So, like, one of the realest people I know in this here fashion industry of ours is also a brilliant stylist and (bless up) a friend of mine. She has the cutest dress sense and a killer attitude: genuinely nice, empathetic and downright dope as fuck! She’s also one of my favourite party companions. Skattie, meet Sunday Times Fashion Editor Roxanne Robinson (hey ma). Pictured above next to another one of my fav Joburgers, Marie Claire’s Kelly Fung, Roxanne grew up in Cape Town but is literally the best Joburg ambassador I know. She is most definitely one of our #skattiefavs and we spoke to her about her work, Jozi (duh) and, in case you thought fashion is all about front rows and champagne kisses… Now you know.
So, what does your job as fashion editor entail?
Being fashion editor of Fashion Weekly and The Edit means I shoot at least one editorial almost every week (yesterday we shot two!). Mondays I plan and do upfront fashion content, Tuesdays I source, Wednesdays we go to print and I style up. Thursdays we shoot, Fridays I do our online radio segment (listen: https://soundcloud.com/sundaytimesza) and I do admin. Those are the basics, but in-betweeen I attend launches, meeet with advertisers, designers or suppliers, produce content for online and speed walk in malls. I mostly eat my lunch in my car. On a very rare, not-so-busy day I walk across the road to Rosebank for a sarmie or wine, chat to my team and read magazines at Exclusive Books. I spend a lot of time sending e-mails, and a frightening amount of time with our editor Tiaan Nagel discussing whether or not a look is too Gwyneth circa Oscar acceptance speech or too Tavi Gevinson on a school trip with Margot Tennanbaum. These are things that only we understand, but they are so important to us.
What keeps you going and what do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s an amazing adventure being part of something new. Having been fashion editor for Fashion Weekly from the get-go, there are so many things we got to do for the first time, and so many projects and areas we have moulded and perfected. The fact that someone’s 70-year-old gran buys the paper for Fashion Weekly and a fashion student collages her walls with our centre spreads (this really happened) makes my day. Honestly though, the thing I enjoy most about what I do is the people I get to work with: photographers, models, hair and makeup artists, store staff, PR people- they all of them make it enjoyable. As much as shooting every week can be exhausting, we always find time for a dance party on set and as much as sourcing can be draining, the weekly chats I have with people make it all the better. On a day-to-day basis, my team is such a treat and so helpful and always keen for wine, which makes them irreplaceable in my books.
You’re pretty much entrenched in the Jozi cool-kid scene. Would you agree or disagree with that statement?
Ag, you know… sometimes I feel like the Jozi cool-kid scene is filled with good-looking young people who wear sneakers and take pictures of themselves against walls in the CBD to Instagram, but then I also think of the kids I am friends with. They are starting their own companies and roasteries and bars, they are smart-talking, fast-thinking go-getters with seriously good taste. if those kids are the cool kids that you speak of, then yes, I reckon I’m in it and I’m glad to be.
What is your definition of cool?
Kindness and passion. I always think the people who make their own things happen – regardless of what other people think of them – and are nice while doing it, they’re the cool kids.
What makes Joburg the best city in South Africa?
I’m always careful not to say Joburg is THE best. I’d rather say why Joburg is MY best. Joburg is special to me, because I chose this city after growing up in the Cape and studying in Stellenbosch. Almost everyone in my life told me not to move to ‘the concrete jungle’, that there was no scene there and that on the whole, the city is ugly and dangerous. So of course I moved and they could not have been more wrong. Joburg has a heartbeat that I never felt for myself in Cape Town. I made friends quickly because the people in this city are genuine, kind and super friendly. One of my favourite things about the people in the city is that before moaning endlessly about something not working, they’ll fix it themselves. If there’s a gap in the industry, they’ll fill it. I feel at home here because I’m surrounded by young people who are passionate and willing. (If it wasn’t clear, I am Joburg’s biggest fan.)
Who are you favourite local designers and why?
Superella for her great shapes, Rich Minisi for his light-hearted approach to the industry and perfectly finished garments and Anmari Honiball because her work is always fresh and artistic.
Of all the people of your generation, who do you admire the most and why?
Out of people I know, I can’t just pick one. So, for her brilliance in the creative world, Anmari Honiball. For being the people I want to be like when I’m big: Shane and Angie Durrant. For being kind and real in an industry filled with the opposite, Kelly Fung and Arraffa Mpungwe. Famous people include Tavi Gevinson, for sticking around, turning her position as a young, unique dresser and wild accessoriser into a voice for young women, and also someone who stands up for herself. Case in point? that time she shut Scott Schuman up.
How would you define Roxanne Robinson as a person and in terms of taste?
I love my family, I adore my friends, I’m aggressive and sensitive, enthusiastic and idealistic. I like almost everyone, but I can’t be fake nice to you if I don’t like you. I’m relatively easy to please and I get very excited at almost every fun idea.
My taste is a little all over the place. I would say it’s a little bit kooky, a lot colourful and a touch childish. I love a full skirts and a checked blouse as much as I like a Superella pinafore and a plain white T. I wear a lot of local, which I think is super important. I would rather spend money on a dress than on shoes and I’m not big on trousers. I did wear jeans for the first time in a long time the other day and it was actually quite nice…
Photography: Ross Garrett/Lampost
Hair and Make-up: Alex Botha/Lampost and Renate Willems/Red Hot Ops
Photography: Aubrey Jonsson/One League
Hair and Make-up: Kelli-Jean Gilbert & Renate Willems/Red Hot Ops
Photography: Warren Van Rensburg/Lampost
Grooming: Renton Wade/Red hot ops
Photography: Warren Van Rensburg/Lampost
Hair: Karen Van Wyngaard/Lampost
Make-up: Lesley Whitby/Lampost