just do everything for free and he’s like, ‘No you have to make money off it.’  

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Miss u LA 🌴💄

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So you’re slowly learning the business side of it as well? 

Misha: Yeah I’m like ‘OMG you can make money off it like Instagram is a real job’!

Sizwe: I wouldn’t say I am an influencer but if those opportunities come by, especially with this one, there are people that want us to work as couples and all that, modelling. I guess through me shooting my fits on Instagram and then opportunities will just come like, ‘Oh this guy knows how to rock his clothing.”  

For you, Insta’s not just rocking clothing though hey, you’re also a rapper. 

Sizwe: Nah, it ‘s me trying to build an image but it all goes around music. If I was to get fly or anything or put on any piece of clothing I’d hope that they’d be like ‘Oh this guy’s cool let’s go  check out his page’ and then find out that my main focus is music. 

So for you, when you wake up in the morning and you’re thinking about what to wear, what does your appearance do for your mood or vibe in the morning when you’re planning for that day?

Sizwe: I always try, I don’t want to look like anyone else. I want to put on something like when I walk down the street it will stay in your mind forever even if they just see me once and I’ve had people tell me that, then that’s a successful fit to me like, ‘Oh you’re that guy that was wearing this and that’. Someone once told me, ‘You’ve got that kind of look that will stay in my mind for like 10 years’ and that’s when I was like, ‘I like this shit, I like what I’m doing’. 

Since then working with Jet was a big one for you, too? 

Sizwe: Jet was a big influence, the biggest thing he told me was, in fashion and dressing there should be a theme. You’ve got to try and have a theme with it so that was the biggest thing, he told me but obviously he’s designing and stuff, he always put me in his clothes which is cool and I love helping out young people who are designing. 

Because it is a passion aye it’s not just.. like about clout and shit… if I was to sum up your style like real quick I would say like…. hood gothic…

Sizwe Yeah! Hood goth definitely. 

What about you girl..

Misha  Hmmmm, how do clothes define Misha…

Sizwe: Baddie 

Misha : Yeah just going for that bad bitch Insta baddie or Bratz Doll…just like what you see on Instagram that’s what I wanna be in real life.

Do y’all mostly get support for what you’re doing? 

Misha: Mostly support yeah but it does attract unwanted attention just for standing out and stuff.

Sizwe: Yeah 

Can we talk about those things a bit more?

Misha: Yeah sure, me personally because I am Indian there’s not  a lot of girls who wear, I guess we will say revealing clothing so there’s a lot of Indian people that will look down on me but then the majority are Indians who look up to me because there’s the sense that they can wear whatever they want and not hold back…Young girls mostly that’s my main audience, young Indian girls and that’s cool that I can inspire them, so yah.

It’s cause you’re challenging barriers or old school restrictions hey

Misha: Yeah even with my own parents and stuff they would not approve of my outfits until they saw that I could create a platform and stuff out of it and now they just approve of it it’s all they can do but they don’t really say anything too.

Sizwe: Yeah just let you walk outside and pretend they didn’t see it.

Misha: Yeah they let me walk out the door. 

Lol were there times where there times where they wouldn’t approve?

Misha: Yeah they’d just be like, ‘What are you wearing’!?

Are you from New Zealand? 

Misha: I was born in India and so I moved here when I was one so I was brought up here as a Kiwi.

Sizwe: I’m from Auckland, born and raised here but I’m from South Africa, I’m part Indian too – my dads Indian, I don’t know my dad  I wasn’t raised with him, I was raised in a South African household – always been in Auckland Great North Road, Avondale ways, Waterview. 

Would you guys called yourself third culture kids? 

Sizwe: Nah 

Kiwis

Sizwe: Definitely Kiwis but with my culture – I don’t know my mum didn’t never force culture on me .

Misha:  Same as me like my parents moved here so I could grow up with this sort of culture like be more free, I guess. 

Sizwe: Yeah same to be honest

Yeah cause it’s your generation now that get to kinda make those rules and forge that identity for the future 

Sizwe: Yeah I don’t know how to explain that too but I get what you mean – I know exactly what you mean my mum –  it’s just not forced on me – but as an immigrant I don’t know, you’d expect us to hold that like that South African Indian thing,  but I don’t know if it’s just never been pushed on to me.

I feel like a lot of us in those positions take on dress and pop culture, as our culture, like it goes a lot deeper than just material on your body it’s another way to make your own identity right? 

Sizwe: As soon as I noticed that and started going on the gram and noticing and getting into fashion I started feeling like I can do this, I can make my own culture, I can make my own wave I just felt like it could be my own thing and all my people, my family overseas they see that and they’re fine with it and all that.

What are you hoping the youth will pick up from you as a popular person? 

Sizwe: I guess with my music I feel like …the kids need to say it at a young age. When I started – I met you when I was 14  – I was just talking through my music and with the dress code I think, dress however you want and not let age be a limit.

Cause in New Zealand you can right?

Sizwe: Yeah cause like it’s real hard shopping in New Zealand, like finding pieces. 

Misha: That’s so true.

Sizwe: Getting to know your local designers and all that is like being in touch with what’s next and what your local designer’s gonna put up, I think the kids should be involved in that because I don’t know where to shop in New Zealand, like I really don’t.

Where do you shop? 

Sizwe: Online or through friends like I went to Australia and went through heaps of my mate’s designs, so I just got heaps of his shit.

Is it because you’re just not into what NZ has got?

Sizwe: I was to go to the store and get something right now it would be like an Adidas tracksuit at the most. They just don’t have what you want here. In Oz it goes harder but not really here I can’t find anything here – what is there like Loaded?

How do you guys feel like paying $300 for a pair of jeans, I think that’s on average what you pay here for ‘style’…

Misha: Nah bougie on a budget that’s what I like to go by. 

Sizwe you’ve just signed to Gallatino I mean aesthetically they’d be one of the most on point in NZ so far, I’d say…

Sizwe: True Tapz and Mzwetwo, I think they put me on because they needed someone young and in touch with the internet I don’t even know how to put a name on their swag but Otis has had my back forever, he was the one who put me in the studio first and as soon as I linked with Tapz and worked on my new shit ‘Why’, I’ve just dropped ‘Why’, I’ve seen more opportunities come through to do with music. Otis is a good manager he’s cool and Tapz is just like the best big brother, I just wanna be like Tapz to be honest I’ve always looked up to Tapz he’s just always travelling I wanna do what he does. 

That’s the plan? 

Sizwe: That’s the plan for sure. 

Now that ‘Why’ has come out what can your people’s look for next?

Sizwe: Album, more tracks this year. 

This year?

Sizwe: This year…Nah I promise this year we looking at like December.

And also… couple question, being a couple dating  both definitely have got Instagram heat, whats that like? 

Misha: I’ve always wanted it like I can’t picture myself with someone who isn’t into dressing up and flexing and stuff so Seeze is just like,  we enjoy it, it’s our hobby. 

Sizwe: I mean we’re just like the same people, she’s like the girl version of me I’m the boy version of her. It always takes us hours and ages to get dressed because we’re so fucken picky with our outfits.

And you do it together? 

Sizwe: Yeah we do it together  we rate outfits she’s like, ‘nahh you can’t wear that today, nah nah nah’…I love having someone who I personally think looks good and can see me get dressed too you know what I mean it’s probably the best part of it too.

Did  you think you’d find that with someone when you met her? 

Sizwe: Nah I didnt but to be honest when I saw it I was like ‘Nah I need that’.

And so it was like a long game thing or was it like ‘You, come with me’.. .

Sizwe: Nah that was exactly it, ‘you come with me’ literally. 

Misha: Yeah it was just like, you’re my girlfriend now, he never asked me out  he just said ‘okay now you’re my girlfriend’ (lols) And I’m just like, what, like ask me out but it’s cool.

Sizwe: The exact words was like ‘I’m ready to be loyal’ that’s it.

Misha: Yeah I was just like what, ‘what does that mean’…like what?

What’s it like dating a rapper

Misha: Omg it’s cool, yeah …But I’d like to go to a few shows and stuff, we’ll see, it’s cool when fans come up to him on the street. 

Sizwe: Being in Auckland it’s real small so getting your name out, I couldn’t imagine this much hype, like when we’re walking on the street people stop us like someone just stopped us on the way here.

Misha: It’s like why me you know I just take selfies and people come up to me to get photos like, huh. 

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She wanna dinner d8 w gallantino

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Is it a bit awkward to have that much attention? 

Misha: No it’s cool but you always just feel like..

Seez: I love it, it’s cool  

Misha: Yeah I love it too …

Sizwe: I wouldn’t say ‘Why me’ I feel like I worked a bit and got a reason.  

Misha: Yeah he’s a musician so I get why he receives that much attention, but I’m just an influencer so I didn’t expect it . But I obviously love all the positive attention and support, it means a lot.

Is there a difference between an influencer and a model? 

Misha: Yeah there’s a huge difference. Models aren’t their own boss, as they never have a say in how they want to look. However, I always get to choose the clothing I promote and I can always do my makeup how I want which basically means I’m always guaranteed to feel comfortable and confident knowing I’m being myself.

So you get to make your own rules in a way? 

Misha: Basically that’s what I wanted to do, I don’t want to be with an agency but I’ve modelled for a few boutiques and stuff.

What is it about an agency you don’t vibe with?

Misha: They won’t let me do my own makeup and stuff, I like the way I do my eyelashes, little things.

Who are the top five people that influence you guys style wise?

Sizwe: Kanye, Kid Cudi, Playboi Carti, Jet and my mum, just with emotions and dealing with life.

Is clout chasing important: 

Misha: No?! What. 

Sizwe: I noticed the difference between clout  chasing and being hungry, I think being hungry is important I could say clout chasing and the best example of it is like fake fuckign with people, or fake showing love or just riding waves and all that – that’s not cool like that’s not important but being hungry is definitely important and letting people know that you’re hungry is definitely important, I like showing people that I’m hungry.  

And what 3 tracks would you put on your own runway playlist: 

Misha: Aw yeah that Lady Gaga one, ‘walk walk fashion baby’….

Sizwe: Yeah what’s that one called again – is it Bad Romance?

Misha: Paparazzi! I’d have like Nicki Minaj,  any of her songs hey, she just puts me in some sort of mood. 

Sizwe: Okay, Paparazzi Lady gaga, Kanye West  Black Skinhead and Kid Cudi Dance for Eternity.

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Best friend 🧸

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Yo, have you guys practiced your walks? 

Misha: We were just doing that walking across the road like ‘try not smile’, when we on our way here actually. 

Anything I haven’t asked you that you want people to know about modelling, rapping, being a couple or being cute in general..

Sizwe: Respect women, dress how you feel.

Misha: Be confident. 

Sizwe: Definitely always do your best, give it your all and make an effort to make people smile during the day, love your parents especially if you’re an immigrant you gotta like know, you gotta know how much your parents did to get you here and not let them down. That’s got to be my biggest part and that’s my inspiration I always think about what my mum did to get me here from South Africa and that just gets me out of bed everyday. 

THREADS: Siphosethu Duncan – Sundays Apparel thrifts with decadence

Feature, Interview, Threads

For 24-year-old Siphosethu Duncan fashion and a passion for dressing didn’t truly begin until this year. Moves like investing deliberate time on her Instagram or buying tickets to Fashion Week happened when this fresh-faced and gracefully talented up-cycler locked into her fashion-sense. Her Instagram feed shows an instinct for minimalism and what to leave out or off. For S E R U M The Sundays Apparel feed bares a curated grace and elegance that’s hard not to refer back toward. Living out in the wops of Pukekohe where she and her husband Warren own their own home, this young boss woman uniquely sets silk textures against freshly ploughed soil. Sisi to her friends, as named by her late nanny, she says embracing her personal style was like “An opportunity to take myself seriously — an opportunity to pursue my love for fashion”. Once we saw the styling work she did for Mukuka’s Time + Space video shot by Shakie Photography and directed by Makanaka Tuwe, we had to catch up with her and talk about Sundays Apparel and what she’s going to do next.

Where are you from? 

S: Beautiful Durban, South Africa but living in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Describe your personal style: 

S: My personal style has definitely changed and is constantly evolving and growing — I’ve noticed a change in style due to genuine inspiration. I went from urban streetwear to minimalistic inspired looks. I noticed with interest how many clothes I have accumulated throughout the year all in the name of fashion but when I switched to dressing minimalistic, it helped me declutter unworn/worn clothing items. Quite a challenge but so far, I am enjoying the journey.

“The idea of only being given one choice of style or similar choices bothers me hence why I thrift.”

Siphosethu Duncan by husband Warren.

What are some of your first memories of clothes and materials?
S: I never really took much notice on my apparel, what I would wear or how I would wear my outfits. I started noticing recently that people are loving what I wear.  However, I can recall a time when I was a lot younger, I sat in my soft-tech class in intermediate school brainstorming my brand label. This was quite far-fetched as I wanted to become a nurse.

How do clothes define your personality in your opinion?

S: Stand-out clothing defines my extroverted-personality. I love bold/ iconic pieces, especially unique items. I don’t enjoy shopping at local malls as I feel, creatively speaking, restricted when looking for an outfit. We only buy what’s currently ‘trending’ or in season. The idea of only being given one choice of style or similar choices bothers me hence why I thrift. Thrifting is all seasons—you have summer wear and winter wear all year round. I can define myself through clothing with thrift shopping. If I’m looking for something bold, or stand-out pieces, I thrift. 

As a woman how do clothes represent your identity?
S: I don’t think clothing represents my identity as a woman. I say this because I sometimes like wearing men’s wear if we’re being gender specific. The current trend or what’s become popular are oversized jackets as an example — the closest to recreating this look is wearing men’s wear. 

What are you most looking forward to with fashion week 2019?
S: I was looking forward to being in the same room as creatives and like-minded people. I was also looking forward to being inspired and enthused by the following seasons clothing collections.

What shows did you attend?

S: I attended with a friend the following shows: Tuesday Label and Fashion Quarterly & Miss FQ. 

Where can people check for your coverage? 

S: On Instagram. .. ssundaysapparel (two s’s)


What’s Sundays Apparel and what can people look out for in the future from you?
S: Sundays Apparel at the moment is a massive scrap book of ideas. Ideas are forming and an identity is slowly being developed and formed. Sundays Apparel is a service that focusses on helping you up-cycle thrifted clothing at the moment. We’re still growing.

Who are your style/ influencers and why?
S: At the moment, I love Layplan designs. Their designs are honestly amazing and unique. I enjoy watching how they style their pieces! They’re signature puffy sleeved dresses/ tops with quirky socks and sandals is a fave.

What was your role working on the video for ‘Time + Space’ by Mukuka:

S: My role on the day, along with the creative director Makanaka was to ensure Mukukā’s wardrobe as well as her cast members were on hand and ready for shooting. Prior to this, Mukukā and I had a private wardrobe styling session to plan.

What did you love about the job?

S: I loved how Mukukā trusted me to style her shoot. I am super grateful for the opportunity as it has opened my eyes to endless possibilities for Sundays Apparel. It surely gave me perspective on how much Time + Space (pun intended) is required when planning.

When you get ready every day, what’s your favourite part  of the process?
S: My favourite part of the process is characterising— Do I want to wear ‘mom’ jeans with a cute sweater and a hat or do I feel like wearing my favourite RiRi pants. I call it characterising because for a moment when you’re in the process, you think of what you may of seen via Pinterest, social media and you almost re-create that particular look BECAUSE so and so wore it like this.

Who are your style/ influencers and why?
S: At the moment, I love Layplan designs. Their designs are honestly amazing and unique. I enjoy watching how they style their pieces! They’re signature puffy sleeved dresses/ tops  with quirky socks and sandals is a fave.

Follow Siphosethu on Instagram HERE.

Check out Siphosethu’s styling work on Mukukā’s Time+Space video below:

Photographer: Kate Jenkins for International Women’s Day

Culture, Feature, Threads

S E R U M  blog is about women everyday but what better way to celebrate the official day than to feature a bad one. International Women’s Day is a public holiday in some countries – Cuba, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Zambia and Kazakhstan to name a few. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood. Kate Jenkins, content creator at Red Rat in South Auckland is our woman this year. I asked her about being young, female and in charge in 2019, here’s what she had to say:

What do you do?

Photographer. Stylist. Hair & Makeup.

Where do you work?

Red Rat Clothing but I still do freelance jobs on the side.

What do you love about your job?

EVERYTHING. Everyday is different, working with people and being able to inspire are the biggest perks though.

How do you feel about equality, would you say you’re a feminist?

I 100% believe in equality and I’d like to say I identify as one but I actually hate the word as I believe it leads uneducated people to believe it means females first – I prefer the term equalist.

What makes you feel empowered?

Being able to dress how I want, act how I want and work where I want.

What is your view on the word ‘bitch’?

I believe it depends entirely on context and how sensitive a person is, I like to think I’m quite open minded and that it isn’t always used in a negative manner so it hasn’t been intended to offend. But everybody is different and reacts differently so in my opinion people need to keep that in mind when communicating.

What’s your fav album right now?

I basically only listen to seshollowaterboyz, Lil Peep, wicca phase springs eternal and Blink182 nowadays. (I’m an emo kid that never truely grew up) Hahahaha. But this week I’ve been listening to the Bones x Ross Dylan album a lot again, its called SongsThatRemindYouOfHome (Bones really doesn’t seem to like space bars).

Follow Kate on INSTAGRAM.

PHOTOGRAPHY: FEVER HOTEL – CHECK IN WITH ASHLEY CHURCH

Culture, Interview, Threads


Photographer and creative director Ashley Church caught up with S E R U M over email for chats about her latest Exhibition ‘You Give Me Fever’ which is on at Hunters & Collectors in Wellington this February. We talk about her working relationship with dear friend and true artist Xoe Hall – when these two creative forces combine they become Fever Hotel, specialising in clothing design, photography and styling which you can check out HERE. We also talk about the legacy Hunters & Collectors has made for Wellington fashion.


SERUM: How did Fever Hotel come about?


A: We had been collaborating for years, Xoe and I would often photograph Xoe’s rad clothing she would make or decorate. When we got over submitting our work to other publications… we decided fuck it, we’ll make a blog and publish ourselves.

Ashley Church & Xoe Hall are Fever Hotel.


SERUM: Who are Fever Hotel?

A: Ashley Church & Xoe Hall.


SERUM: What does Fever Hotel do?


A: We do whatever inspires us at the time. But mostly it’s Xoe decorating second skins with me photographing them how we want to and we get our friends to model for us. We also feature artists work & have vacancies for artistic submissions!


SERUM: Is Fever Hotel you’re main hustle or side hustle?


A: Side hustle, not really a hustle though, it’s chill. We do what we want when we want to, and do our best to disregard social media pressures or norms.

Photo by Ash Church, Dinosaurtoast


SERUM: How would you describe your photographic style?


A: A bit sassy, a bit sexy and I am obsessed with eye popping colours and shooting against the grain. And I love juxtaposition.


SERUM: What other jobs/creative passions do you work on?


A: My own thang Dinosaurtoast, which is photography & creative direction and me and my partner recently bought a house, so a lot of house renos too!


SERUM: What have been some of your favourite or more memorable projects to date?


A: Such a hard question, because I love all our collabs for FH, every one of them is different!! Both Part 1 & 2 of the Heartbreak Double Feature – we went all out with lighting, set design and everything. They were rad to shoot and had us punching the air in excitement.

Photo by Ash Church, Dinosaurtoast.

SERUM: What is it about working with Xoe that you would say makes Fever Hotel special to you?


A: Fever Hotel can only happen when Xoe and I work on shit together, because of the way we collaborate, ideas just come magically and sporadically. That’s the beauty of Fever Hotel. We do what we want, when we’re in the mood. I think we don’t try to force anything, if it feels right it feels right and we know. So if your working on something and it feels right, keep going!

“You Give Me Fever” exhibition on until end of Feb 2019 at Hunters & Collectors.


SERUM: How would you describe what Hunters & Collectors means to Wellington city and also the connection between H&C and Fever Hotel?


A: Hunters has been around since before I was born, it’s an integral part of Cuba Street & Wellington cities fashion history. Hunters as been helping people express themselves for years via fashion! Chrissy and Charlotte, at Hunters, have always supported Fever Hotel – letting us do window displays, Xoe has hand painted their stairwell with a rad dragon and has many hand decorated items for sale through the shop! Love the collaboration and inclusivity for artists and especially now there is an exhibition space upstairs!


SERUM: What are your top 3 creative inspirations that give you fever right now?


A: Insanely bright colours, neons mostly. And I love when shit matches.

Glitter, forever glitter.

And anything a little bit weird, over the top, and 80s.


SERUM: What are some projects Fever Hotel are looking forward to in 2019?


A: Right at this moment – our You Give Me Fever Exhibition… Xoe’s got heaps on the go at the moment, and I’ve got some rad ideas for photoshoots! Will keep you posted!


SERUM: Describe a work day in the life of Ash.


A: I get up have my breaky, hang out with my 2 pups and husband. Drive 10 mins down the road to work, TeacherTalk, where I am a marketing gal! Xoe and I work at TeacherTalk together! I get as much done as I can. Head home, walk up a hill in Porirua, if I’m feeling creative I’ll work on a project, or plan my next idea / shoot by making a moodboard on Pinterest! And usually end up reading a good book and going to sleep waaay too late.


SERUM: What are some things you do to keep inspired as a creative professional?


A: Hang out with other artist friends. I give myself space to come up with new ideas – I don’t force it. Listen to music, go to gigs and watch music videos! I also watch films and read a lot. I also do things for my well being, like hangin’ out in nature!

Follow Ash on Instagram.

There are still a few limited edition framed prints available for purchase. You can DM her dtisyourfriend@gmail.com if your interested.