Siya Beyile by Keagan Kingsley
Siya Beyile, founder of The Threaded Man, first came on our radar a little over a year ago. At the age of 21, he had big plans and dreams about making a mark in the saturated world of fashion.
He has gone on to make huge strides in building a credible brand as trends forecaster, stylist and an all-around go-to guy for everything menswear and fashion. From being listed in this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 list to fashion director to the stars at the South African Music Awards (Sama), his development has been impressive. I catch up with him before he jets off to New York City this week.
Pic by Tashinga Mutakwa
When did your passion for clothes begin? My passion for clothes is rooted in my culture. Growing up, I was always so proud of how the men and women were dressed. What caught my interest even more was that in our culture whatever we wear stands for and means something. It taught me that fashion is not just about looking good, but its also about communicating who you are and what you believe in.
How has The Threaded Man portal evolved since it was launched? When The Threaded Man launched, the idea was that it was just going to be a portal/blog for men’s fashion. Since then it has grown into a full agency, into Africa’s largest men’s fashion and lifestyle portal. Through our styling and consulting divisions, over the past months we
have worked on campaigns for big brands such as H&M, Levi’s, Stuttafords, American
Swiss, Titan watches and Adidas, to name a few.
“The focus is now on taking the brand to the rest of Africa and the world. This week I am heading to New York City to speak at a conference where I will be presenting my business and my work.”
I will also be meeting with some designers and brands while I am there.
The Threaded Man is a success story on its own, but for every successful blog there are dozens that fail. If you could give an aspiring menswear blogger a single piece of advice, what would it be? There is space for all of us as we need more bloggers. However, the key is understanding the market and finding the gap which your blog will fill. Most bloggers fail because of the perceived lifestyle that comes with it. Blogging is a business and it needs focus and skills.
You are clearly a creative person, is there anyone or anything that inspires you? It is funny because I don’t consider myself a creative person… I mean I failed at fashion school, haha! I just knew where the gap was and worked hard to sharpen my skills in order
to cater for that market.
“Right now I am inspired by young black South Africans who are doing amazing things… really raising the bar”
● Tsephang Mollison, otherwise known as Twiggy, is co-founder of the Sleepless in Soweto blog. She is a creative force that people should watch out for.
● Tony Gum, what can I say? The muse and artist is taking the world by storm and recently appeared on the cover of Destiny.
● Austin Melema, the photographer is changing the status quo, look at his #CreditThePhotographer movement.
● Sikhumbuzo Notshe at the age of 23 is already a Stormer and recently made
his debut for the Springboks.
● Anaso Jobodwana, who is representing us at the Olympics.
Siya styling Khanyi Mbau at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs)
Can you explain what trend forecasting entails, why is it important and how it can help build a successful fashion business? Trend forecasting entails studying local and international trends and filtering what will work for brands. I filter these trends and then present to brands on what the focus should be and which market they need to pay attention to.
“Trend forecasting is important for brands because it affects how they communicate with their consumers. Also as an influencer I am an early adopter of certain trends, through my style I can introduce new trends to the market and make them saleable for brands”
How do you measure the success of your website? We do not really care about views, but what is important to us is our engagement rate. You can have millions of views but if there is no engagement then it means nothing.
“Brands care too much about numbers but forget to look at theengagement. Engagement means I am influencing the consumers which is buying power”
Tell us about your personal style. What are your most trusted day-to-day basics? My day-to-day style changes according to my mood. I can go from wearing a suit to wearing ripped jeans and sneakers… whatever I wear needs to fit well.
pic by Austin Malema
Which single men’s style faux pas bothers you the most and why? Men who still wear bootleg jeans. Stop it, it’s 2016!
What has been your career highlight so far? Being the fashion director of the Samas
and being one of five South Africans on the 2016 Forbes 30 under 30 list.
Are there any materials/fabrics and designs that you’re particularly excited about right now? Yes, African-made fabrics. Globally, fashion houses are looking at different African cultures and using our ways of making fabrics and infusing them in their designs. Africa is the future.
Do you think someone can wear casual clothing and remain elegant? Yes, absolutely. Look at David Beckham, he wears jeans and tees all the time but always looks very smart without even trying. The key is fit.
What tips would you give a young man who wants to create the perfect wardrobe? Basics are everything, but it is all about the right fit. Invest in good jeans, a suit, leather jacket and boots.
Where do you see the The Threaded Man headed over the next few months? I see us growing from strength to strength, hiring more young people and growing the voice of the brand. I am also really keen to do more public speaking.
Connect with Siya Beyile at: http://www. threadedman.co.za.co.za or Instagram: Siya Beyile.
This piece was first published in the Cape Argus on June 22 2016.
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