Five @ Five: with Amy Zama.

Photography credits: @Kristilleemoolman

Amy Zama, the greatest to ever do it. Not only is she a style curator for the first Levi’s haus of Strauss in the entire African continent and the forth in the world, she’s also a fashion stylist that is always draped in the swankiest streetwear clothing items. If she’s not doing her contributing editor work for Faculty Press, a fashion zine that was founded by the polymath fashion designer and creative director, Thebe Magugu, then you’ll find her on set with her creative directing hat on.

Amy was featured on the 2019 Sunday Times Lifestyle Mag that was honoring South African creatives alongside Wanda Lephoto, Azania Forest and Lelowhatsgood just to name a few. This and many other things such as co-founding DNA Styling Agency have solidified Amy’s role and influence in the creative industry. uSis’ yangchaza keeps doing it for the culture. They usually say, “jack of all trades, and master of none”. That doesn’t apply to Amy, with growth, progress and experience she has been mastering all her skills. It’s safe to say she’s a “Jill of all trades and master of all.” We caught up with Amy Zama for this week’s Five @ Five article and here’s what she has to say.

Photography credits: @kristinleemoolman

1. How do you always manage to look like you just jumped out of a streetwear magazine ?

I sleep in a Hypebeast bed – I’m just kidding. Uhm I honestly really don’t put that much effort into how I look as most people think or would think I do. I base my style off what kind of mood I woke up in really. I’m just a big fan of coordination in my general life that my style also exudes that too.

2. You’re the style curator for the first ever Haus of Strauss in Africa and the fourth one in the world, how has that journey been for you ever since you started ?

It’s been quite great, very much a learning chapter for me as I come from a raw background as a freelance fashion stylist. Being a style curator at Haus has really made me hone in my creative direction skills even more when dealing with the creatives we have coming in at Haus. I deal with so many creatives who look to me for guidance when it comes to aesthetics. I’ve had to apply myself even more to catering to them individually or as a brand. It’s been really humbling for me.

3. What’s your take on the South African creative industry, is it evolving ? Is it on a stand still ? What can be done to ensure growth ?

Currently with the consideration of the pandemic, the fashion industry as whole is changing. The concept behind the multi billion profiting industry  and liberation to create will never be the same again. In South Africa specifically, we already prior to the pandemic had lack of resources and we have been creatives who make art with what they have accessible to them. The industry still has a lot of learning to do for me personally. We are at a point as creatives were, we need more collaboration. We need more out of the box thinking and we need to be more independent all at the same time. Harvesting more young creatives through mentor ships is going to ensure that South Africa is producing more skilled and talented creatives and artists.

Source: Instagram (@thebemagugu)

4. Which of these two is a bit complex, fashion styling or creative directing ?

Both jobs are complex in their own right. I am both a fashion stylist and creative director to know that each deserves its respect in craftsmanship. Being a fashion stylist is more than just putting fashionably worthy garments together and posting it on the internet. It’s unfortunate that in South Africa, many people still see fashion styling as an occupation to fall back on cause you’re stylish or have “ drip”. In Europe and America being a stylist is a very important job as it is about brand development and enhancing.

Now being a creative director means equally the above but difference being, a creative director needs to be able to tell every detail that can make an artist, muse, campaign or shoot be deemed as a great successful shoot or a mediocre one. Being a creative director is about understanding not just the principles of design but also how clothes look and are perceived from a fashion designer to customer base. The saying “the devil is in the detail” applies to creative director so much cause they are the ones who constantly have to note all the details that make anything a hit or a miss really. That takes years of practice, experience and learning, constant learning at that.

5. Who are your five favorite local designers ?

Wanda Lephoto

Uniform ZA

Rich Mnisi

Thebe Magugu

Art club and friends.

To catch up on the latest Amy Zama updates follow her on Instagram and tune in on the latest Levi’s Instagram “Use Your Voice Live” with Amy.

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