Monday, March 12, 2012

Style Crush : Sino Sea-starr Ragontse

 I absolutely adore her, i met her for the for the time i met her which was at Color In The Dessert Fashion Week here in Botswana, Golf Estate Club House parking lot and she wanted to take a picture of me for her blog, i will never forget that day, here she was charismatic bubbly so much personality and her style, that was the beginning of my love for her, as time went on i got to know her a better and she was one of the most intriguing people i had ever met in my life passionate about what she does and was not one to brush off people to the side which is what most people in this industry do, i look up to her and she inspires me every day, so im super excited that she agreed to do this and i enjoyed working on it so much and hope you guys enjoy reading it ENJOY :)

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live. ?

My name is Sino Ragontse originally from Kanye but live in Tlokweng. I am a beaded accessories designer  since 2006. It started out as a hobby because I was forever broke from buying jewelry on a daily, so my friend suggested I started making my own. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, so to think about it i took a young walk to the mall (it wasn’t far off from res) that was when I met a young lady who made beaded jewelry. Her creations were okay they really didn’t grab my attention that much, until I laid my eyes on her beaded coasters…*I DIED* they were gorgeous I couldn't keep my eyes off them and she made them in different sizes. I held one in my hand and I immediately felt the connection, I tried looking for one that looked the similar to the one I had in hand but I couldn’t find one. I asked the lady why I couldn’t find one that looked the same she just simply told me * every coaster has its own story when it was created no 1 could look like the other* that is why I cannot repeat the same color scheme in my creations.

2. How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?

I started getting interested in fashion in 2007… actually 2006, there was this lady at my school who was a true soul sistah. I loved to stare at her everyday the way she dressed the way she wrapped her turban her jewelry, she was beautiful. I appreciated her style so much I wanted to dress like her. so i too jumped on the band wagon of dressing like a true SOUL SISTAH. since a young age I loved color so my outfits we sometimes ridiculously BRIGHT! People for some reason liked my style I didn’t understand why as I felt I looked very simple. What shocked me was getting asked to be interviewed for the school paper fashion article in 2006, the interview was actually about how to rock the *soul sistah* wear. Then 2007 I met someone who later became my closest friend in varsity. She loved fashion, she had her own style which I digged HIGHLY, it was weird because we were in the same class all of 2006 but only talked towards the end of the year. She then introduced me to her sister who was a fashion designer. We would stay up all night the three of us creating it was fun, my *kindred spirits* we did everything together. They introduced me to the WORLD OF FASHION, at that point my confidence level was on a serious HIGH, I started wearing clothes that revealed parts of my body I NEVER showed anybody. My mom is a very fashionable woman she loves her colors, she got her sense of style from my grandma who loved African print. Both their styles rubbed off me more than my sister, I inherited most of their items of clothing. It was fun mixing and matching my stuff with my mom n grans. Fashion for me is LIFE. you get up in the morning, shower try find items of clothing that match your mood, with me I color co-ordinate my clothes to my accessories.  

3. Where are you from and how do you describe the fashion scene in your city compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?

I am a PROUDLY MOTSWANA WOMAN like I said I come from Kanye born in Selibe Phikwe, grew up Phalapye and Gaborone now lives in Tlokweng. The fashion here I think, cant really be compared to other major fashion cities i.e our neighboring city Johannesburg. We are still in its infant stages but slowly climbing up the FASHION LADDER. Now people are beginning to take an interest in fashion, we having more and more fashion events that are giving young designers a platform to *shine* with their creations. Yes, you do have those that are passionate about fashion and would give their right leg for it, but there are also a lot of imposters, those who really don’t know anything about fashion but see there is now a rising market for it and jump @ it to make a quick buck. Those are the very people who drive me insane as they really killing it for those that want to be in this industry. I must say this though, there are those people who take FASHION to heart and want to be right smack in the middle of this *mystical* world, they are the very ones that pave the way for generations below them. We really have crazy talented designers/stylists here in this DESERT COUNTRY OF OURS, and I strongly believe this year FASHION in BOTS will be on a serious RIZE. We already have young designers showcasing their work at London Fashion Week 2012, that should say something…WE ABOUT TO CONQUER THE *WORLD*

4. Describe your personal style and its influences/inspiration.?

mmmmmm, I don’t know how to describe my personal style. i dress in what ever I feel will make me look good. It’s a mix of a bit of everything. I am a lover of color 1st and foremost  so even if I put on an all black outfit I make sure my jewelry adds that *pop* of color. I am also an admirer and follower of African Designers, nowadays their creations are very wearable/fashionable and in with the times which makes my life a whole lot easier. I get to create fashionable pieces I feel would flatter my frame in the brightest African prints. I love vintage clothing, I collect vintage bags, accessories, shoes whatever catches my eye, and will look good on me. I cant think of a name for what I wear, I am just a *FREE SPIRIT*… 

5. Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?

I am TRULY MADLY DEEPLY IN *HEART* with the Olsen twins ( im obsessed with them too lol) . MY gosh their fashion sense is eccentric, insane boho-chic and it turns heads wherever they go. I LOVE them because they couldn’t careless what the tabloids have to say about their style. it inspires me to be my own unique self. They also lovers of *VINTAGE* clothing, I love vintage wear too, I am actually in the process of creating a vintage inspired jewelry collection. I am a plus size woman so finding the right clothes that fit perfectly is a mission, that’s why I turn to plus size fashion stylists like Jessica Dee and my ultimate style *crush* Gabbie Gregg. I also check out the style blog for the latest styles whats in whats fab what you can mix and match, the latest fashion crazes. California based Nigerian Stylist/Designer/Owner of WeWe Clothing Folake Kuye Huntoons’ style inspires me to be bold and daring. If we were the same size i would definitely love to raid her closet (^^,). I ABSOLUTLY *ADORE* HER STYLE. My fashion Icons, my mom and sister. Growing up i would admire how they put their clothes together, mum like i mentioned loves color and my sister prefers earth tones. So i am a mix of both.

6. Favourite places to shop?

i am truly not fussy when it comes to clothes. I shop anywhere and everywhere. From Mr Price to Woolies, Jet to Truworths, Options to the local Flea Market (i dig thrift stores). I also have personal relationships with some local fashion designers Braided Sphinx and Naiko just to name a few. Being a plus size woman in Botswana can get frustrating, especially when it comes to shopping as the stores don’t cater for us. But luckily i think i have a good eye to spot something i feel will flatter my frame  and will fit so i manage to get something everytime i hit stores. I have a lot of hand-me-downs from my mom gran, aunts and sister, the items are timeless even tho styles have changed through the years i make them work for me now. Back in 2007 i visited my friend in London and *died* while shopping at Primark. I literally wanted to live in the store. It was around winter so they were clearing the store out for the summer spring collections, they had blazers in all neon colours, leather jackets in gold and silver, tights in all the colors of the rainbow I WAS IN HEAVEN. So the next time i visit the store again, the assistants will know me by my 1st name thats a guarantee.

7. What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

 the most recent noticeable trends i have seen that i am sooooooo excited about is the 60s maxi skirt. You dress it up or down either way you will STILL look *FAB* i have a couple of them in my closet. The other trend i am loving thats made a comeback is 70s flared jeans. I had a pair in my closet that  didn’t fit me, it has been there for the past 4years. I was ready to give up on them then recently read they making a serious fashion comeback, i tried them on a couple of days back and the fit like a *gem*. 

 8. What music is on your iPod/Mp3 player at the moment?

MY GOSH i am such a sucker for some neo-soul music, some deep vocal lounge music, trip-hop, reggae music’ vocal house music, some hip hop and rnb. the likes of Dwele, Floetry, Erykah Badu, Tortured Soul, Fat Freddys Drop, Roisen Murphy, Ultra Nate, Aya, D’Angelo, Kem, i also have some vocal soul house mixes by SeeMeDeep and B-Note... the list is endless, i love music  true food for my SOUL

9. What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?

i think to truly know your style, one should look at what they like, what pleases their eyes. Its fine to admire some1 else style sense, its another thing to actually copy it. That would mean you don’t understand who you are, you would rather live life imitating someone who might not even know your existence. never loose hope, keep doing what you love and grow with your passion. Don’t let people derail you from the path that was meant for you. I have had designers copying my work and its frustrating trust, but I turn that frustration around and actually give myself a pat on the back cause if some1 goes out of their way to copy my style, my work, then that means I am good @ what I do. Don’t let that get you down keep true to yourself and keep creating greatness. Get inspiration from your daily existence, all that’s around you develop YOUR own personal style, don’t take someone else s design and make it your own you don’t know what that person went through  to come up with such a creation respect them.

10. Are there any words you would like to give to young people trying to achieve something in fashion ?

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF... that's the 1st thing i can say to them. You guys are actually fortunate that you have so many designers now paving the way for you so by the time you do get yourself, your creations out to the world, they will already know Botswana Designers are a force to reckon with. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT that's how people will get to know you, and appreciate the fact that you stand out from the rest. We are all unique in our own way so your work should be a reflection of your personality, so when some1 purchases your creation they should feel the very essence of that designer.  
I believe in myself I believe in my dreams I may not have the support of some family members but I am NOT living for them, I am creating a life for ME not anybody else. I want to look back 30yrs from now, grey haired and all with my children and say *MOMMY BELIEVED IN HERSELF* she followed her dreams n yes the road was one hell of a bumpy one but she did it with her head HELD HIGH. Don’t EVA let any1 tell u not good enough, NEVA LET ANY1 DETERMINE YOUR FATE YOU DETERMINE YOUR OWN FATE. Its not easy, trust, you will work till you feel like your hands are bleeding but NEVA give up LIVE FOR YOU, BELIEVE IN YOU 

 Pictures via  GaTsh Fros, 
Sino Sea-starr Ragontse


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