In our October issue -currently in stores- ELLE Style Reporter Themba Mbuyisa caught up with besties, fashion entrepreneurs and avid Instagrammers, Shelley Mokoena and Keneilwe Mothoa of Prime Obsession.
The duo, who met while studying interior design at UJ, they use architecture, people and everything else around them to draw inspiration and curate an enviable Instagram timeline, where they model once-off 'thrifted' outfits that they sell through their Instagram account as well as an actual brick & mortar shop at Newtown Junction's Work Shop New Town in Joburg. You simply must check out their combined (and oh-so-stylish) Prime Obsession Instagram timeline, as well as their individual accounts here: @prime_obsession, @shelleymokoena, @keneilwe_mothoa.
What’s a day like in the life of Prime Obsession?
We're always on the go, there is a lot we try and do in one day: wake up, bath (of course), get ready, go to the store, shoot (whatever is planned for that specific day), thrifting, back home, refresh, have a bite, visit our favourite hangout spot, then home again.
How did Prime Obsession come about, and how did you build it into a brand?
We really just did the damn thing, we had no startup capital, but had an idea. It was sparked by our peers and lecturers telling us we should start something because we are 'the same' in a sense, and fortunately for us we took it seriously and we saved up lunch money every week to go thrifting, and because we were in a design institution we had friends that were photographers who were kind enough to start us up; we would post on different social media platforms and got positive feedback and we never looked back.
What’s it like working together?
Working together has been and still is a joy, we feed off each other's energy and just enjoy every moment. There are times when we argue about which hangers are more cost effective and which are more appealing and other wars, but it's all part of the process, we have learnt to trust each other and we are getting it done.
How do you guys master the art of “twinning” in both hairstyles, and clothes, but still remaining individuals?
We have similar interests and love the same style of clothing, so that makes choosing of outfits easy when we do something together. We are best friends so we literally do everything together and sometimes we end up buying the same items of clothing, not that we want to look the same but because we enjoy the same things. The whole 'twinning' thing follows naturally.
For those trying to generate a social media following, what are the do's and don’t's in maintaining a growing social media following?
Honestly there is no format or rule book to follow. When you put yourself out there as a brand, people always link you back to the things you do, so your social media pages are a reflection of who you are and everyone is different, we might say keep it clean and simple but that might not be your aesthetic all you need to do is be consistent in what you do.
What are the 5 things you can’t leave the house without?
Lip moisturizer, hand lotion, a bottle of water, an afro comb and cell phones, lol.
Keneilwe, what is your go-to lip colour?
Currently I'm about nudes, no fuss makeup
Shelley, what’s the perfect pants to match your red suede Carvelas?
You can wear these shoes with anything, it's a loafer after all, so I would pair them with pants that are a bit cropped so denim culottes, pleated black culottes or even fitted pants.
What do you guys work on when not working on Prime Obsession?
We are working girls in retail and hospitality design.
What’s next for Prime Obsession?
To grow the brand; we have plans for the coming year, we want to be bigger and better.
Images: Themba Mbuyisa