The Elle Style Report Winner for 2016 is Themba Mbuyisa, following an intensive judging session of the eight finalists. His prize includes a Canon camera, valued at R30,995. In his capacity as the 2016 Elle Style Reporter, he will create content for all Elle platforms from July to December 2016 under the lead of the Elle team. He will also spend mentoring time with Ed Suter, an established name in the industry, to hone his skills as the new Elle Style Reporter.
The idea behind the Award, in association with Orms and Canon, was to identify a creative who is attuned to what is new on the streets, the catwalk and beyond. The winner should have an eye for fashion, be social media savvy and have the ability to narrate what is on the ground through his or her lens.
“With the growth in social media, this serves as an example that anything is possible and Elle wanted to be the catalyst,” says Elle’s publisher, Gisèle Wertheim Aymés.
“The eight finalists brought a unique point of view. A fresh look at ‘home-grown fashion & style’, away from the usual street style images we often see. Each of them brought something different and allowed for their own emotions, their personality to softly tint their work and imprint their images,” adds Elle editor-in-chief, Emilie Gambade.
After an intense session, at the Orms School of Photography in Cape Town on 28 April, judges Emilie Gambade, Tarryn Oppel, Niquita Bento, Malibongwe Tyilo, Ed Suter and Roger Machin reached a unanimous decision that Mbuyisa would be winner.
“Themba’s work wowed us; it is edgy, architectural and his strong point of view, visual narrative and passion for Style Reporting sealed the deal,” continues Gambade.
“Themba has a unique vision and there is something refreshing about his visual storytelling and view on the local fashion scene. I believe his conceptual eye and technical photographic skills are going to bring together a compelling and interesting story to our pages every month,” adds Elle’s creative assistant and former Style Reporter winner, Niquita Bento.
“We had an incredible selection of photographic talent to choose from, ultimately it was Themba’s ability to immerse himself in his surroundings and present fashion in a way that speaks to those surroundings that made me feel that he was best suited to the role of Style Reporter. Beyond talent and technical ability, the Style Reporter needs to show a broad understanding of the global as well as the local, and prove to us that month after month, he will be able to hold a page in the magazine. I have no doubt that Themba will consistently bring fascinating ideas to our readers and pages,” says Elle’s contributing editor, Malibongwe Tyilo.
When asked what he expected from this year’s Elle Style Reporter Award, Mike Ormrod, founder of ORMS concludes, “For me, this was the ideal opportunity to empower and encourage young and up-coming photographers in establishing themselves. Having Canon and Orms partner alongside Elle magazine paved the way for local talent to gain exposure and showcase their story through photography.”
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