When I started the Skattie, What Are You Wearing? blog five years ago, taking pictures on a Nokia N96 phone, I never thought for a second that it would grow to completely change my life and career, that I would leave a fashion buying career that I’d built over seven years. I didn’t even think I could write or take pics; I was just having fun, of the cheekiest kind. Five years on, I’ve had the pleasure of writing about some of the most exciting local talent to come up in the last five years: MaXhosa, Pichulik, Sindiso Khumalo, and more recently Chu Suwannapha, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Rich Mnisi among others.
Friends have constantly asked me when I would ‘re-look’ the design of the blog, and although I’ve wanted to, I never felt it was right to redesign merely for cosmetic reasons. The change had to be fundamental, and it had to be about what I’ve come to love most – original, locally produced content. And whilst it’s fun and fabulous to be at the most fashionable parties, I’ve been wanting the conversation to go a little deeper than who was wearing what.
Over the past three years I have also worked closely with friend and journalist Sandiso Ngubane on several newspaper articles and Skattie related projects, including a Skattie magazine issue, the Skattie Celebrates parties and online PDF magazine – all celebrating amazing, young, artistic talent. More than anything else, it is our love for local content and creativity that we talk about daily (and sometimes over several beers well into the night at questionable watering holes).
Just over a year ago we started thinking about ‘re-looking’ the Skattie blog, re-imagining it into the kind of playground we can use to celebrate the talent in this country and across the continent. Fortunately, around the same time, we started working with ARTsouthAFRICA, which has been the country’s leading publication on contemporary art from Africa for over a decade. In the publishers, Brendon and Suzette Bell-Roberts, we found partners who shared the same enthusiasm for content, creativity and talent.
This website, its redesign, the direction it will take over the next few years and the exciting projects we will embark on are a result of over a year’s worth of conversation and planning between myself and my partners, ARTsouthAFRICA and Sandiso, who is now joining me as Editor. It is a happy collaboration; I am no longer a lone Skattie out in the fashionable wild!
We believe platforms are merely tools and, as stated above, what matters most is the content. The last five years of Skattie blog content will still be available right here on thatskattie.com – even those crappy cellphone pics – but most importantly, we look forward to bringing you the kind of new content that will get you as excited about the country and the continent’s creativity as we are. Walk with us.