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ELLE Magazine Fresh Face Awards, COORD, Dirk de Waal

My Day Job: Dirk de Waal

ELLE Magazine Fresh Face Awards, COORD, Dirk de Waal

ELLE Magazine Fresh Face Awards, COORD, Dirk de Waal

Dirk de Waal is involved in diverse creative areas encompassing: development, direction and execution of concepts for live events and print media. These include: stage costume design, award ceremonies, product launches & events, fashion shows, commercials and editorial concept development.


Events he has worked on during his career include the South African Fashion Awards, MNET Face of Africa, the BBC Radio Africa Awards in Nairobi, Sports for Peace for the UNDP with Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, Sir Elton John’s Cape Town Ball, the International Design Indaba Expo-fashion sector, Tyra Banks America’s Next Top Model, Heidi Klum’s Germany’s Next Top Model and the list goes on and on.


More recently he was asked to do the creative direction of the IDOLS VI finalists. He also did the curation of a series of installations for the ELLE New Talent Initiatives: Photography, Fresh Face and Fashion.


We caught up with him to tell us about his very interesting day job.


Between 10and5: Please let us know your official (or unofficial) job title.

Dirk de Waal: Creative director & concept developer


10and5: What does it take to do what you do?

D: Ideas and the ability to redefine oneself continuously


10and5: If you studied, what and where did you study?

D: Studied fashion design and then ended up as a fashion show director


10and5: Best day ever on the job?

D: Walking out of a presentation


10and5: Worst day ever on the job?

D: Walking into a presentation


10and5: Weirdest task you’ve had to perform while at work?

D: Covering a model in oil and then wrapping her in cling film for a shoot in Botswana, 6 in the morning, mid winter, water was – 5C and she was from West Africa. Needless to say she wasn’t happy but the commercial looked amazing.


10and5: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

D: Nothing specific, but I knew I wanted/needed to be in the field of creative thinking


10and5: Advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?

D: Never stop learning, always be humble and be in the now


10and5: Any industry secrets?

D: We’re in a digital age so everything is known. I’ve always believed that any creative can apply his/her knowledge into a new sphere of thinking by reading or learning a new program. The principles remain the same even if the material or execution is different.


10and5: Your dream job?

D: Wouldn’t change what I do, but I can think of dream jobs…being asked to curate a exhibition in the MOMA or developing an “experience” for one of the Japanese fashion brands or styling a Grace Jones music video. But some days cooking jam and baking bread, living in a small town is my dream.


Thanks Dirk!


If you or anyone you know has an interesting or strange creative job, we’d love to hear about it!


ELLE Fresh Face Awards
ELLE Fresh Face Awards
ELLE Magazine New Talent Photographer Awards, COORD, Dirk de Waal

ELLE Magazine New Talent Photographer Awards, COORD, Dirk de Waal



Between 10 and 5