Trevor Stuurman is already a well-known name in South Africa’s fashion industry. Both his impeccable taste in clothing and his camera skills won him the title of ELLE Style Reporter in 2012, but that’s not his only claim to fame. Trevor is a stylist and blogger too, and he is completing his postgraduate studies in Motion Picture. At the moment he is finishing up a documentary project which he co-directed and produced with Kathrin Ratzek. This documentary tracks Laduma Ngxokolo‘s journey as a local fashion designer. He is also preparing for an exchange program in Los Angeles which kicks off in a few weeks.
As part of our annual Young South Africa Series, Trevor spoke to us about his background, inspiration and plans for the future.
Where did you grow up, and how has this influenced your creative thinking?
Growing up in a small town motivates you to be a whole lot more resourceful and creative with your time, talent and skills. My friends and I used to stage little editorial shoots which we would later share on Facebook as that was the biggest platform we were exposed to. This later shaped my path as a photographer and stylist – for me less is always more.
What was your first big break, and how has this brought you to be where you are now?
My background is story telling through various mediums, such as fashion and film. My career fashion started back in 2012 when I won the ELLE style reporter search. Ever since I have contributed to fashion magazines such as Grazia, Glamour, Edgars Club Magazine and also MKM (Markham Digital Mag). I have also had my hand in styling music videos for Spoek Mathambo and styling the Markham Winter 2014 campaign.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
I’m a full time BA Motion Picture post graduate student, freelance stylist, blogger and photographer.
When and how did you decide to make fashion the main subject of your work?
I cannot remember a time where fashion and art were not part of my life. Fashion is a personal and powerful medium to express things greater than myself.
How would you define the local fashion scene?
There’s a fun, free and fearless energy about our style. What I have observed in local streetstyle is that our take on international trends always has a strong South African stamp on it.
What influences your personal style?
I feel like my style has always remained the same since childhood. It only gets updated with every season. I have always loved bold prints, cool sunnies and hats.
What grabs your eye when you’re out snapping pics?
Interesting characters (people) with cool costumes (clothes).
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently polishing up a documentary project that I co-directed and produced with Kathrin Ratzek. The doccie follows Laduma Ngxokolo’s journey and the beautiful marriage of costume and culture. I’m also busy preparing for an exchange program in LA in 3 weeks weeks time.
Tell us a little more about the exchange programme you’re about to attend? What are you most looking forward to? What do you hope to gain from this experience?
The exchange programme is between AFDA and The Chapman University in LA. It involves various workshops on filmmaking, studio videos around LA and most exciting of all we’ll be shooting a short film in LA at the end of the programme.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Thinking about work. #TrueStory
What’s exciting about being a young South African now?
Impossible is nothing for us. We live a country with infinite possibilities. As a young creative this is everything.
What have been some of your career highlights thus far?
Winning the Elle Style Reporter Search back in 2012. This life changing opportunity fast tracked my career in fashion and motivated me to dream bigger and work harder.
Which other young local creatives inspire you, and why?
Spoek Mathambo, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Atang Tshikare, Asanda Sizani and Laduma of MaXhosa. I find their personal style and craft very refreshing. They all have a distinctive and clear point of view when it comes to art and their delivery.
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